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G8 commitment shifts to Arab spring 0

The Group of Eight (G8) industrialised nations are posed to put aside the pledge on fighting poverty in developing nations and the $19 billion deficits from the $25 billion L’Aquila promise.

During the last two day (26th and 27th May) their attention has now shifted to supporting the aspirations of ‘Arab up spring’ through a new commitment called ‘Deauville Partnership’.

The world leaders said in a statement today that the international development banks could give more than $20 billion to Egypt and Tunisia as they seek to support countries that overthrew dictators this year and are trying to establish free democracies.

But Luca De Fraia who is Deputy Director at ActionAid in Italy says: “ The action taken by the G8 shows that they have no ‘clear strategy’ on global matters.”

“What can be seen here is that the “Deauville Partnership” will be another Gleneagles, L’Aquila or Muskoka experience…just commitment and no action,” he says. “ The Civil Society is disappointed that the subject of food security and agriculture development in regions like Sub- Saharan Africa has not even come close to being discussed.”

De Fraia who is an expert on the G8, third-world debt and global governance says that the leaders are just trying to ‘mumble jumble’ in their approach to issues affecting the people.

”Even the money they are talking about, there is no clear evidence where it is going to come from or how it is going to be raised. They have mentioned multilateral development banks but this doesn’t mean the funds are there,” he says.

According to an updated draft of the G8 statement due to be released today, leaders from the world’s most industrialised countries welcomed the work done by Egypt and Tunisia in presenting their economic growth plans to the international community and noted existing requests from these countries for aid from multilateral institutions.

“Multilateral development banks could provide over $20 billion, including EUR3.5 billion from the European Investment Bank, for Egypt and Tunisia for 2011-2013 in support of suitable reform efforts,” the statement reads.

“G8 members are already in a position to mobilise substantial bilateral support to scale-up this effort. We welcome support from other bilateral partners, including from the region.”

“In the short term, our collective aim is to ensure that instability does not undermine the process of political reform, and that social cohesion and macroeconomic stability are both sustained,” the declaration said.

The G8 unveiled the “Deauville Partnership” today, “based on our common goals for the future” in the presence of the prime ministers of Egypt and Tunisia, the two countries that originated the movement.

The G8 leaders are also debating how to keep the fighting in Libya from undoing pro-democracy movements that have swept North Africa.

“We stand ready to extend this long term global Partnership to all countries of the region engaging in a transition towards free, democratic and tolerant societies,” the updated draft said.

Prior to this year’s G8 meeting which ends today CSOs and relief agencies had high expectations concerning the escalating food prices and  agriculture development in developing countries. Many organisations thought that the meeting was going to reaffirm the 2009 L’Aquila Food Security Initiative. However, the North Africa and Middle East revolutions topped the agenda.

By Joe M. L. Kaluba – Afronline

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