A message from Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer:
"I wanted to update you about last Saturday's G8 finance ministers' summit, which I believe will be remembered as the 100 per cent debt relief summit. But it was also about doubling aid to Africa, a new plan to help all Aids sufferers and fair trade for the poorest countries. Tony [Blair - Prime Minister] and I are proud that with a Labour presidency of the G8 and the EU we have the opportunity to change the world for the better.
I visited Africa and saw for myself the abject poverty but also great potential. I will never forget the 12- year-old orphan girl I met. Her parents had died from Aids. She was already sick from tuberculosis. She was shunted from distant relative to distant relative. At an age when you should be optimistic and joyful with all your life in front of you, I could see only desolation in her eyes. As I planned Saturday's summit, that young girl's desolation was at the forefront of my thoughts.
Every child is precious. It is because as parents we believe that every child is unique and deserves care that the world must act. The summit wrote off $55billion of debts but went far beyond debt cancellation - with a plan for $40billion extra aid; a timetable for ending protectionist export subsidies, and new funds to tackle the scourge of HIV/Aids, TB and malaria.
Fair trade is critical because protectionism destroys not only livelihoods but lives. The meeting demanded an end to unfair subsidies that do most for the wealthiest farmers in Europe but harm the poorest workers in Africa.
I know you share my hope that instead of the desolation I saw, there can be a new faith that tomorrow can be better than today."