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SADC Today Volume 10 No.5, April 2008
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Revisiting the G8 Gleneagles commitments

THE G8 industrialized countries reaffirmed, during their 2005 Summit at Gleneagles in Scotland, their commitment towards ensuring that the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be achieved by 2015 as agreed.

The MDGs include targets on reducing poverty, combating hunger and disease, among others.

Progress towards meeting these goals is expected to feature in discussions at the SADC International Conference on Poverty and Development in April 2008.

The commitments made by the G8 at Gleneagles include:

  • Doubling of aid by 2010 - an extra US$50 billion worldwide and US$25 billion for Africa;
  • Writing off immediately the debts of 18 of the world's poorest countries, most of which are in Africa. This was worth US$40 billion in 2005, and as much as US$55 billion as more countries qualify;
  • Commitment to end all export subsidies, and to reduce domestic subsidies, which distort world trade;
  • Developing countries would “decide, plan and sequence their economic policies to fit with their own development strategies, for which they should be accountable to their people;”
  • As close to universal access to HIV and AIDS treatment as possible by 2010;
  • Funding for treatment and nets to combat malaria, saving the lives of over 600,000 children every year;
  • Full funding to totally eradicate Polio from the world;
  • All children to have access to good quality, free and compulsory education and to basic health care by 2015, free where a country chooses to provide it;
  • Although the comprehensive package agreed at Gleneagles would have improved progress for Africa towards meeting the MDGs - a lot of these promises have remained on paper.

If the SADC region is to meet the MDGs by 2015, then much more needs to be done to meet and implement these commitments. 

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