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Monday, June 02, 2003

Earth-Info.Net has to admit to being very disappointed with both the scale + scope of the humanitarian measures agreed at the G8 summit.

Rather than conclusively deal with the threats posed by AIDS, dirty water, famine + poverty the leaders instead spent a large proportion of their time considering the long-term threat posed by weapons of mass destruction...

Admittedly, it probably did not help that the summit's coverage was overshadowed by violent protests and the great powers patching up their differences after the war in Iraq.

Even so one cannot help wondering when the world's leaders will decide to tackle, within concrete timelines, targets + treaties, the throny issues surrounding trade, aid, debt + access to medicines... rather than continue to produce vague action plans which fail to tie down rights, responsibilities + funding.

More positively, it was good that African and developing country leaders were invited to attend the talks, that immediate assistance for the famine in Africa was agreed and the EU promised to contribute more funds to the Global Health Fund.

The G8's "Water Action Plan" was also agreed, although this was swiftly criticised by Friends of the Earth for relying too heavily on public-private partnerships which have a checkered track record at providing cheap + profitable access to clean water...