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19 September 2005

Barrett calls on international community not to forget G8 promises

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today called on the International Community to rise to the challenge of meeting the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and warned against backtracking on G8 commitments.

Mr Barrett made the call while addressing the Liberal Democrat Annual Conference in Blackpool during the debate on progress towards meeting the MDGs. John Barrett has recently visited TB clinics in Kenya and witnessed first hand what is required to meet the MDG targets.

John Barrett said:

“We are the first generation with the means and resources to free the entire human race from want. The question is, do we have the political will ? We know what the challenges are and yet we are still failing to deliver.

“The MDGs must remain at the heart of International debate and at the top of the agenda for world leaders. Last week’s UN summit was supposed to firm-up the agreements made at Gleneagles. Instead we have seen politicians backtracking on their promises. This is not good enough.

“I have witnessed first hand the appalling conditions that face people in the poorest regions of Africa each day. We must not allow our world leaders to walk away from a nightmare that is daily life for millions of our fellow citizens on this planet.

“President Bush was shocked by the horrors on his doorstep in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when people were dying from the lack of the basics needed for life. He said that no-one should have to live like this. I would tell him that this is how millions of people spend their lives every single day.

“If the US can find the money for illegal wars and military expenditure, why do they continually refuse to play their part in funding the real challenges facing the world today ?“ Action on trade, aid and debt relief will not solve the problems overnight, but they will mark the beginning of the global war on poverty. This is one war I would have voted for and one we must all join - now.”

 

Notes

John Barrett is a member of the international Development Select Committee.
For full details of the conference motion go to www.libdems.org.uk/conference

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.