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Canada to host G8 in 2010: Christians can prepare now

   

November 7, 2009
- Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Christians in Canada will have an unprecedented opportunity to influence leaders of the G8 nations when Canada hosts the meeting in Huntsville, Ont. in 2010, says the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC).

Representing 24 Christian church denominations in Canada including Mennonite Church Canada, the CCC is preparing to host 60 international religious leaders for a parallel G8 Religious Leaders Summit in Winnipeg in 2010. The group plans to hold G8 leaders accountable to the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to which they committed themselves in 2000.

The MDGs call for a variety of human justice initiatives such as worldwide poverty reduction and the right to basic education for everyone. Evidence to date suggests that G8 leaders are nowhere near meeting the first milestone deadline of 2015. In a 2008 UN MDG report, Ban-Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, writes, “Time has been lost. We have wasted opportunities and face additional challenges, making the task ahead more difficult.”

Professor John Kirton of the G8 Research Group at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto has been monitoring the G8 progress on the MDGs. He will speak at another in a series of lectures that “will be of special interest to those who seek to understand their faith in light of G8 leadership and commitments to the Millennium Development Goals,” according to an invitation to the event.

Titled “Our World, Our G8, Our Challenge,” the event will be web cast at 7 pm on Tuesday, Nov. 18 via mediacast.ic.utoronto.ca/20081118-CCC/index.htm. Interested persons in the Toronto area can attend the lecture at Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St. West (off Queen’s Park Cres. East, Museum Station). The lecture is sponsored by Emmanuel College, Victoria University, and the Canadian Council of Churches. The UN report on the MDGs is available via www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/817 [large PDF file - best with high speed internet]. Additional church resources related to the G8 and the MDGs can be found at www.mennonitechurch.ca/tiny/818