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G8 leaders meet in Italy today

(Editor's note: Kel Currah, a consultant for the G8 Working Group, is reporting from the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy this week.)

L'AQUILA, ITALY - Bob Geldolf and the ONE Campaign took the reigns of the Italian paper La Stampa last Sunday for a special edition focusing on Africa. Under the headline 'Opportunity' the edition focused on the good news in Africa with a number of well-known contributors including President Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bono, Sophia Loren, former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Anan and the French First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

The special edition kicked off a week of activities by celebrities, campaigners and activists in the lead-up to the G8 summit, due to start in today in the Italian town of L'Aquila. NGOs such as Oxfam, Save the Children, and Make Poverty History all have representatives here, working with the media and the government delegates to influence the G8's outcomes.

According to the NGOs in Rome, the G8 deserves such attention. This summit is critical in the long process of fulfilling the promises agreed on during the historic G8 Summit in 2005. The agreement includes increasing overseas development aid, uiniversal access to treatment, prevention and prevention of HIV/AIDs and access to quality education for all. Many of these deadlines come due in 2010, however, the G8 countries are well behind in meeting the goals so this summit needs to close the gap if the group has any chance of making the commitments.

Kel Currah is a writer and a consultant for the G8 Working Group, an affiliate with the Global Call to Action Against Poverty.

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