Tuesday, July 8, 2008
People's Summit 2008 opened in Japan with NGO leaders asking the G8 nations to take immediate action on development and climate change. The two fora brought together about 220 NGOs based in Japan.
During the first session, themed "To Make Poverty History," four people from Africa and Central America discussed their perspectives on development issues. The Global Call to Action Against Poverty in South Africa pointed out that 50,000 people in the world die from preventable causes each day, and that in Africa alone, 6000 people die per day from HIV/AIDS and 7000 from malaria. The AIDS Support Organization founder, Noerine Kaleeba, highlighted the importance of recognizing women's rights in conjunction with achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which include, among others, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and achieving universal primary education .
At the second session, titled "For a Sustainable Global Society," four NGO leaders from Japan, Germany, India and the Philippines addressed the need for Japan to base its political discussions about climate change on science - not sectoral interests. This was the first time Japanese NGOs have organized fora on this scale to convey messages to G8 leaders.