Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals


What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Get Wall Street to stop gambling on the world's food and resources

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Peter O'Driscoll Executive Director, ActionAid USA is endeavoring to raise public pressure in favor of the FST tax, a small tax of 0.25% or less on risky speculation would generate at least $150 billion a year in the U.S. alone. These are a potential source of revenues that could fund real and lasting solutions to global poverty.

Since Wall Street's reckless gambling collapsed the global economy, Americans have had to foot much of the $14 trillion bill in lost wages, lost savings, and lost household wealth. Yet instead of freeing up credit for small businesses, modifying mortgages, and helping put Americans back to work, the banks have clamped down on credit, hiked up bank fees, and accelerated foreclosures.
But we finally have a chance to force Wall Street to do its fair share in fixing the problem it created. If President Obama endorses adding a small transaction tax to financial assets, such as stocks and derivatives, it could pay for new job creation and other urgent global priorities, including the challenges of poverty and climate change.
Sign the petition to President Obama, asking him to support a Financial Speculation Tax that would fund real, lasting solutions to domestic and global problems.
This small tax of 0.25% or less on the sale or purchase of a share of stock, bond, or derivative would not only hit risky speculators the hardest, it would also generate a steady stream of revenue for urgent national and international priorities – at least $150 billion a year in the U.S. alone.
Peter O'Driscoll Executive Director, ActionAid USA also recently wrote on the global commodity market illustrating the greed and lost opportunity for global change brought on by high risk speculation.
Just a few years ago, Wall Street's unrestrained gambling on the commodity markets helped cause the global food crisis of 2008.
Today, a group of senators is fighting to keep language in the financial reform bill that would set limits on commodity market trading. These reforms could have a direct and positive effect on the hungriest people in the world. But as you read this, these critical reforms are under attack.
The deregulation of commodity markets opened the doors to speculators who had no interest in purchasing food or energy except for the chance to turn a quick profit. This drove up prices across the globe, helping to cause the global food crisis of 2008. The U.N. estimated that an additional 130 million people were driven into hunger during this crisis.
Please, help protect the world's hungry people from Wall Street's greed. Tell your senators to maintain these strong reforms on commodity trading.

Raymond C. Offenheiser of the Oxfam America Advocacy Fund warns us of another danger in allowing to much economic power in unregulated hands,

Right now, oil, gas and mining companies are allowed to make massive payoffs to foreign governments entirely in secret – opening the door to corruption that can divert money from food, schools and health care and keep people in poverty. Just as the Gulf oil spill threatens to devastate communities – a stark reminder of oil drilling's impact on poor people – a bill to end this injustice is gaining support in Congress. But oil, gas and mining lobbyists are incredibly powerful, and lawmakers are telling us they need more support.Tell Congress to open the books on mining and drilling – and help millions of people lift themselves out of poverty. start

All of this reflects on a report in the June 1st issue of the UN Wire states that a G8 draft calls for renewed focus, action on MDGs

Improving performance on meeting Millennium Development Goals related to maternal and child health will feature prominently on the agenda when the G8 meets June 25 and 26, according to a draft text released in advance of the summit. The global economic crisis has jeopardized 2015 goals on poverty, disease, education, environment and maternal and child mortality rates, the draft warns. G8 representatives will also discuss creation of a legal framework for joint action on climate change.

The actual news story by (5/31) was more circumspect in its evaluation.

It was unclear how far the text, obtained by Reuters on Monday and including references to progress towards world economic recovery, had changed in recent weeks with shockwaves from a debt crisis in Greece.

So it is hard to be too excited about the supposed goodwill of the G8.

"Urgent collective action must be taken to regain lost ground and quicken the pace of progress" towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it said. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sought focus on women and children.

The problem is that while the G8 optimistically states that,

"We undertake to champion a new initiative on maternal, newborn and under-five child health," according to the draft. It left a blank for how much money the eight nations would provide.
We can look to the Wall Street types as who to hold responsible for where the money went.

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