France/Bill Gates/development aid
President Sarkozy held a meeting at the Elysée Palace this morning with Mr Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Their discussion focused on development in the poorest countries, a priority for the French G20 and G8 presidency.
The President thanked Bill Gates for agreeing to prepare a report on development financing, which he will present to the G20 heads of State and government at the Cannes summit in November. While reaffirming the necessity of official development assistance, the report will analyse different innovative financing proposals – including the financial transaction tax – to tackle the huge challenges of the Millennium Development Goals and the fight against climate change. The head of State and Bill Gates agreed that the report should also focus on boosting the effectiveness of aid.
President Sarkozy and Bill Gates also discussed the priorities of agriculture and food security for developing countries, as well as health challenges like the vaccination of children in the poorest countries and the eradication of polio.
Finally, the head of State wished Bill Gates great success with his “Living Proof” campaign, which he is to present in Paris this evening and whose aim is to show the impact of official development assistance through concrete examples./.