Yesterday I met with Hugo Sobral, adviser to the EC’s President Barroso on Development and Climate Change, to hand over our petition on using the revenue from a tax on banks to reduce extreme poverty. Mr Sobral took the message straight to the President and received a positive response:
“The President is committed to ensuring development remains an EU priority, particularly as we head to the UN MDGs Summit in September and on the road to 2015. It is vital that in times of recession we keep our commitments to those most in need. In this context we have to work, at a global level, on innovative financing mechanisms with significant revenue generation potential.”
It may seem odd for a development group like ONE to get excited by financial regulation, but it provides a potentially huge opportunity to raise much-needed revenue to fill the funding gaps of the poorest countries. Right now Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy are talking more and more about going ahead with some kind of regulation.
What we want is to see a principle established at the very outset that some of the money raised would be allocated to fighting poverty and addressing the impacts of climate change in the countries where it is most needed.
We’re excited that President Barroso is sympathetic to this issue, and we will keep on working in the coming weeks and months to get a guarantee that a substantial portion of any money raised from financial regulations will go where they are needed most.
Thank you for taking action, and we’ll keep you to date.