There Can Be No More Excuses

by oneafrikan on March 22, 2005

This is an Action for Southern Africa press release, concerning the survey of the UK’s excuses for failing Africa…

Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA)Press Release
21 March 2005

There Can Be No More Excuses

A Survey of the UK’s Current Excuses for Failing Africa

In the wake of the Commission for Africa Report, and in the run up to the UK’s presidency of the G8 and EU, Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) today launched its survey of the current UK excuses that are used for failing Africa.

Euan Wilmshurst, ACTSA’s Director said as ACTSA launched the new briefing:

“At the press conference to launch the Commission’s Report the Prime Minister was asked if he was prepared to commit himself to changing British policy in whatever way necessary to fully implement the Commission’s findings? “Yes, I am”, he replied.

This briefing takes him at his word, drawing attention to policies of the UK Government and the international institutions in which the UK wields influence that do not match up to the Commission’s findings. It lists some of the excuses Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson currently use to avoid changing them. We never want to hear these excuses again.

Now Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are not mocking African proposals but, as members of the Africa Commission, have joined the chorus for justice. In accepting the praise and photo opportunities, they have struck a moral
bargain:

If they can convince the rest of the rich world to act on the Commission’s proposals, we will remember 2005 as the year Tony Blair and Gordon Brown helped to make poverty history.
If they fail to bring the rest of the G8 on board, we will wonder what kind of statesmen they are and whether they ever had the courage to tackle the vested interests that keep Africa poor.
if they do not act immediately to bring Britain into line in the many areas where UK policy contradicts the Commission’s recommendations, they will be condemned as nothing more than headline chasers.”
The briefing also lays out an agenda for change, highlighting the many Ministerial gatherings and global conferences this year at which Africa Commissioners Tony Blair and Gordon Brown will have the chance to tell the British Prime Minister and Chancellor to do the right thing.

For a full copy of this briefing, or for more information about ACTSA, please contact:

Euan Wilmshurst 020 7833 3133/ 07866 760276

Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA), campaigns for peace, democracy and development in Southern Africa and is the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement.

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