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The text of the Genoa G8 summit

The following is the full text of a statement issued at the end of a three-day Group of Eight summit meeting in Genoa, Italy.

1. We, the heads of state and government of eight major industrialized democracies and the representatives of the European Union, met in Genoa for the first summit of the new millennium. In a spirit of cooperation, we discussed the most pressing issues on the international agenda.

2. As democratic leaders, accountable to our citizens, we believe in the fundamental importance of open public debate on the key challenges facing our societies. We will promote innovative solutions based on a broad partnership with civil society and the private sector. We will also seek enhanced cooperation and solidarity with developing countries, based on a mutual responsibility for combating poverty and promoting sustainable development.

3. We are determined to make globalisation work for all our citizens and especially the world's poor. Drawing the poorest countries into the global economy is the surest way to address their fundamental aspirations. We concentrated our discussions on a strategy to achieve this.

A Strategic Approach to Poverty Reduction

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graphic G8 Summit: Genoa 2001


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4. The situation in many developing countries -- especially in Africa -- calls for decisive global action. The most effective poverty reduction strategy is to maintain a strong, dynamic, open and growing global economy. We pledge to do that.

5. We will also continue to provide effective development assistance to help developing countries' own efforts to build long-term prosperity. Consistent with the conclusions of the LDC III Conference and the Millennium Declaration, we support a strategic approach centered on the principles of ownership and partnership. In the common interest of donors and recipients of aid, we shall ensure the efficient use of scarce resources.

6. Open, democratic and accountable systems of governance, based on respect for human rights and the rule of law, are preconditions for sustainable development and robust growth. Thus, we shall help developing countries promote:
 •  Accountability and transparency in the public sector
 •  Legal frameworks and corporate governance regimes to fight corruption
 •  Safeguards against the misappropriation of public funds and their diversion into nonproductive uses
 •  Access to legal systems for all citizens, independence of the judiciary, and legal provisions enabling private sector activity
 •  Active involvement of civil society and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs)  •  Freedom of economic activities.

We, for our part, will:
 •  Implement fully the OECD Bribery Convention
 •  Support efforts in the U.N. to pursue an effective instrument against corruption
 •  Encourage Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to help recipient countries strengthen public expenditure and budget management.

Debt Relief and Beyond

7. Debt relief -- particularly the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative -- is a valuable contribution to the fight against poverty, but it is only one of the steps needed to stimulate faster growth in very poor countries. We are delighted 23 countries have qualified for an overall amount of debt relief of over dlrs 53 billion, out of an initial stock of debt of dlrs 74 billion. We must continue this progress.

8. In particular we look to countries affected by conflict to turn away from violence. When they do, we confirm that we will strengthen our efforts to help them take the measures needed to receive debt relief. We confirm that HIPC, in conjunction with reforms by the countries to ensure strong domestic policies and responsible lending by donors, is designed to lead to a lasting exit from unsustainable debt.

9. Beyond debt relief, we focused our discussion on three mutually reinforcing elements:
 •  Greater participation by developing countries in the global trading system
 •  Increased private investment
 •  Initiatives to promote health, education and food security.

10. Open trade and investment drive global growth and poverty reduction. That is why we have agreed today to support the launch of an ambitious new round of global trade negotiations with a balanced agenda.

11. While opening markets through global negotiations provides the greatest economic benefit for developing countries, we fully endorse measures already taken to improve market access for the least developed countries (LDCs), such as Everything But Arms, Generalized Preferences and all other initiatives that address the same objectives. We confirm our pledge made at the UN LDC III Conference to work towards duty-free and quota-free access for all products originating in the least developed countries. We support efforts made by LDCs to enter the global trading system and to take advantage of opportunities for trade-based growth.

12. Increased market access must be coupled with the capacity to take advantage of it. Thus, to help developing countries benefit from open markets, we will better coordinate our trade-related assistance to:
 •  Provide bilateral assistance on technical standards, customs systems, legislation needed for World Trade Organization (WTO) membership, the protection of intellectual property rights, and human resource development
 •  Support the work of the Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance
 •  Encourage the international financial institutions to help remove obstacles to trade and investment, and establish the institutions and policies essential for trade to flourish
 •  Urge countries to mainstream trade expansion by including it in their poverty reduction strategies.

13. Increased private sector investment is essential to generate economic growth, increase productivity and raise living standards. To help developing countries improve the climate for private investment, we urge MDBs and other relevant international bodies to support domestic reform efforts, including the establishment of public-private partnerships and investment-related best practices, as well as codes and standards in the field of corporate governance, accounting standards, enhanced competition and transparent tax regimes. We call on the World Bank to provide additional support for programs that promote private sector development in the poorest countries. To promote further investments in the knowledge-based economy, we call on the WTO and the World Intellectual Property Rights Organization, in collaboration with the World Bank, to help the poorest countries comply with international rules on intellectual property rights.

14. Official development assistance (ODA) is essential. We will work with developing countries to meet the International Development Goals, by strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of our development assistance. We commit ourselves to implement the landmark OECD-DAC Recommendation on Untying Aid to LDCs which should increase aid effectiveness and achieve more balanced effort-sharing among donors.

15. At Okinawa last year, we pledged to make a quantum leap in the fight against infectious diseases and to break the vicious cycle between disease and poverty. To meet that commitment and to respond to the appeal of the U.N. General Assembly, we have launched with the U.N. Secretary-General a new global fund to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. We are determined to make the fund operational before the end of the year. We have committed dlrs 1.3 billion. The fund will be a public-private partnership and we call on other countries, the private sector, foundations, and academic institutions to join with their own contributions -- financially, in kind and through shared expertise. We welcome the further commitments already made amounting to some dlrs 500 million.

16. The fund will promote an integrated approach emphasizing prevention in a continuum of treatment and care. It will operate according to principles of proven scientific and medical effectiveness, rapid resource transfer, low transaction costs, and light governance with a strong focus on outcomes. We hope that the existence of the fund will promote improved coordination among donors and provide further incentives for private sector research and development. It will offer additional financing consistent with existing programs, to be integrated into the national health plans of partner countries. The engagement of developing countries in the purpose and operation of the fund will be crucial to ensure ownership and commitment to results. Local partners, including NGOs, and international agencies, will be instrumental in the successful operation of the fund.

17. Strong national health systems will continue to play a key role in the delivery of effective prevention, treatment and care and in improving access to essential health services and commodities without discrimination. An effective response to HIV/AIDS and other diseases will require society-wide action beyond the health sector. We welcome the steps taken by the pharmaceutical industry to make drugs more affordable. In the context of the new global fund, we will work with the pharmaceutical industry and with affected countries to facilitate the broadest possible provision of drugs in an affordable and medically effective manner. We welcome ongoing discussion in the WTO on the use of relevant provisions in the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) agreement. We recognize the appropriateness of affected countries using the flexibility afforded by that agreement to ensure that drugs are available to their citizens who need them, particularly those who are unable to afford basic medical care. At the same time, we reaffirm our commitment to strong and effective intellectual property rights protection as a necessary incentive for research and development of life-saving drugs.

18. Education is a central building block for growth and employment. We reaffirm our commitment to help countries meet the Dakar Framework for Action goal of universal primary education by 2015. We agree on the need to improve the effectiveness of our development assistance in support of locally-owned strategies. Education -- in particular, universal primary education and equal access to education at all levels for girls -- must be given high priority both in national poverty reduction strategies and in our development programs. Resources made available through the HIPC Initiative can contribute to these objectives. We will help foster assessment systems to measure progress, identify best practices and ensure accountability for results. We will also focus on teacher training. Building on the work of the G8 Digital Opportunities Task Force (dot.force), we will work to expand the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to train teachers in best practices and strengthen education strategies. We especially encourage the private sector to examine new opportunities for investment in infrastructure, ICT and learning materials. We encourage MDBs to sharpen their focus on education and concentrate their future work on countries with sound strategies but lacking sufficient resources and to report next year to the G8. We support UNESCO in its key role for universal education. We will also work with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to support efforts to fight child labour and we will develop incentives to increase school enrolment.

19. We will establish a task force of senior G-8 officials to advise us on how best to pursue the Dakar goals in cooperation with developing countries, relevant international organizations and other stakeholders. The task force will provide us with recommendations in time for our next meeting.

20. As the November 2001 "World Food Summit: Five Years Later" approaches, food security remains elusive. Over 800 million people remain seriously malnourished, including at least 250 million children. So a central objective of our poverty reduction strategy remains access to adequate food supplies and rural development. Support to agriculture is a crucial instrument of ODA. We shall endeavour to develop capacity in poor countries, integrating programs into national strategies and increasing training in agricultural science. Every effort should be undertaken to enhance agricultural productivity. Among other things, the introduction of tried and tested new technology, including biotechnology, in a safe manner and adapted to local conditions has significant potential to substantially increase crop yields in developing countries, while using fewer pesticides and less water than conventional methods. We are committed to study, share and facilitate the responsible use of biotechnology in addressing development needs.

21. We shall target the most food-insecure regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and continue to encourage South-South co-operation. We will support the crucial role international organizations and NGOs play in relief operations. We believe national poverty reduction and sectoral strategies should take due account of the nutritional needs of vulnerable groups, including newborns and their mothers.

Digital Opportunities

22. ICT holds tremendous potential for helping developing countries accelerate growth, raise standards of living and meet other development priorities. We endorse the report of the Digital Opportunity Task Force (dot.force) and its Genoa Plan of Action that successfully fulfilled the Okinawa mandate. The direct participation of representatives from public, private and non-profit sectors, as well as that of developing countries' governments, presents a unique formula for ensuring that digital technologies meet development needs. We will continue to support the process and encourage all stakeholders to demonstrate ownership, to mobilize expertise and resources and to build on this successful co-operation. We will review the implementation of the Genoa Plan of Action at our next Summit on the basis of a report by the G-8 presidency. We also encourage development of an action plan on how e-government can strengthen democracy and the rule of law by empowering citizens and making the provision of essential government services more efficient.

A Legacy for the Future Environment

23. We confirm our determination to find global solutions to threats endangering the planet. We recognize that climate change is a pressing issue that requires a global solution. We are committed to providing strong leadership. Prompt, effective and sustainable action is needed, consistent with the ultimate objective of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. We are determined to meet our national commitments and our obligations under the convention through a variety of flexible means, drawing on the power of markets and technology. In this context, we agree on the importance of intensifying cooperation on climate-related science and research. We shall promote cooperation between our countries and developing countries on technology transfer and capacity building.

24. We all firmly agree on the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While there is currently disagreement on the Kyoto Protocol and its ratification, we are committed to working intensively together to meet our common objective. To that end, we are participating constructively in the resumed Sixth Conference of the Parties in Bonn (COP6) and will continue to do so in all relevant fora. We welcome the recent deepening of discussions among the G-8 and with other countries.

25. We reaffirm that our efforts must ultimately result in an outcome that protects the environment and ensures economic growth compatible with our shared objective of sustainable development for present and future generations.

26. We welcome Russia's proposal to convene in 2003 a global conference on climate change with the participation of governments, business and science as well as representatives of civil society.

27. We recognize the importance of renewable energy for sustainable development, diversification of energy supply, and preservation of the environment. We will ensure that renewable energy sources are adequately considered in our national plans and encourage others to do so as well. We encourage continuing research and investment in renewable energy technology, throughout the world. Renewable energy can contribute to poverty reduction. We will help developing countries strengthen institutional capacity and market-oriented national strategies that can attract private sector investment in renewable energy and other clean technologies. We call on MDBs and national development assistance agencies to adopt an innovative approach and to develop market-based financing mechanisms for renewable energy. We urge the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to continue supporting environmental protection on a global scale and fostering good practices to promote efficient energy use and the development of renewable energy sources in the developing world, and stress the need to commit adequate resources to its third replenishment. We thank all those who participated in the work of the Renewable Energy Task Force established in Okinawa. G-8 energy ministers will hold a meeting in the coming year to discuss these and other energy-related issues.

28. We are looking forward to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg in 2002, an important milestone in the Rio process. The three dimensions of sustainable development -- enhancing economic growth, promoting human and social development and protecting the environment -- are interdependent objectives requiring our concerted action. We will work in partnership with developing countries for an inclusive preparatory process with civil society on a forward-looking and substantial agenda with action-oriented results. We welcome the recent adoption of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and will strongly promote its early entry into force.

29. We are committed to ensuring that our Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) adhere to high environmental standards. We therefore agreed in Okinawa to develop common environmental guidelines for ECAs, drawing on relevant MDB experience. Building on the progress made since last year, we commit to reach agreement in the OECD by the end of the year on a Recommendation that fulfills the Okinawa mandate.

Food safety

30. Fully aware of the paramount importance of food safety to our peoples, we will continue to support a transparent, scientific and rules-based approach and will intensify our efforts to achieve greater global consensus on how precaution should be applied to food safety in circumstances where available scientific information is incomplete or contradictory. We value the ongoing dialogue between governments, scientists, consumers, regulators, and relevant stakeholders in civil society. This must be based on the principle of openness and transparency. We recognize our responsibility to promote a clear understanding by the public of food safety benefits and risks. We shall strive to provide consumers with relevant information on the safety of food products, based on independent scientific advice, sound risk analysis and the latest research developments. We believe an effective framework for risk management, consistent with the science, is a key component in maintaining consumer confidence and in fostering public acceptance.

31. We welcome the outcome of the recent Bangkok conference on new biotechnology food and crops and the ad hoc meeting of regulators from OECD countries and Russia. We encourage the relevant international organizations to follow up the conference, as appropriate, within their own respective mandates. Furthermore, we welcome the establishment of the joint FAO/WHO Global Forum of Food Safety Regulators. We also appreciate the work of the Inter-Academy Council in publicizing balanced professional views on the science of food safety. All these meetings demonstrate our commitment to a process of dialogue aimed at strengthening public confidence in food safety.

Increasing Prosperity in a Socially-Inclusive Society Employment

32. In the firm belief that economic performance and social inclusion are mutually dependent, we commit to implement policies in line with the recommendations of the G-8 Labour Ministers Conference held in Torino last year. We welcome the increased activity of older persons who represent, as stated in the G-8 Turin Charter "Towards Active Aging," a great reservoir of resources for our economies and our societies.

Combatting transnational organized crime and drugs

33. We reaffirm our commitment to combat transnational organized crime. To this end, we strongly endorse the outcome of the G-8 Justice and Interior Ministers Conference held in Milano this year. We encourage further progress in the field of judicial cooperation and law enforcement, and in fighting corruption, cyber-crime, online child pornography, as well as trafficking in human beings.

34. Following up on the G-8 ad hoc Meeting of Drug Experts held in Miyazaki last year and the recent London Conference on the global economy of illegal drugs, we will strengthen efforts to curb the trafficking and use of illegal drugs.

To the citizens of Genoa

35. We are grateful to the citizens of Genoa for their hospitality, and deplore the violence, loss of life and mindless vandalism that they have had to endure. We will maintain our active and fruitful dialogue with developing countries and other stakeholders. And we will defend the right of peaceful protesters to have their voices heard. But as democratic leaders, we cannot accept that a violent minority should be allowed to disrupt our discussions on the critical issues affecting the world. Our work will go on.

Next Summit

36. We accept the invitation of the Prime Minister of Canada to meet again next year in the province of Alberta, Canada on 26-28 June.







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