NCVO Annual Conference: UK urged to make poverty history

All charities, even those with no involvement in overseas aid, should join the Make Poverty History campaign, according to the director of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Addressing today's NCVO conference, Salil Shetty urged charities to join the 260 that have already signed up to the campaign. He said: "With the UK chairing G8 and holding the EU Presidency, 2005 offers a chance to make a genuine breakthrough in the elimination of poverty - let us grasp this. It is vital that the UK voluntary sector gets behind this worldwide mobilisation."

The NCVO has signed up to the Make Poverty History Assembly, and is actively encouraging its 3,600 members to get involved by either sending action postcards to the Prime Minister or attending the demonstration in Edinburgh on the eve of the G8 summit in July.It is hoped that the campaign will become the biggest ever coalition of UK organisations.

2005 was chosen as the year to launch the Make Poverty History campaign b*ecause it is the year that the UK will host the G8 summit, as well the UK taking over the presidency of the European Union from July to December.

The campaign is calling for fair trade and asking governments to drop the debt of poorer countries and improve aid.

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