Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Some spins from the G-8 development meetings

The development ministers of the G-8 are done with their meetings to set up the agenda for their bosses later this year. The meetings didn't make any firm commitments, and had a "we'll have our people look into it and get back to you" sort of approach.

From The Toronto Sun, writer Laura Payton recieved a couple of spins on the meetings and critique from World Vision.

“We have agreed on a set of principles that will guide our work and a scope of actions that leave the needed flexibility for each country so that our delegates here can advise their leaders on how to build their basket of initiatives to support Canada's focus on mothers and children,” said Bev Oda, Canada's international cooperation minister.

The delegations agreed their efforts must include nutrition and disease prevention, Oda said. They've also agreed to be more accountable in reporting donor funding and finding more benchmarks to measure effectiveness.

Glen Pearson, the Liberal party's international cooperation critic who was at most of the meetings, said a lot of points were sent to experts to report back, but he still thought they made progress.

“Because we're so close to (the June leaders' summit in Huntsville, Ont.) I'm just hoping we can come up with a plan of action,” he said.

“The issue for me on this thing was not to come out with false promises; it was to set up a framework by which they could achieve these goals.”

Caroline Riseboro, spokeswoman for World Vision Canada, says the agreement to focus on maternal and child health and the emphasis on nutrition are good signs.

“We have been pushing for consensus around the child and maternal health initiative, and details and new money behind it. It looks like that will come, but just the fact that consensus has been reached and this initiative will continue to push forward is critical in saving the lives of 8.8 million children dying every year,” she said.

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