Here’s the email I just received from the Make Poverty History website; I’m sure they won’t mind me quoting most of it:
Never before have so many people stood in solidarity with the poor. While there is a great deal more G8 leaders should have done in Gleneagles, today they responded to our campaign for justice by making significant commitments to increase aid, cancelling some of the debts of some of the world’s poorest countries, and saying they will apply fewer conditions to them. They also agreed to strive for access to AIDS treatment for all by 2010. These commitments will give hope and life to millions of the world’s poorest people, and they’re down to you.
Are you wearing a white band? Remembering all the emails you’ve sent? Did you rally along with quarter of a million people in Edinburgh last weekend? Then you helped deliver the pressure that made 2005 the year the world accelerated on the road towards justice.
Today’s announcement marks a turning point in the human story, but it falls far short of the plan that would truly make poverty history. To do that, and secure a place in history, world leaders must go a lot further at 2 crucial talks later in the year – the UN Millennium Development Goals summit and World Trade Organisation talks – and we need your continued help to make sure they act.
Millions of people are trapped in the prison of poverty. Today the G8 chose not to do all that we have asked them that could set those people free. The people of the world are already on the road to justice. They expect their leaders to be with them. Today’s announcement has shown that the G8 need to run much faster to catch up.
It’s disappointing that the major breakthrough wasn’t achieved, but without a doubt what did happen was far more than would have, had Make Poverty History not launched its massive campaign*. Have you ever seen a charitable campaign have so much media coverage for so long? The important thing now is not to let the issue slip away. While the same level of public attention is unlikely to be achieved for the two meetings later this year, more good can be done prividing we still send emails and keep the idea alive.
*I apologise for this sentence.