The world's most powerful leaders fell short of the grade at this year's G8, the international agency Oxfam today said. The Leaders spoke welcome words, but made little progress on fulfilling the lofty promises they made two years ago at Kananaskis.
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International development agency, Oxfam New Zealand today welcomed the proposal by the G8 to cancel $NZ 145 billion of Iraq's foreign debt. But Oxfam NZ Executive Director, Barry Coates pointed out the deep inconsistency in the G8's approach. African countries have waited for more than two decades for debt cancellation. Now they are being offered a pittance as a sweetener to persuade other countries to back the US proposal on Iraq debt.
Oxfam has today urged the New Zealand government to contribute to the relief effort in western Sudan and Chad on the eve of an emergency meeting in Geneva to discuss the crisis.
"Don't start celebrating yet. There are still one million people who have been terrorised and have fled from their homes in western Sudan" is the message from international development agency Oxfam New Zealand, as it welcomes the peace deal covering the conflict in the South.
Oxfam has today launched a public appeal for funds to avert a humanitarian disaster in Sudan. The lives of over a million people are at risk in the vast region of Darfur in Western Sudan. They have fled from the militias who have burnt their homes, destroyed their crops and stolen their cattle. Now they are struggling to survive in refugee camps or living off the generosity of local communities. But food, water, shelter and other resources are about to run out. Massive assistance is needed to avert a major humanitarian disaster.
Ato (Mr) Tadesse Meskela Gudeta, agricultural economist and manager of the Oromiya Coffee Farmers’ Cooperatives Societies Union in Ethiopia, will feature in a speaking tour around New Zealand as part of Fair Trade Week – a joint initiative between Oxfam New Zealand and Trade Aid, with the support of NZAID. Ato Tadesse will give a first hand account of the worst ever coffee crisis that is affecting 25 million farmers and their families around the world.
International aid agency Oxfam has welcomed news reports today that Brazil has won a landmark trade battle at the WTO on cotton subsidies against the United States.
In this opinion article featured in the New Zealand Herald, Oxfam's Executive Director Barry Coates explains that ten years ago, the world’s governments abdicated their responsibility to prevent genocide. New Zealand fought hard and eventually persuaded members of the Security Council to intervene, but was too late to prevent the massacre of estimated 800,000 people in Rwanda during a hundred day period. A decade later, could it happen again?
As momentum builds toward the Athens Olympic Games, it is not just athletes who are feeling the pressure. The global sportswear industry is using ruthless tactics to produce the latest fashions, made cheaper and better to ever more punishing deadlines. In order to deliver, suppliers are forcing their employees to work longer and harder, denying them their fundamental workers’ rights.
In this opinion article published in the New Zealand Herald, Oxfam's Executive Director Barry Coates explains that the trade deal between Australia and the US is short-sighted and politically inspired. Most seriously, it will undermine the prospects of getting fairer rules on agriculture in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), damaging the interests of millions of farmers around the world. It would be a monumental mistake for our politicians to continue pursuing a bilateral trade deal with the US.