In 14 words... MORE AND BETTER AID. TRADE JUSTICE. CANCEL THE DEBT. END CHILD POVERTY IN CANADA.
At the start of the 21st century 1.2 billion people live in abject poverty. More than 800 million people go to bed hungry and 50,000 people die every day from poverty-related causes.
Poverty exists because of the choices we make. It exists because we have:
- insufficient and ineffective aid
- an unjust global trade system
- a debt burden for poor countries that is so great that it suffocates any chance of recovery
- an unwillingness to invest enough in social development
It doesn't have to be this way. If we choose - if we have the will to act - we can make poverty history.
Nearly five years ago, all members of the United Nations committed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to meet minimum targets to reduce poverty, hunger, illiteracy, discrimination against women, and environmental degradation by 2015.
But the pace of action is too slow. The world is failing dismally to reach those targets. And the poor will pay the price.
It's time for real action. In 2005, campaigns to end poverty have been launched world wide. If everyone who wants to end poverty speaks at the same time, world leaders will be forced to listen.
This year also offers a truly exceptional set of opportunities for the Canada to play a leadership role on the international stage.
In January, Prime Minister Paul Martin said "the number of people who live on a dollar a day in this world is just unacceptable. I'm not going to leave that to my children and my grandchildren nor to yours."
In 2004, Canada produced a surplus of $9.1 billion - its seventh consecutive. Money is available for these urgent issues.
The International Policy Review will lead to a new approach to foreign policy. The government will be listening to the voices of citizens - we must tell them what we want.
Canada can also advance the Make Poverty History objectives at the G8 meeting in July,