Summary of G8 Summit Meeting
The leaders from the G8 group of industrialised nations met in Hokkaido, Japan on Tuesday 8 July 2008 to discuss the following issues.
- Committed to continuing to promote stability and growth in the international economy and expressed concern over elevated commodity prices including food and oil.
- Called for an increase in oil production and refining capacities to help alleviate record high crude prices.
- Reaffirmed commitment to open trade and investment policies, and highlighted the importance of open raw materials markets as well as energy security and intellectual property issues.
Environment and Climate Change
- Supported reaching a global agreement in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by 2009.
- Agreed to consider and adopt the goal of achieving at least a 50% reduction of global emissions by 2050.
- Acknowledged that ‘all major economies will need to commit to meaningful mitigation actions to be bound in the international agreement to be negotiated by the end of 2009.’
- Recognised that there will be differences in what the major developed economies and the major developing economies undertake in their national plans to tackle climate change, but emphasised the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
Development and Africa
- Affirmed commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals).
- Set a five-year deadline to provide US$60 billion in official development assistance to Africa.
- Committed to double aid to Africa to US$25 billion by 2010.
- Promoted good governance and broad-based private sector-led growth.
- Emphasised the importance of peace and security in African nations, as well as education, science and technology as means to facilitate development and meet their populations’ needs.
Global Food Security
- Since January 2008, the G8 has committed over US$10 billion to ‘support food aid, nutrition interventions, social protection activities and measures to increase agricultural output in affected countries’.
- G8 leaders appealed to those nations with sufficient food stocks to release some of their reserves to help others cope with the increasing price of food worldwide and emphasised the importance of removing export restrictions.
- Renewed commitment to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to disable all nuclear facilities, and abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear initiatives.
- Expressed ‘serious concern’ relating to Iran’s nuclear program and encouraged compliance with UN Security Council resolutions by ending its uranium enrichment agenda.
Statement on Zimbabwe
- Expressed concern in relation to the situation in Zimbabwe where the conditions for voting in the presidential election have not been free or fair as a result of the intimidation and violence systemically used by the Mugabe government. The G8 will not recognise the legitimacy of any government that does not reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people. Also called for Zimbabwean authorities to allow humanitarian operations to resume immediately.
Prime Minister Rudd’s speech
- Prime Minister Rudd addressed the Summit briefly, arguing that developed and developing countries need to reach a new consensus on action to tackle the challenge of global climate change. He emphasised that ‘the buck stops’ with the 16 G8 economies which represent 80% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
- The PM also highlighted the challenges of global oil prices, calling for greater foreign investment access to global oil supplies and greater investment in refining capacity, as well as greater energy efficiency within those economies with high demand for oil and increased market transparency.
- The rising price of food worldwide was identified by the PM as a ‘major emerging problem across many developing countries’. He highlighted the importance of reaching an agreement at the Doha round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations. He confirmed that Australia will contribute a further $50 million to the fund operated by the World Bank to address immediate food crises some developing countries are experiencing.
- Although the Prime Minister commented that although there ‘had been no huge breakthrough’ at the meeting, he did acknowledge that it was a step towards a significant outcome at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference in 2009.
To view the Summit Documents in full see http://www.g8summit.go.jp/eng/doc/index.html .