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Published: 24 June 2010
June 24, 2010
ONE urges adoption of robust maternal and child health initiative, new accountability measures and renewed partnership with African governments, civil society and business sector
Toronto -In advance of the G8 and G20 Summits in Canada, global anti-poverty group ONE called on leaders to boost momentum towards achieving the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and agree to a vigorous maternal and child health initiative that includes critical accountability measures.
"This weekend is a pivotal moment for the world's poorest people, as the Gleneagles G8 commitments are expiring and only five more years remain to achieve the poverty-fighting Millennium Development Goals," said Sheila Nix, U.S. Executive Director. "The G8 and G20 summits in Canada present a timely and crucial opportunity to renew life-saving commitments, agreed to by all countries, which have delivered remarkable results, and build momentum ahead of the MDG summit in September."
Specifically, ONE is calling on the G8 and G20 to achieve three main goals at this weekend's summits: a robust, results-based maternal and child health initiative; a new partnership with Africa based on mutual responsibility, good governance and investment; and an accountability system to ensure all promises are clear and ultimately delivered upon.
Delivery of a strong maternal and child health plan by the G8 will provide critical momentum moving toward an upcoming global meeting in New York in September, when progress on the broader MDGs will be addressed.
"By forging ahead with a vigorous maternal and child health initiative, leaders can make huge headway in enhancing efforts to save the lives of mothers and their children, an area in the fight against poverty that has lagged behind needlessly," said Sheila Nix, U.S. Executive Director "To effectively bolster the health systems needed for a long-term solution, the G8 should commit to train 3.5 million new health care workers in countries where most maternal and child deaths occur."
ONE also urges the G8 and--equally important--the G20 to approach Africa not only from a standpoint of development, but as a partner in private investment, trade and good governance to achieve a sustainable path out of poverty for millions.
"Previous compacts on global development have focused on targeted interventions to respond to crises and alleviate suffering," said Sheila Nix, U.S. Executive Director. "These interventions have made an enormous difference and should be continued. At the same time, we must also partner with African countries to better promote the broad spectrum of conditions needed for a sustainable path from poverty to prosperity. This includes good governance and an increase of private investment."
Finally, ONE called on the G8 and G20 to take steps to ensure all countries are held accountable to their commitments. In addition to monitoring and delivering on past commitments to development, ONE is pushing the G8 and the G20 to formally adopt the 'TRACK' principles this weekend and to apply them to all new commitments, including a maternal and child health initiative. TRACK principles allow all governments, citizen watch groups, reporters and the public to answer critical questions: Is the commitment transparent? Is it results-oriented? Is it additional? What conditions are attached? And how will we all know it has been kept?
"This week the G8 must set clear plans for how those countries that are off track will get back on track with commitments, such as those made at Gleneagles and those made on food security in L'Aquila," said Sheila Nix, U.S. Executive Director. "The legacy of a G8 Summit is not found in the fanfare of press conferences or even pledges made, but ultimately in the delivery of those pledges and the lives they have transformed."
The G8 and G20 always play a critical role in setting the global policy agenda, but the importance of this week's summits is heightened by the upcoming MDG summit where world leaders will convene in New York in September. There they will review progress towards achieving MDGs and establish a new path forward to make them a reality in five years.
At the Gleneagles Summit in Scotland, G8 leaders had pledged to double (from 2004 levels) the amount of development assistance to sub-Saharan Africa, cancel outstanding debts for qualified countries, and achieve a variety of outcomes such as providing universal access to treatment for millions of people with HIV/AIDS.
As ONE's newly released 2010 DATA Report makes clear, the collective commitments made in 2005 have yielded transformative results in many African countries. Forty-two million more children are in primary school in Africa. Nearly three million Africans are on life-saving AIDS treatments compared to only 50,000 in 2002. Malaria deaths cut nearly in half in several places.
Canada, Japan and the United States set relatively modest targets in 2005 but are on track to meet or exceed them by the end of 2010. France and Germany set more ambitious goals but are likely to deliver approximately one quarter of them. The UK continues to show great leadership in its progress towards reaching its ambitious aid targets. However, Italy's dismal delivery, cutting aid to Africa by 6 percent from 2004 levels, brought down overall performance and is a key example why a new framework must be put in place to help make promises more transparent and enforceable.
"This week in Canada, it's time to apply the lessons learned over the last decade of development," said Sheila Nix, U.S. Executive Director. "Lasting results have been achieved where there has been a strong, mutually-reinforcing partnership between African governments, donor countries and civil society. In these instances, African governments have demonstrated a commitment to poverty reduction as well as improved governance and transparency, while donors have responded with resources and policies that are flexible and predictable.
"By treating Africa as a partner, ensuring mutual accountability of global promises and boosting support for mothers and children, this weekend can provide a huge boost to the fight against poverty and disease at a very important time."
MEDIA NOTE: ONE will be on the ground at the G8/G20 in Toronto from June 24-28 and will have staff available for interviews and policy briefings. Please contact Kim Hunter at 202-344-5494 or email@example.com