Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 20, 2002
Document gap between rich and poor, senator tells scribes
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
The founding editor of the WCR has challenged Canada's Christian journalists to expose the growing gap between the world's rich and poor.
"Surely, religious journalists ought to be exposing the duplicity of governments that assert they don't have the money to end world poverty but, at the same time, spend enormous sums on warfare," Senator Douglas Roche said May 8.
Roche said in the keynote address at the convention of the Canadian Church Press that the world is becoming more perilous by the day with the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
"The environment is being sacrificed to the demands of corporate greed," he said. "The war culture has surged in every region of the world."
Roche noted that the G8, which he referred to as "the epitome of rich and powerful countries, who have appointed themselves directors of the world" will be meeting in Kananaskis in late June.
Together, he said, the eight nations hold 98 per cent of the 31,000 nuclear weapons in the world, spend 75 per cent of the $800 billion annual world military expenditures, and account for 87 per cent of the $40 billion annual trade in weapons.
They also provide "only" 0.22 per cent of their Gross Domestic Product in Official Development Assistance, "far short of the UN target of 0.7 per cent." The figures mean the G8 control "nearly all the nuclear weapons in the world, account for most global spending on the military, are the principal arms traders, and the stingiest in providing aid to the poor," said Roche.
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