Well, that’s the biggest audience we’ve ever presented 1.4 Billion Reasons to – 3,000 people at a packed Montreal Millennium Summit, and an amazing level of energy and passion.
Although I think Hugh and I went quite a bit over our allotted 45 minutes (sorry to the organisers), we received an amazing response, including a standing ovation and some really insightful questions from the floor.
It was a real privilege for us to share the stage with leaders in the field. After us came former Vice-President Al Gore – talking about the connection between climate change and poverty, and Kristin Davis (better known as Charlotte in Sex and the City) talking about her experiences in the field with Oxfam.
As we work towards the end of extreme poverty within a generation, we need to seize moments like Canada’s hosting of the G8 and the G20 in June, and turn the energy of the Montreal Summit into clear and direct asks of the world’s leaders to keep their promises.
Five years since the Gleneagles G8 commitments to double aid to Africa, five years since the Paris Declaration to improve the quality of aid, and almost ten years on since the Millennium Development Goals were set, we need to be honest about what’s worked, what hasn’t and why.
That’s why it’s great to see the momentum building behind the work of MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY in Canada, and why it’s essential that all our Canadian friends sign the petition calling on the Canadian government to live up to their promises.
The G8/G20 is the first in the series of big international meetings this year which will set the agenda and the financing levels for some of the issues that we’re passionate about – improving maternal and child health, getting all kids and especially girls into school and ensuring that the Global Fund has enough money to scale up its important work on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
You’ll be hearing more about each these – and the actions that you can take in support of them – in the coming months.
Thanks to Laurent Ye for permission to use these photos.