Friday, July 08, 2005

G8 Tony Blair Statement

We speak in the shadow of terrorism. But it will not obscure what we came here to achieve. The purpose of terrorism is not only to kill and maim the innocent. It is to put despair, anger and hatred in people's hearts. It is by its savagery, designed to cover all conventional politics with its darkness, to overwhelm the calm dignity of democracy and proper process with the impact of bloodshed and terror. There is no hope in terrorism, nor any future in it worth living. And it is hope that is the alternative to hatred. We offer today this contrast with the politics of terror. Yesterday evening the G8 agreed a substantial package of help for the Palestinian Authority amounting to up to $3bn in the years to come so that two states, Israel and Palestine, two peoples, and two religions, Muslim and Jew, can live side by side in peace. We came here to acknowledge our duty to be responsible stewards of the global environment. We do not hide the disagreements of the past but we have agreed a process, with a plan of action, that will initiate a new Dialogue between the G8 and the emerging economies of the world to slow down and then, in time, to reverse the rise in harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The Dialogue will begin on 1 November with a meeting here in Britain. And above all, we came here in solidarity with the continent of Africa. We came here to announce a plan of action in partnership with Africa. It isn't the end of poverty in Africa, but it is the hope it can be ended. It isn't all everyone wanted, but it is progress, real and achievable progress; it is the definitive expression of our collective will to act in the face of death, disease and conflict that is preventable. The $50bn uplift in aid, the signal for a new deal on trade, the cancellation of the debts of the poorest nations, universal access to AIDS treatment, the commitment to a new peacekeeping force for Africa; the commitment in return by Africa's leaders to democracy, good governance and the rule of law; it does not change the world tomorrow; it is a beginning not an end and none of it today will match the same ghastly impact as the cruelty of terror. But it has a pride and hope and a humanity at its heart that lifts the shadow of terrorism and lights up the future. And that is why in the end the politics we represent, leaders and more important, millions of people who supported us in our work, will win.

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