The Sea Island Summit will be one of the most ambitious G8 summits since the leaders of the world's major market democracies began meeting in 1975, according to John Kirton, director of the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto. Kirton's "Prospects for the G8 Sea Island Summit" paper is now available from the G8 Information Centre at www.g8.utoronto.ca (under "What's New in G8 Research").
When the G8 leaders meet in Georgia on June 8 to 10, they will discuss the centrepiece on the agenda, host George Bush's Greater Middle East Initiative. Also on the agenda will be the issues of transport security, the fight against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as private sector development and other items.
It is an extraordinarily challenging agenda. How successful will the summit be? "This is an unusually difficult question to answer," says Kirton. "But the prevailing forces are that the Sea Island Summit has the potential to be a substantially successful summit if President Bush and his G8 partners and their outside guests can show the personal and political skills needed to pull it off."
The 28-page paper outlines the issues on the summit agenda and analyzes the prospects for concrete progress on each.
Kirton is the director of the G8 Research Group, an independent network of analysts and experts who have been studying the issues and institutions of the G8 since 1987. The group produces an annual assessment of the G8 members' compliance with the commitments made at each summit, and assesses the performance of each summit and each member country.
As in past years, the G8 Research Group will have a full team of multilingual analysts on hand at the International Media Center in Savannah from June 6 to 12. With renowned experts such as Sir Nicholas Bayne, Dr Ella Kokotsis, Professor Heidi Ullrich and Mr. Shinichiro Uda, along with Professor Kirton, the group will offer instant, onsite background and evaluation of the Sea Island Summit as it progresses, in all the languages of the G8 plus many others.
The G8 Research Group is also hosting its annual pre-summit conference at Indiana University on June 3-4. For details, please visit the G8 Information Centre.
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