Tuesday, May 22, 2012

G8 Summit: Camp David Declaration Addresses Major Economic, Political Challenges

The leaders of the G8 countries of eight most developed countries of the world – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States have met recently in Camp David, Maryland. They addressed major economic and political challenges faced by the world. The G8 summit in Camp David was the first major international event for the new French President Francois Hollande.

Camp David Declaration
The leaders of the summit in their Camp David Declaration recognized the importance of meeting our energy needs from a wide variety of sources ranging from traditional fuels to renewable to other clean technologies. As they reached implement their own individual energy strategies, they embraced the pursuit of an appropriate mix from all of the above in an environmentally safe, sustainable, secure, and affordable manner. They also recognized the importance of pursuing and promoting sustainable energy and low carbon policies in order to tackle the global challenge of climate change.

To facilitate the trade of energy around the world, they committed to take further steps to remove obstacles to the evolution of global energy infrastructure; to reduce barriers and refrain from discriminatory measures that impede market access; and to pursue universal access to cleaner, safer, and more affordable energy. The leaders remained committed to the principles on global energy security adopted by the G8 in St. Petersburg.

The group’s leaders papered over their deep-seated divisions on how best to tackle the Eurozone crisis, and declared that they wanted debt-stricken Greece to remain within the fold. However, they called on Athens to stick to the terms of a massive EU-International Monetary Fund (IMF) cash-for-reforms bailout, now hanging by a thread.

Incidentally, two Indian-Americans — PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi and USAID administrator Raj Shah — were among the few special guests invited by US President

Barack Obama to a G-8 luncheon at Camp David on Saturday. They were invited to take part in a discussion with four African Presidents/PMs invited to the special luncheon. Obama said this was perhaps the first time business leaders attended a G8 summit.

Climate Change Problem
The summit leaders agreed to continue their efforts to address climate change and recognize the need for increased mitigation ambition in the period to 2020, with a view to doing their part to limit effectively the increase in global temperature below 2ºC above preindustrial levels, consistent with science. They strongly supported the outcome of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban to implement the Cancun agreements and the launch of the Durban Platform, which they welcomed as a significant breakthrough toward the adoption by 2015 of a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force applicable to all Parties, developed and developing countries alike.

The leaders agreed to continue to work together in the UNFCCC and other fora, including through the Major Economies Forum, toward a positive outcome at Doha.

Six-Point Settlement Plan
In its “Camp David Declaration”, the Group of Eight also supported six-point plan of the United Nations and Arab League Joint Special Envoy (JSE) Kofi Annan’s settlement plan for Syria and cautioned North Korea against further provocation, besides pledging steps to mitigate the economic impact of the Afghan transition and saying Greece, now battling a crippling debt crisis, should remain in the Eurozone.

The summit leaders supported the efforts of JSE Annan and look forward to seeing his evaluation, during his forthcoming report to the UN Security Council, of the prospects for beginning this political transition process in the near-term. Use of force endangering the lives of civilians must cease.  They called on the Syrian Government to grant safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to populations in need of assistance in accordance with international law. They welcomed the deployment of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, and urge all parties, in particular the Syrian government, to fully cooperate with the mission.

The Camp David leaders strongly condemned recent terrorist attacks in Syria. They remained deeply concerned about the threat to regional peace and security and humanitarian despair caused by the crisis and remain resolved to consider further UN measures as appropriate.

Incidentally, two Indian-Americans — PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi and USAID administrator Raj Shah — were among the few special guests invited by US President Barack Obama to a G-8 luncheon at Camp David.

Iran and North Korea’s Nuclear Programs
Piling up pressure on Iran, the leaders of the world's eight most powerful economies have asked it to swiftly address all outstanding issues related to its nuclear program and vowed to ensure that crude markets are "fully and timely" supplied despite oil embargo on Teheran.

As Iran faced sanctions, the G8 leaders said increasing disruptions in the global oil supplies "pose a substantial risk" to the world economy.

The G8 leaders remained united in our grave concern over Iran’s nuclear program. They called on Iran to comply with all of its obligations under relevant UNSC resolutions and requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors. They also call on Iran to continuously comply with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, including its safeguards obligations.

The summit leaders also called on Iran to address without delay all outstanding issues related to its nuclear program, including questions concerning possible military dimensions.  They desired a peaceful and negotiated solution to concerns over Iran’s nuclear program, and therefore remain committed to a dual-track approach. They welcomed the resumption of talks between Iran and the E3+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union High Representative). They called on Iran to seize the opportunity that began in Istanbul, and sustain this opening in Baghdad by engaging in detailed discussions about near-term, concrete steps that can, through a step-by-step approach based on reciprocity, lead towards a comprehensive negotiated solution which restores international confidence that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.

As regards North Korea, the G8 leaders continued to have deep concerns about provocative actions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) that threaten regional stability. They remained concerned about the DPRK's nuclear program, including its uranium enrichment program.  They condemned the April 13, 2012, launch that used ballistic missile technology in direct violation of UNSC Resolution.

The Camp David leaders urged the DPRK to comply with its international obligations and abandon all nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner. They called on all UN member states to join the G8 in fully implementing the UNSC resolutions in this regard.

Countering Terrorism
At the summit, G8 leaders condemned transnational organized crime and terrorism in all forms and manifestations. They pledged to enhance our cooperation to combat threats of terrorism and terrorist groups, including Al-Qaida, its affiliates and adherents, and transnational organized crime, including individuals and groups engaged in illicit drug trafficking and production. They stressed that it is critical to strengthen efforts to curb illicit trafficking in arms in the Sahel area, in particular to eliminate the Man-Portable Air Defense Systems proliferated across the region; to counter financing of terrorism, including kidnapping for ransom; and to eliminate support for terrorist organizations and criminal networks.

The G8 leaders urged states to develop necessary capacities including in governance, education, and criminal justice systems, to address, reduce and undercut terrorist and criminal threats, including "lone wolf" terrorists and violent extremism, while safeguarding human rights and upholding the rule of law. They underscored the central role of the United Nations and welcome the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) and efforts of the Roma-Lyon Group in countering terrorism.

Growth and Employment Opportunities
“As all the leaders agreed, growth and jobs must be our top priority. A stable, growing European economy is in everybody’s best interests — including America’s,” Obama said after the end of the summit.

Europe is our largest economic partner. Put simply, if a company is forced to cut back in Paris or Madrid, that might mean less business for manufacturers in Pittsburgh or Milwaukee. And that might mean a tougher time for families and communities that depend on that business,” he said.
“Even as we’ve confronted our own economic challenges over the past few years, we have collaborated closely with our European allies and partners as they’ve confronted theirs,” Obama said.

The US president said he discussed with other leaders the ways for promoting growth and job creation while still carrying out reforms necessary to stabilize and strengthen their economies for the future.

Poverty Alleviation
The Camp David leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and recognized the vital role of official development assistance in poverty alleviation and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. As such, they welcomed and endorsed the Camp David Accountability Report which records the important progress that the G8 has made on food security consistent with commitments made at the L’Aquila Summit, and in meeting our commitments on global health, including the Muskoka initiative on maternal, newborn and child health. They remained strongly committed to reporting transparently and consistently on the implementation of these commitments.

The next G8 Summit will be held the United Kingdom in 2013.

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