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Issue # 1403      18 March 2009

Jobs, justice and climate: what the G20 must do

As G20 finance ministers gathered in the UK last week to agree to the world’s response to the economic crisis, the Put People First platform released a blueprint charting a path out of global recession that places jobs, justice and climate at the centre of global action.

Put People First, which is organising a march for jobs, justice and climate on March 28 in London in the run-up to the summit, said that the G20 must:

  • create jobs by investing in public works and services and a green new deal that can both provide work and move to a low carbon economy;
  • make sure we never suffer from a another global recession caused by an out of control finance sector by creating and reforming international institutions and toughening up regulation; and,
  • reverse global inequality and injustice by fundamentally transforming the global economy.

The blueprint for change by the Put People First platform, an unprecedented group of diverse organisations representing over ten million people in the UK, charges that existing economic policies and institutions have failed to deliver a just or sustainable world. It argues that the current system is scarred by high levels of poverty and inequality, which is contributing to an environmental catastrophe that also causes massive economic damage.

Trade Union Confederation general secretary Brendan Barber said that for twenty years, governments round the world have believed that a mix of light touch regulation, tolerance of tax havens and a relaxed view of the growth of the global super-rich would deliver prosperity.

Head of Policy at ActionAid Claire Melamed said: “Finance ministers are the gatekeepers for the international response to the crisis and it is imperative that they put people, not special interest groups, first.

“The world’s leaders must be brave enough to rebuild a global economy that is fair and just and lives within its environmental means. They must signal that they are serious about fundamental change.”

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