The Gleneagles summit gave the G-8 leaders the once-in-a-life-time opportunity to take significant actions to reduce global poverty. Nothing stands in the way to eradicate extreme poverty. There has to be evidence of political will. And today, the world and public opinion are mobilizing to firmly support the struggle against poverty.
As responsible for two world communities that would greatly benefit from a strong political commitment in favor of eradicating global poverty, we harbor a double hope: that the Heads of State or Governments of the G-8 work together to go beyond the strictly national interests, and ensure the political leadership and collective action that the rest of the world needs and which is indispensable. In this regard, we want to congratulate the G-7’s ministers of finances for approving recently a considerable reduction of the debt of those countries. However, such relief refers only to the amount owed to multilateral organizations. The debts incurred in binational agreements have also to be considered, nor should we not forget the domestic debts.
Therefore, our main challenge is to put an end to the economic war that an unfair international system imposes upon the poor people. “Doha’s development program” sets the way that enables the poor nations to achieve prosperity by using foreign trade mechanisms. Trade’s engine is political, and today many leaders fear to upset powerful and well-consolidated pressure groups. It is important, however, to open the markets. This has to do with the abandonment of agricultural subsidies.
Furthermore, it is important to redouble aid for development, but together with a better use of such assistance. The French-speaking countries and the Commonwealth include among their members a lot of African states. For our two organizations, the current priority is for the G-8 to take the initiative to carry out immediate actions in Africa. The G-8 leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to change the life of millions of people. We hope that with a strong political commitment, they can make the necessary progress in the struggle against global poverty.

Le Monde (France)

Comment éradiquer la pauvreté ?, by Abdou Diouf and Don McKinnon, Le Monde, July 7, 2005.