Today, Bill Gates delivered a report at the G20 Summit in Cannes, with a strong message urging the leaders not to use the current financial turmoil as an excuse to turn their backs on the worlds poor. A message we at the Global Poverty Project strongly stand behind.
The report was delivered at the request of the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy and highlights the major progress that has been made in the last decade. If we are to continue this trend of improvement and build on the unprecedented progress in health and development from the last decade, leadership from the G20 countries is critically important.
A good example of the fantastic progress that has been made comes from Tanzania, as can be seen in the latest video from Professor Hans Rosling below.
At the same time as looking at the pivotal role that well designed aid has played in development, Bill also highlights that aid is not the only element for development. He points out, “Ultimately, developing countries’ domestic resources will be the largest source of funds for development.”
One of the roles that the G20 nations can play to ensure that people in developing countries are able to secure own resources and bring themselves out of poverty.
He also highlights an important action that we can take towards this – passing legally binding transparency requirements for mining and oil companies listed on their stock exchanges, to ensure that natural resources are well-managed. This is something that we at the Global Poverty Project have been campaigning on for years as part of the Publish What You Pay coalition and we will be unveiling our new campaign in support of this legislation in the coming week.
A further point of interest in the report is the tax proposals he suggests G20 countries should consider to help them meet their aid commitments and eventually expand them. These include a tobacco tax, a financial transaction tax, and an aviation and bunker fuel tax. It will certainly be interesting to see how these are received and indeed if they are implemented.
This report is an important reminder of why we must not turn our backs on aid programmes and we hope the G20 leaders pay heed to it so that we do not lose the huge opportunities we have to truly drive development forward in the coming years.