In the Belly of the Beast

June 6, 2007 at 6:56 pm 1 comment

Takumo Yamada of Oxfam Japan Takumo Yamada – our man on the inside – from Oxfam Japan

So far, what we know is that nobody knows all that much! There is a standstill in discussions, and the national representatives who do a lot of the talking before the leaders arrive still can’t reach any kind of agreement. The bones of contention are Africa and climate change, with the US being pretty stubborn in the negotiations over the latter.
Some countries like Canada and Italy – and including my own- are even refusing to recognise that they made promises on aid and to Africa in 2005. What’s particularly concerning for me is that Japan is playing a negative role and has the responsibility of hosting the summit next year.

They should be working hard now and trying to lay the foundation for the 2008 G8 so we can further support developing countries to escape poverty. With the continuing and desperate need for more teachers, doctors, and nurses the G8 really need to make up their minds and commit to achieving social justice.

The atmosphere in the Media Centre and the feelings of the journalists are apprehensive – they all want to know what the outcome of this Summit will be.
And with Africa and climate change still up in the air we are all waiting with tested patience for some answers.
What’s shocked me most about being here is the level of grandeur around the summit itself. It’s easy to see why people are so angry with the G8 – and it’s hard to know how they will be able to make themselves look like anything more than a rich man’s club if they make no strong commitment to ending poverty. The G8 should be about rich countries providing solutions to global issues such as poverty, conflict and climate change. And I don’t see any of those solutions coming out of this meeting at the moment.

That’s it for now – more updates coming later. I’m looking forward to a little more sleep but there are only a few days to go so I won’t complain too much!


Entry filed under: G8 2007 - Germany.

Bush can you place your stethoscope south-west of Burkina Faso Will I be on Page 3? Of the Financial Times of course…

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