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A newcomer’s take on a G8 summit

It had to happen. Five years working for an NGO and I’ve never been to a G8.

If it weren’t for the snippets of conversations picked up as you wander the room on ‘Accountability reports’, ‘maternal and child health and ‘Arab spring’, you’d be forgiven for thinking it might be just a zuped up phone conferencing centre — with lots of patisseries and expresso machines of course (this is France).

I’m here with Adrian Lovett, Director of Global Campaigns for Save the Children, who has 9 G8s under his wing, and is showing me the ropes. Armed with a press release giving a clear description of what this summit could possibly mean in reality for a child living in a one-roomed house in the middle of Africa, we worked the room on arrival yesterday.

We’re delighted to find that the results board on world leaders’ record on delivering for children is under the magnifying glass. Is it really true that $19 billion still hasn’t been delivered of the $50 billion pledged at the G8 summit back in 2005?

Sadly, it is very much true.  Despite some progress, world leaders have not kept their promises to children. And who worse to break your promises to than the world’s poorest children, surviving on very little, and waiting patiently for positive change to come their way?

This year, in Deauville, Normandy, Save the Children wants world leaders to hold true to the promises they made in Canada, in Italy and in Gleneagles in previous years. We don’t want new commitments, we want assurance that the old ones are still being worked on.

And what could be better than G8 leaders endorsing a global vaccination summit taking place in two weeks time in London, hosted by David Cameron, that has the power to save four million children’s lives in four hours, protecting them from pneumonia and diarrhoea. This would be a quick win for leaders needing to improve their track records, and a quick win for children around the world.

You can do your bit too if you want. Join our petition to make vaccines available for children and #passiton.

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