Irish government words must be matched by action
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP this evening attended the Make Poverty History rally in Dublin. Calling on the Irish government to honour their commitment to increase aid spending to 0.7% of GNP, Mr. Adams said 'Strong words on eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality and combating HIV and Aids will mean nothing if they are not matched with action.'
He was accompanied by Martin McGuinness MP and TDs Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Martin Ferris, Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Sean Crowe.
Mr. Adams said:
"This evening thousands of people gathered in Dublin, adding our voices to the millions across the world, demanding the eradication of global poverty. We need to ensure that this campaign continues and that more and more pressure is put on all those governments who signed up to the Millennium Declaration to make them honour their commitments.
"In September 2000 the member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the Millennium Declaration. One of the targets in this declaration is to halve the proportion of people living on $1(EUR0.75 approx) a day by 2015. Unless countries, such as Ireland, meet the very modest target of 0.7% of GDP this target cannot be reached.
"However, a number of member states have not met their commitments, whilst others have begun a process of decreasing aid levels. Strong words on eradicating poverty, reducting child mortality and combating HIV and Aids will mean nothing if they are not matched with action.
"We need to see the Millennium Goals set out five years ago implemented. We need to see the complete cancellation of developing world debt. We need to see the provision of more aid, better targeted and sustained. We need fair trade not unrestricted free trade that favours the richest countries and punishes the poorest.
"If money used to pay off foreign debt was diverted back into health and education, and the other goals set by the Millennium Summit were implemented, the lives of seven million children could be saved each year. That is the lives of 1000 children every hour, of every day, of every week could be saved. "ENDS