At a time when entire world’s attention is focused on problems of world debt, with Live 8 (http://www.live8live.com/ ) concerts, G8 summit in Scotland, Make Poverty History Campaign ( http://www.makepovertyhistory.org/ ) (MPH) and various anti-poverty marches, it seems that everyone wants world’s governments to behave more ethically towards manner in which international finance is conducted. This is obviously a laudable attitude to take, and has gained immense momentum with such a groundswell of public opinion that even UK Chancellor, Gordon Brown, has stated he is planning to participate in Make Poverty History demonstration in Edinburgh during G8 summit.
Mr Brown has urged world leaders to follow up their decision on debt cancellation for poorest countries with a doubling of aid and fairer trade rules.
The Chancellor said, "This is a day for people not for politicians. It is people's voice that must be heard."
Whilst support from such a prominent member of British cabinet with his accompanying statements that world was "angry" and "outraged" over poverty in Africa, which has continued despite repeated past pledges from richer nations, has been welcomed by many who believe that various organised events could have an influence on leaders who attended summit, others see his words as hypocrisy.
Human rights lawyer, Aamar Anwar, said "Mr Brown, along with Tony Blair and George Bush, are people who are responsible for poverty and starvation around world…The G8 is proposing spending £30bn on alleviation of poverty…It sounds like a lot but it is absolute peanuts when it is compared to £280bn that was made available for war in Iraq."
The trouble is that although there has been much talking and finger pointing at rich and powerful Governments of world, with claims that way they are running international finances does not stand up to moral scrutiny, how many people can genuinely look at their own finances and state that they themselves are doing everything they can to help, and that they are ethically above reproach? Does their bank or building society lend their savings to companies who are involved in activities that can range from weapons manufacturing, gambling, pornography, tobacco, scientific animal testing to child labour, or do they instead direct their investment towards activities which have a positive social and/or ecological impact?