New Internationalist

A shameless betrayal

Just a few weeks ago there was gridlock in Washington DC as rival motorcades bearing the world’s self-styled potentates barged their way to a snap 'G20' meeting on the economic crisis.

Right now in Doha, Qatar, there's a 'G192' (all the members of the United Nations) conference on Finance for Development where heads of state have been ostentatiously ducked - even the bosses of the World Bank and IMF haven't bothered to show up.

At the first, amid media hype, governments brandished trillions of dollars of public money at a private financial system that had just blown itself up in a cloud of candyfloss wealth and grotesque self-enrichment.

At the second, amid media silence, minor officials are struggling with their own impotence in the face of social and environmental collapse, oblivious to the solemn promises made by all the world's governments at the turn of the millennium to cut world poverty in half by 2015.

Tomorrow we discover what the official outcome of the conference is to be. But today we know already how ill-served by our governments we truly are. If it doesn't, then it surely should go down as one of the most brazen and shameless betrayals of the new millennium so far.

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