G8 talks leave unfinished business on tax and agriculture
19 Jun 2013
Round up of G8 decisions on hunger and malnutrion
The G8 has drawn to a close in Northern Ireland. As a member of the Enough Food IF campaign, Concern Universal has been campaigning to make ending global hunger a key aim for the G8 during the UK's presidency. Today, IF campaign spokespeople commented that the G8 agreement on tax is a step in the right direction for tackling hunger, but leaves major unfinished business.
James Treasure-Evans, Advocacy and Learning Manager at Concern Universal gave this response,
"I was very pleased to see that the UK used their Chair of the G8 summit to raise the issues of tax and land in developing countries. The campaign has pushed these issues up the agenda and we are pleased to see that Cameron and his government have responded. The Lough Erne Declaration published at the end of the summit focuses on land, tax and extractive industries – key issues for developing countries. Unfortunately the declaration doesn’t go far enough and doesn’t commit countries to actually doing anything specific. It looks as if the Enough Food IF campaign is only the start of a long road to ensuring developing countries are able to capture the tax revenues they are due."
Responding to today's G8 agreement on tax, Sally Copley, Enough Food For Everyone IF spokesperson, said: "Today’s G8 tax deal is a step in the right direction, but it also leaves major unfinished business. Although the G8 has set out the right ambition on information exchange, poor countries battling hunger can’t afford to wait to be included. It’s progress that more tax authorities will know who owns phantom firms so they can crackdown on them, but a summit focussed on transparency can’t justify keeping this information secret.
"The public argument for a crackdown on tax dodging has been won, but the political battle remains. Future G8s and G20s must urgently finish the job.”
The ‘Hunger Summit’ (Nutrition for Growth Summit/ Promoting African Agriculture: New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition Security event) was held as part of G8 talks on June 8th. James commented,
"We are pleased that the coalition government was able to organise the Nutrition for Growth conference before the G8 to highlight the need to tackle malnutrition in developing countries, and also that the Final Communique of the G8 highlighted the issues of Food Security and Nutrition. Unfortunately it feels that the G8 is putting all its eggs in one basket by expecting the ‘New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition’ (launched at the G8 in the US in 2012) to be a key driver of agricultural development in Africa. The New Alliance prioritises access for multinational companies to resources in Africa and to access cash under the initiative, African governments have to make far-reaching changes to their land, seed and farming policies. We are concerned that these changes may not lead to greater food security for small-holder farmers and we will continue to work closely with farmers in developing countries to understand the full impact of these policies."
A huge thanks to everyone who supported the G8 phase of the campaign over the last few weeks, by campaigning, blogging, tweeting, posting ad lobbying to make sure that tackling hunger and the issues that drive it were on the centre of the G8 agenda.