Gordon Brown has teamed up with the Avaaz global advocacy organisation to push for action from the G20 on global jobs, reports Chris Tarquini.
While critics of Gordon Brown have repeatedly questioned the frequency of his presence in Westminster, the former Prime Minister has been advocating a cause that goes well beyond the borders of Britain. Working with Avaaz.org, an organisation that petitions for people-powered politics, Mr Brown has called for a global investment plan to be on the agenda at the upcoming meeting of G20 nations.
Despite working with Avaaz it was Mr Brown who initiated the move. The appeal, titled ‘Jobs and Justice’ already has over 160,000 signatories and appeals to the new G20 chairman Nicolas Sarkozy (who decides the group’s agenda) to give leadership to a plan that could save millions of jobs.
The appeal’s website also includes a video in which he stresses the need for united action by governments and citizens’ participation worldwide in the campaign. Mr Brown argues:
“Just like climate change: you can’t solve climate change in one country; you can only solve it by acting in every country and cooperating across the world.
“You can’t do it by governments leading and talking to each other; you can only do it by mobilizing millions of people across the world for a common purpose.”
Avaaz, meaning ‘voice’ in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages, was launched in 2007 to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change.
According to Avaaz:
“Experts have urged the G20 to urgently halt protectionism and cuts and launch a coordinated global green jobs and stimulus plan to save millions.”
While their current aim is to receive 200,000 signatories (which they have almost achieved), once they reach 500,000 supporters they will be personally delivering the petition to Sarkozy. The petition reads:
“To President Nicolas Sarkozy and the leaders of G20 nations:
“As concerned citizens, we call upon you to cooperate on a bold plan for global economic recovery, focusing on job creation and investment in the future. Cooperative global leadership is necessary to prevent a downward economic spiral and lift tens of millions of people out of poverty.”
Aside from working with Avaaz, Mr Brown has also been supporting the Global Campaign for Education, attending an event at Bloomberg on Wednesday night to promote the organisation. With an estimated 69 million children unable to go to school and 759 million adults lacking basic reading and writing skills, there has been renewed calls to improve education for the worlds poorest.
As well as voting in last night’s tuition fees legislation and working for global education and jobs, Mr Brown has also managed to release a book, titled ‘Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation’. A source close to the former prime minister has revealed to Left Foot Forward that 30,000 copies of the book are already out in book stores and it has gone to a second reprint. While he may no longer be on the front bench, Mr Brown is still keep himself busy.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.