75 minutes of hope in a summit dominated by Greece

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At a summit dominated by the eurozone crisis G20 leaders failed to recognise that investing in Africa is a big part of the solution to the global economic crisis. Bill Gates’ report on financing development does however provide a new opportunity for leaders to make good on their promises in the years ahead.

ONE co-founder Bono said:

I heard what President Calderon said in France this afternoon about the priorities for his G20 presidency in 2012. It’s great to hear that hunger and food security will be high on the agenda. And I’m glad he wants to retain the services of Bill Gates for a little longer too. Bill has started a quiet revolution with his smart proposals for financing development.

Speaking from Cannes, Adrian Lovett, ONE’s Europe Director, reacted to the outcome of the G20 Summit:

For 75 crucial minutes, the G20 hauled themselves from beneath the wreckage of the eurozone crisis and focused on bold ideas for the fight against poverty. Those 75 minutes, used for talks about innovative finance for development, may have saved this summit. Now we need to ensure that this moment of promise in Cannes becomes a legacy of action in Los Cabos when the G20 meets under Mexican leadership there next year.

“The G20 failed to recognise that investing in Africa is a big part of the solution to the global economic crisis. But this was the first G20 summit where leaders did at least recognise their promises to deliver aid. Progress was also made on agriculture, with commitments to limit harmful speculation and investing more in agricultural productivity. These commitments address specific calls from 400,000 ONE members, whose voices have been heard in Cannes.

Michael Elliott, President and CEO of ONE, said:

The good news from Cannes is that development is now firmly embedded in the G20’s agenda – largely thanks to the report on financing 21st century development which President Sarkozy commissioned from Bill Gates, and the welcome that report received. Bill Gates demonstrated to the G20 that the fight against poverty is a fight we can win. When so much progress has been made in saving and improving lives, now would be the worst possible time to retreat. The report’s recommendations represent a bold challenge to world leaders and a shot in the arm for campaigners worldwide. We look forward to the G20 carrying forward its work on development in 2012 under the leadership of President Calderón of Mexico.

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