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G8 Development Ministers Commitments, 2002-03
John Kirton and Michael M. Malleson
G8 Research Group
University of Toronto
May 14, 2003

Commitments
G8 Development Ministers’ Meeting Chair’s Summary, Windsor, Canada
(September 27, 2002)
G8 Development Ministers’ Meeting Chair’s Summary, Paris
(April 24, 2003)

In its ongoing effort to assess reliably the performance of the G8 system of global governance, the G8 Research Group has produced the following data set. It identifies the decisional commitments made by the G8 Ministers of Development Co-operation at their meetings, since the start of this institution in September 2002. The concept of commitments employed here was inspired by the seminal work of George von Furstenberg and Joseph Daniels (Daniels 1993), systematized and codified by Ella Kokotsis (Kokotsis 1999, Kokotsis and Daniels 1999), and applied here by Michael Malleson. Commitments are measurable, discrete, future-oriented collective expressions of intended action that bind or constrain their signatories in regard to the course of action they might otherwise take in the future. Individual commitments may, but do not have to, contain specified implementing measures, targeted welfare outcomes, or temporal timetables for partial and full compliance.

An application of this concept and method of commitment analysis to the communiqués of the two G8 Ministers of Development Co-operation meetings held thus far indicates that this new G8 ministerial-level institution is a robustly decisional one. It has generated a total of 25 commitments, or an average of 13 per meeting. Of these, 16 came at its inaugural, Canadian-hosted meeting in Windsor, Ontario, in September 2003, and 9 at its second, institution-creating French-hosted meeting in Paris in May 2003.

This data set is offered in this initisal form for comment and critique and as a foudnation for further analysis. Comments are most welcome; please send them to g8@utoronto.ca.

References

Daniels, Joseph (1993), The Meaning and Reliability of Economic Summit Undertakings, 1975–1989 (Garland Publishing, New York).

Kokotsis, Ella (1999), Keeping International Commitments: Compliance, Credibility and the G7, 1988–1995 (Garland: New York).

Kokotsis, Ella and Joseph Daniels (1999), "G8 Summits and Compliance," in Michael Hodges, John Kirton and Joseph Daniels, eds., The G8’s Role in the New Millennium (Ashgate: Aldershot), pp. 75–94.

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Commitments for
G8 Development Ministers’ Meeting Chair’s Summary
Windsor, Ontario
September 27, 2002

Commitments identified by Michael M. Malleson
using Kokotsis Commitment Counting Method
May 12, 2003

Development (General)

1. Building on these commitments, we discussed the responsibility we have to ensure that our development programs are used in the most effective manner, and to leverage private investments that can produce tangible progress towards the achievement of the internationally-agreed upon development goals in the Millennium Declaration.

2. We will enhance our partnerships with developing countries that are demonstrably committed to reducing poverty and to the principles of good governance and democracy.

3. We agreed that more needs to be done in many countries to engage civil society in these strategies.

4. We are committed to reducing the administrative burden that our development programs may impose on developing countries.

5. At the same time, we must reinforce our focus on results and improve our ability to measure them. We will continue to cooperate closely within the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to improve the coordination of our aid programs and harmonize our procedures around countries’ own systems wherever possible.

6. Our development assistance should contribute to an enabling environment that will increase access to global knowledge and resources. We have a responsibility to ensure that our commitment to poverty reduction reflects a comprehensive approach and that our aid, trade, and investment policies are coherent.

Development (Trade)

7. We are committed to building the capacity of developing countries to engage and prosper through the multilateral trading system, and we will continue to support the Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance.

8. We also support the development of trade relations between developing countries on a regional basis.

9. We will continue our efforts to support the achievement of development objectives in the Doha Round of trade talks.

Development (Agricultural Development)

10. Rural development, which includes agriculture, the environment, water-resource management and sanitation are indispensable to poverty reduction and sustainable development. In the context of country-led development strategies, we will ensure that these key priorities receive greater attention and are considered in an integrated manner.

11. We will work to reverse the decline in donor support for agriculture and rural development that has taken place over the last decade. We will use ODA resources to meet the water and sanitation targets adopted in Johannesburg, and leverage greater private-sector investment in this area.

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Development (G8 Africa Action Plan)

12. We discussed how we will carry forward the important decisions reached by G8 leaders in Kananaskis. We will work closely with the leaders’ Personal Representatives for Africa to ensure the implementation of the G8 Africa Action Plan…Our agencies will support their efforts through the G8 Africa Action Plan our leaders announced at Kananaskis.

Development (AIDS)

13. We underscored the importance of complementing the Global Fund through our bilateral programs, in order to build health systems and invest in those interventions that have a proven record of success. We strongly believe that allocations from the Fund should support and respect country-led programs and be results-based.

Development (Education)

14. We agreed to take a number of steps to implement the recommendations of the G8 Education Task Force, which were endorsed by leaders at Kananaskis. We pledged to significantly increase bilateral assistance to countries committed to achieving universal primary education and gender equality in education. We will also work in partnership with other bilateral and multilateral donors to ensure the successful implementation of the Fast-track initiative in those countries committed to reform and in need of incremental resources.

15. We noted as well the importance of supporting those countries with large populations not in school.

16. Canada has agreed to co-chair a Donors’ meeting together with the Netherlands, as called for in the Task Force report, following the Education for All High-Level Group meeting in Abuja, Nigeria on November 19-20.

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Commitments for
G8 Development Ministers’ Meeting Chair’s Summary
Paris
April 24, 2003

Commitments identified by Michael M. Malleson
using Kokotsis Commitment Counting Method
May 12, 2003

Development (ODA)

1. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen official development assistance.

2. In addition to strengthening the volume of aid, it would be advisable to explore new methods of funding. In that regard, the UK proposal to create a new "International Finance Facility" aimed at accelerating the provision of grants or concessional loans until 2015, was noted with interest, although an in-depth analysis of its technical and political aspects are needed.

Development (Water)

3. Ministers reaffirmed their wish to achieve the millennium objectives relating to access to drinking water and sanitation.

Development (Disease)

4. On health, Ministers reiterated their wish to make the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria stronger and more affecting. They confirmed their support for the proposal of an international financing conference to be held in July. Special attention should be given to the private sector contribution to the Global Fund, which has not yielded significant results to date.

5. Polio eradication remains a priority. The G8 countries are called upon to mobilise the resources needed to eradicate polio.

Development (Education)

6. On education, Ministers warmly welcomed recent progress on the "Education for all - Fast Track" initiative and the success of the last donors’ conference in Paris on 25 March. The initiative has detailed and stable rules in place and the necessary funding for the first seven countries selected. Ministers judged the initiative positively, while recognizing the need for a continued steady commitment to reach the education goals and to continue to adhere to the principal of the Monterrey consensus.

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Development (Peace Keeping)

7. They attached importance to the need to develop African peace keeping capacity and wished to see a substantive review at Evian of the implementation of the action plan for Africa adopted in Kananaskis.

Development (African Peer Review)

8. They underlined their support to the tangible implementation of the African peer review mechanism which can benefit from the existing mechanisms at sub-regional level in Africa and from OECD experience.

Development (Regional Approach)

9. Ministers noted that Africa’s development should encompass the enhancement of regional approaches integration which offer a wider market to industry and a granter range of possibilities for foreign investment. They hoped that the IFIs would further their work on how to adapt Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers in order to take adequate account of the regional dimension.

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