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University Students to Hold World Leaders Accountable to Their Promises

Monday, February 25, 2008
TORONTO, Ontario - In an unusual turn of events, students will be the ones doling out report cards this week at the University of Toronto.

The G8 Research Group, which comprises more than 150 undergraduate and graduate student analysts, will release a major report this week detailing and evaluating the progress of each of the Group of Eight industrial nations towards fulfilling the commitments made at the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany in June 2007.

"This report is unique in two fundamental respects," said Cliff Vanderlinden, a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science and chair of the G8 Research Group. "One is that it is the only report of its kind in the world to compare all eight G8 members and the European Union across such a wide array of commitments, and the other is that it is prepared entirely by university students in an effort to improve upon what many see as a lack of an effective mechanism to monitor compliance of G8 members with the promises they make at the annual leaders' summit."

The 23 commitments being monitored by the G8 Research Group include climate change, raw materials, counter-terrorism, African development and security, trade, non-proliferation, energy efficiency and diversification, corruption, intellectual property rights, and regional security in Darfur. G8 members are assigned a score based on actions taken towards meeting each commitment.

Based at the Munk Centre for International Studies at Trinity College in the University of Toronto, the G8 Research Group is a network of scholars, professionals and students interested in the activities and institutions of the G8. Since its inception in 1987 the G8 Research Group has become the world's leading independent research institute providing information and expert analysis on the G8. The reports produced by student analysts garner international recognition from governments, academics, policy institutes, advocacy groups, media, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Directed by Professor John Kirton, a leading international expert on the G8 and global governance, the G8 Research Group is partnered with satellite student research groups at Oxford University, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the State University Higher School of Economics (Moscow).

The results of the Heiligendamm Interim Compliance Report will be released on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. in the Munk Centre for International Studies. Professor Kirton will be joined by lead student analysts from the G8 Research Group to discuss the report's findings. They will be available for interviews following the conference. Interested members of the media and the public are encouraged (but not required) to register for the event at http://webapp.mcis.utoronto.ca/EventDetails.aspx?eventid=5876.

Location:
Munk Centre for International Studies
1 Devonshire Place
North House, Room 108
Toronto, ON
Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Time: 9:30 a.m.

For more information, contact:
Cliff Vanderlinden, G8 Research Group Chair
Telephone: 416-509-3594
E-mail:cliff.vanderlinden@utoronto.ca

Madeline Koch, G8 Research Group Managing Director
Telephone: 416-588-3833 E-mail: g8@utoronto.ca


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