Kofi Annan pledges G8 not to be “rich in means but poor in will”

Scotland’s Gleneagles to become a hot spot for the three days of G8 summit. Activists stage protest rallies to stave off the summit, and world leaders send their message hoping to get some help from the world’s leading nations.

As BBC reports, a G8 protest march is to go ahead after talks between the organizers and police in charge of security at the summit venue. The meeting was held after violence broke out ahead of leaders arriving at Gleneagles for the three-day event. Trouble broke out in Stirling when residents of an eco-camp near the city began moving towards Gleneagles. Up to 70 people have been detained during the trouble and while trying to block the M9 road and railway lines.

According to Reuters, hooded protesters broke car windows, threw bricks and clashed with riot police in pre-dawn violence in nearby Stirling as they left camps to head to the Gleneagles hotel, which is protected by 10,000 police and a 5 mile (8 km) steel fence.

Protesters put up impromptu barricades and threw obstacles on the roads around Gleneagles, blocking parts of the main north-south highway in central Scotland. Police said they had made 16 arrests for "minor public order offences".

"We are here to stop the G8. Putting profit over people is destroying our planet," said Sophie Reynolds, 39, an environmentalist from London, as she dragged branches across the northbound carriageway of the main A9 highway, says Reuters.

But politicians expect to see a positive result after G8 summit. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Wednesday that the Group of Eight summit is a "make or break moment" for hopes of alleviating world poverty in the coming decade, reports the AP.

In a speech prepared for delivery at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Annan said G8 leaders need to muster the political will to more than double development aid and dismantle trade barriers.

The G8, along with a "world summit" in New York in September and the World Trade Organization meeting in Hong Kong in December are critical moments in implementing the Millennium Development Goals unanimously agreed by U.N. members five years ago, he said.

"This is a make-or-break moment for the Millennium Development Goals, and for the world's poor," Annan said. "You know that how we fare for the next 10 years hinges on decisions that must be taken in the next days and months."

Annan called the summit "a once-in-a-generation chance to bring about historic, fundamental change." "So between now and September, please keep making your voices heard loud and clear enough to lift the sky. ... Let history not say about our age that we were those who were rich in means but poor in will." Delegations from the UK, US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Russia are gathering at Gleneagles.

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