FAILURE TO put debt relief higher up the agenda at the 07 Summit in Okinawa, Japan, this weekend, has angered campaigners all over the world, writes Antoine Lokongo.
Leaders of the seven richest nations on earth will discuss practical "initiatives for a global conflict prevention" but will likely fail short of announcing a total debt cancellation toward poor countries.
Cafod, the bishops' aid agency, said that there was no other issue that has inspired millions of people across the continent to take action than "a total debt cancellation" towards the world's poorest nations.
A Cafod spokesman said: "Failure to cancel the debt in this Jubilee year will surely be judged by history as a betrayal of the poor, and of the campaigners who have forced this issue on the agenda. The 18 millions signatures on the debt petition testifies to the strength of support for debt cancellation."
However, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan's call for a 100 per cent debt cancellation this week has intensified pressure on the G7 leaders as the Summit approaches.
At least three leaders from Third World countries have been invited at the Summit to meet the G7 leaders. It is hoped that Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, the Thai Prime Minister, Chuan Leakpai will raise the issue of total debt cancellation with the 07 leaders and will not come out empty handed.
At least 3.5 million children have died as a result of the debt crisis so far this year, according to a Jubilee 2000 coalition.
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