» Monday, June 26, 2006

A year after Glenagles

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) outlined the speech the Prime Minister would deliver this evening at King’s College London. The Prime Minister would set out the progress made since Gleneagles on Africa and Climate Change. He would announce that he was establishing the Africa Progress Panel, which was something that the Commission for Africa had called for. It would be a panel of world leaders from all sectors to ensure that the promises made at Gleneagles on Africa were kept. Kofi Annan had agreed to co-chair the panel. Bob Geldof and President Obasanjo were also on the panel as was Peter Eigen, the founder of Transparency International. Other panel members would be announced at a later date. The Gates Foundation had agreed to fund the panel and the secretariat.

The Prime Minister would also announce that DfID’s budget for education would double to over £1bn a year by 2010, which was up from the £450m last year. The Prime Minister would say that he was disappointed that Gleneagles had not been able to make more progress on trade. He had, however, worked hard since then to turn this political commitment into a real breakthrough. The Prime Minister would say that we were not there yet and that the coming month would be critical. He would go on to say that failure would not only be a blow for the poor but to the whole idea of multilateralism. The Prime Minister had spoken recently to President Bush, Chancellor Merkel, President Chirac, President Lula, President Mbeki and to Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The Prime Minister believed that there was a still flexibility in people’s positions and he would shortly be writing to leaders setting out how he thought things could move forward.

On Climate Change, the Prime Minister would say that in the next twelve months we needed to build local consensus about the scale of the action we needed to take. We needed to begin agreement on a framework that the major players – US, China, India and Europe – bought into that had at its heart a goal to stabilise temperature and green house gas concentrations. We needed to accelerate discussions – we could not take the 5 years it had taken for Kyoto to be negotiated. A clear goal and a strong framework would help spur the technology revolution we needed. It was vital to give business the certainty it needed to invest in cleaner technology and reduce emissions.

Put that other than the Africa Progress Panel none of this was new, the PMOS said that the DfID education funding was new. The point about Gleneagles was that it had set a very ambitious agenda, certainly as far as Africa was concerned. The important thing now was that we followed through that ambitious agenda. That agenda did not stretch just into this year but into the years ahead. The whole purpose of the Africa Panel was to make sure world leaders lived up to the promises that they had made last year. This was not a year for new promises, it was a year for making sure that everyone delivered on the promises that were made last year at Gleneagles. We needed to make sure that everyone who signed up to the Gleneagles agreement lived up to his or her commitments.

Asked whether there was a fear of backsliding particularly as the Russians had not shown great enthusiasm for St Petersburg, the PMOS said the Russians would speak for themselves. It was important that we kept reminding people in government and the public who had supported the Make Poverty History campaign what it was that we had collectively agreed to do last year and that we lived up to that. Asked what the Prime Minister would be writing to leaders about on the trade talks, the PMOS suggested that it was best that the Prime Minister wrote first to the leaders before going into details. The Prime Minister wanted to emphasise to world leaders what was at stake and what he thought was a possible way forward. It was still lead by the WTO and within the EU by the commission, but we wanted to underline why we believed, and not just because of the Gleneagles, why this round was very important. Asked about the possible leaders summit President Lula had discussed, the PMOS said that everything was part of the same effort to get a deal. The Prime Minister had been keeping in regular contact with President Lula. He had met him at the EU/Latin America Summit in Vienna. The Prime Minister believed that the next month would be critical in the trade round talks.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


June 2006
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« May   Jul »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh