The Group of Eight industrialized nations plan to invest in better health for mothers and young children in poor nations to meet faltering goals for slashing world poverty by 2015, a draft text for a G8 summit said.
The five-page draft for the June 25-26 summit in Canada, dated March 12, said the “greatest economic crisis in generations” had “jeopardized our ability to meet the 2015 targets” for aiding developing nations set in 2000.
It was unclear how far the text, obtained by Reuters on Monday and including references to progress toward world economic recovery, had changed in recent weeks with shockwaves from a debt crisis in Greece.
“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.
“Urgent collective action must be taken to regain lost ground and quicken the pace of progress” toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it said. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sought focus on women and children.
In 2000, world leaders agreed 2015 goals for slashing poverty, hunger, disease, maternal and child deaths, and for improving the environment, education and gender equality.
Among the goals lagging most, more than 500,000 women die every year from causes linked to pregnancy and nearly nine million children die before they reach the age of five, the G8 said.
The draft also said G8 nations would seek a new legal framework for a UN-led deal to combat climate change after a UN summit in Copenhagen in December fell short of a treaty.
But the G8 nations -- the United States, Russia, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada -- set no new dates for reaching an accord after Copenhagen overran a 2009 deadline.
In 2010 “we will strive to achieve a fair, effective and comprehensive post-2012 agreement that includes a robust system of emissions reductions monitoring, reporting and verification,” it said.
The G8 reaffirmed a goal set in a non-binding Copenhagen Accord of limiting a rise in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial times.
“Achieving this global climate challenge requires global mitigation action,” it said, but omitted vital details of how the curbs on greenhouse gas emissions would be shared out.
It gave new support to a goal set at a G8 summit in 2008 of launching 20 large-scale demonstration projects for carbon capture and storage -- trapping greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants, for instance, and burying them underground.
“G8 leaders commit to take concrete actions to accelerate worldwide implementation of these projects and set a new goal to achieve this by 2015,” the statement said. (Reuters)