The African debt relief proposals made by Gordon Brown and Tony Blair are very bold, overdue and, predictably, face opposition from the US, although a compromise agreement is looking very likely.
The linking of debt relief to political reform and democracy causes some discomfort.
I can understand and agree with the reasons for this - who wants to send extra resources to a government that is corrupt and oppressive? But it is the population who suffer from the delay.
I strongly support the world trades union leaders' calls to promote and ensure that all workers have a decent wage, particularly those working in the Far East.
Many of these people are employed in the textile industry, manufacturing the clothes we wear.
Giving these workers a proper wage will give them a chance at a decent living and potentially help millions out of poverty.
The extra cost could be easily born by the multinational companies that turn a blind eye.
On the positive side, the workers no longer in poverty would have money to spend, inevitably boosting demand and the world economy and encouraging other workers to demand better wages.
Of course this will increase production cost, but this will make Western manufacturers more competitive, bringing more investment and jobs with it.
What hasn't been raised so far is the environment. The increasing deforestation in the Amazon and Indonesian rainforests is a continuing problem.
I would like to see additional aid to these areas, linked to improved environmental practices such as stopping the tree-felling.
This will only happen if the population can secure a decent living without resorting to such drastic methods, which is where the aid comes in.
Having the Kyoto Agreement fully ratified and adhered to is an essential first step.
Without taking such measures, the big economies of the world are in no position to preach, demand or encourage other nations to improve their environmental impact.
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