Right, so I'm off to the G8 Summit on Sunday representing YOU LOT as part of the IF Campaign. This is a Very Scary Thing.
Original thread here - I was chosen because I am extremely clever and interesting, and not just because Justine picked my name out of a hat <ahem>
I'll be there as part of the IF@G8 bloggers project - see here for mugshots - I'm the one at the bottom hugging a random child. I'm slightly unnerved by the blogging prowess of the others <faints>
The main point of the IF campaign is that there is enough food in the world for everyone, but not everyone has enough food. One in eight people go to bed hungry every night and over three million children die each year through malnutrition.
I think we're all agreed that this is not on.
IF the G8 leaders act now to increase aid, clamp down on tax dodgers, support small scale farmers and stop land grabs, then 2013 could be the beginning of the end for global hunger. More info on all the ishoos here
So what do you lot think? What do you want me to say to the G8 leaders if I get the chance? Are we still interested in biscuits or have we moved on? I can't remember if we ever got an answer from DC on that point.
Any opinions, questions, stories, general musings welcome.
I love MN by the way - I've been here since 2008. I first posted (different username) while on a work trip to Ethiopia. I found out I was pregnant with DS1 on the day I flew and needed some reassurance - I got it and have been here ever since.
First off GOOD LUCK BICNOD!! have a safe and relaxing, as much as it can be, journey and a good nights sleep tonight.
Secondly don't bother reading any of the following if you are feeling overloaded and want to relax..
Just a little more on the big picture of the difference between what is said and what is done re transparency I think it is necessary to have incentives for compliance with transparency and clear and actionable sanctions for non-compliance.
The importance of how to give weight to local voices re land grab is crucial because I have seen time and again how 'information' is hidden or at least not easily and widely accessible, therefore informed consent is not possible as potentially very few people/agencies have seen the information, 'consultation' goes the same way if all they do is 'consult' then totally ignore concerns.
Even where information is widely disseminated, communities are encouraged to consult and their concerns are noted in final reports etc - if the major power holders refuse to address those concerns adequately or action recommendations made then essentially the process is a tick box exercise and a waste of money.
So some actionable enforcements must be available to ensure the type of involvement by local communities affected by land grab is not just 'lip service'
I'm not an expert in this area, and you've had so many brilliant tips and suggestions so I'll just add a few general comments and tips.
I found using Twitter as a note taking device was helpful - tweet with the hashtag and you can go back later and read what your first response to the speaker was.
Easier to do that than try to live tweet and write notes
Forget about writing anything longer than a tweet or v short Mumsnet post while there. Everything moves fast and you won't have time
You probably won't get near the big names but do chat to other bloggers and attendees - we got to sit in while DC and Melissa Gates talked to some youth activists but weren't allowed to ask a question.
Have a question ready in case you do meet someone big, if possible one that you can adapt to anyone - and that is a bit MNetty
Write down as much as you can and try to make your notes so that you understand them later. I can recall sitting in a hotel room studying my notes, thinking 'WTF does that mean?!'
Take phone charger and plug phone in when not using it.
If you speak one-on-one with someone, think about using phone to record or film the interview. Much much easier than trying to decipher notes.
Feel free to email me or DM me via twitter (am following you)
Good luck. Have a fantastic time.
Oh, and ask about connection of this campaign with others such as GirlEffect and ChimeforChange - targeted at girls and women.
With regard to transparency, maybe ask about crowdfunding such as Catapult.org - which directly funds projects that benefit women and girls.
It looks like there has been movement on the tax dodging and transparency issues at the Open for Growth summit today - see BBC news article here
In a nutshell (and somebody please correct me if I've got this wrong - I am definitely not an expert!) UK controlled tax havens have signed up to the OECD's Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters. I think this means they will be willing to assist other signatories investigating tax dodging companies.
The UK also plans to establish a register of beneficial ownership, showing who owns which company, but there are still questions over whether this register would be private (not transparent) or public (transparent).
The IF Campaign response is that the register needs to be public. Also, that there needs to be a deal on global information exchange so that developing country governments have access to the information they need to hold companies operating in their countries to account for the taxes they owe.
Phew. My brain hurts.
I have two screamy children who need their dinner so have to dash - back later...
YY to tax havens - that is definitely on the list. And the corruption/transparency issue as well.
The Open for Growth: trade, tax and transparency event is happening right now so will report back later with any news from that.
Totally agree about women's education as well. Women often bear the brunt of providing for their families in developing countries at the same time as losing out on their right to education, to land, to their own bodies.
I remember when the cholera outbreak in Haiti started in 2010 and that there was a debate around the source of it. It's all a bit hazy (DS1 was not a good sleeper at that point!) but I'm going to read up about it as your post has sparked my interest.
With regards to Aid, I think it's important to differentiate between Aid from governments and Aid from NGOs.
The NGO I used to work for (ActionAid) is all about empowerment: working with communities over long periods of time to strengthen their own efforts to lift themselves out of poverty, as opposed to the swoop in and swoop out tactic employed by some other organisations, particularly in emergency situations.
They work with local partners, local staff and each country programme operates independently under the umbrella of ActionAid International - whose headquarters are in South Africa - see here.
ActionAid is just one example of an NGO doing it, IMHO, the right way.
@leenypies - hello my lovely - and yes to a cuppa next week. Assuming I'm still here, of course, and haven't imploded into a mess of jellified anxiety.
Interesting point about UK self-sufficiency. Article [[ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/8021327/Britain-least-self-sufficient-in-food-since-1968.html here]] which suggests a lot of UK farmers have been put out of business due to supermarkets paying so little for their produce and UK consumers wanting the cheapest possible prices.
I can't see a Tory government, or realistically any government, forcing supermarkets to pay more than the market value for food produced in the UK.
Hmmmm. I don't know much about this at all - interesting topic though.
Anyone else got any thoughts? Also, how would increased UK self-sufficiency impact on poor people living in the developing countries we trade with?
Very best of luck Bicnod! You will be brilliant. I will be thinking of you and reading all your updates.
I have nothing constructive to contribute apart from the practical matter that when I try and access this thread (to read the constructive contributions) through the iPad/iPhone app I get chucked out of mumsnet every time. Doesn't happen with any other thread. I guess this must be happening for other users too - is it something Tech can sort out? sorry if it has been mentioned upthread and I've missed it...
Morning! Mine of info on here. Just wanted to comment on the Malaria film Richard Curtis did (for Comic Relief?) Well, sat badly with me and my NGO friends here - all Africa needs is kindly American/British folk to fund malaria projects??! And Africans mere passive recipients to be "done to" as ever?! To be honest, i was appalled.
Aid efforts will go nowhere if local people's skills/knowledge is not harnessed and developed to mainstream and sustain initiatives.
Kenya? I did my medical elective there in a wee rural hospital in Meru district. We basically staffed the A+E overnight. It was terrifying (but I haven't been scared like it since in 12+ years of working in the NHS ). I have since had a nosy in a couple of Zimbabwean public hospitals which seemed a bit better (all relative of course). Obviously none of the white people would go there - they can afford the nice clean private ones. Some things never change in Africa I think.
Just wanted to say good luck, its great that you are doing this. We need more voices of the people, advocates of the unheard.
I really think that tax havens and corruption would be the thing I would like spoken up about. It is just criminal that the wealthy are able to avoid paying into society, leaving the poor without basics for life.
Women's education is so important in all this I think. Women seem so often to be passengers, without a voice, subject to the whims of the powerful. Criminal that their education is seen as less than vital.