Social Justice Fund
Public Service Alliance of Canada joins
campaign to “Make Poverty History”
The PSAC Social Justice Fund will be among many to take a lead role in a global campaign that calls on world leaders to fulfill their promises to eradicate poverty.
Make Poverty History is a campaign spearheaded by an alliance of hundreds of trade unions, women’s organizations, human rights advocates, Aboriginal people’s movements and faith-based groups in Canada and around the world. It is historically the largest mobilization seeking to hold governments accountable for their commitments on trade justice, on more and effective foreign aid and on full debt cancellation.
"This should be the year in which governments keep their promises and respond to the more than one billion people who are living in absolute poverty and who demand justice," said Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and founding member of the campaign. Ryder highlighted that achieving more and better jobs for workers, with full respect for their basic rights, is the single most important means of increasing poor peoples' incomes and cutting poverty.
Leaders around the world have made endless promises to end poverty. In 2000, they committed to reducing extreme poverty and hunger by half by 2015. They signed the Millennium Development Goals, which includes establishing fair trade rules at the World Trade Organization development round in 2001 and ending the burden of debt that forces low-income countries to pay $100 million every day to their creditors.
This year is an opportune time to mobilize. In 2005, world leaders - including Prime Minister Paul Martin - will gather at a series of landmark meetings: the G8 in July, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Review in September and the World Trade Organization Ministerial in December.
It’s time for real action. If everyone who wants to end poverty speaks with one voice, world leaders will be forced to listen.
The campaign demands that world leaders:
- Meet the agreed target of 0.7% of national income in overseas aid.
- Enact measures to protect public services from privatization, secure the right to food and affordable access to essential drugs and strengthen corporate accountability.
- Increase accountability and transparency of governments and international organizations in the formulation of international trade rules and national trade policies.
- Cancel debt. Rich countries, the World Bank and the IMF should cancel 100% of the debt of the poorest countries in order to reach the Millennium Development Goals.
- Implement national efforts to eliminate poverty.
In Canada, Make Poverty History is also calling for an end to child poverty in the country. Over 15 years ago, the House of Commons unanimously resolved to eliminate poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000. At the start of 2005, one million Canadian children, or nearly one in six, still live in poverty.
The Canadian campaign will be coordinated by the Canadian Council on International Cooperation (CCIC) and has been endorsed by the CLC, and a large number of national unions, including the PSAC, CUPE, CUPW, CAW & USWA.
We need your voice to add to our world-wide chorus. Find out how you can support this global campaign at www.makepovertyhistory.ca. Or check this web site for future actions to be undertaken by the Canadian labour movement.