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NGOs say 'enough' to G8's empty initiatives

by Jerome a Paris Tue Jul 5th, 2005 at 06:18:22 PM EST

From this morning's Financial Times:

NGOs grow weary of world leaders' 'empty' initiatives

It was no accident when, at the London Live8 rock concert on Saturday, the pop star Sting changed the lyrics of his old classic Every Breath You Take. Accompanied by montages of the Group of Eight leaders, he pointedly sang: "Every vow you break, every smile you fake, every claim you stake, we'll be watching you."


G8 summits have encouraged the spread of "initiativitis" - one-off announcements aimed more at creating news than making genuine advances. (...) The acknowledged past master of the art is the UK [which] has become skilled at creating splashy announcements out of little or no new money - frequently leaked a day in advance to pliant British newspapers.


Their ability to keep doing so, though, may have waned. Over the past few days even NGOs with strong links to the UK Treasury and Downing Street, like Oxfam, have been increasingly willing to criticise rather than cheerlead.

The paper version of the FT had a nice little table with a number of announcements and the reality behind them (typically, money taken from one budget line to increase another budget line, or an existing budget line announced as extra spending), but i have not been able to find it online. Pity, as it was pretty devastating.

We must hold them accountable.

I never had a problem as such with the old school arm-wrestling for national interests - it was honest at least. But this PR consultant massaged post-modern real-politics where "whe're screwing you, but for your own good" that can be used to not only do nothing at all but to actually start wars really gets under my skin.

Bah! I need a drink to wash the taste of Blair out of my mouth...

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Alexander G Rubio (alexander.rubio@gmail.com) on Tue Jul 5th, 2005 at 07:44:50 PM EST
Having worked for many years with non-profits/NGOs in the US, there too there is much being said and little being done. In fact, much is being done alright, cutting the budgets of those who need help and have benefitted tremendously from funding. It's to the point that the NGOs are having to fight over the scraps. Add to this, that the FOundations are giving less, and there is a real growing crisis. What's the landscape here in Europe like for NGOs? Is money drying up from the govts and Foundations too?

And what to do...so many needs, and so much money (but its all going to wars...)?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Wed Jul 6th, 2005 at 03:05:47 AM EST

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