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~ Country Performance Assesments ~

Canada: Evaluation of Summit Performance
(1997 Denver Summit)


G7 Effectiveness
Grade: B+
Explanation of Grade:

Canada achieved the goal of pushing for the retention of a strong economic focus at the G7. Although this summit appeared to be more politically oriented, many of the broad economic issues were easily addressed or dealt with at the meeting of the finance ministers. Russian involvement in the summit process was deeper, but there still remains no Russian inclusion in the G7 finance ministerial process. The "B+" grade reflects Canada's basic achievement of its goals. An "A" was not attained because Russian issues were prominent at the Denver Summit.

A Convention on Forests
Grade: C+
Explanation of Grade:

Canada was not successful in securing a commitment to begin immediate negotiations for a global forestry convention. While the G7 leaders expressed an interest in "working to build consensus" on an international agreement of sorts at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) and supported steps taken by the "Brazil Pilot Program initiated in Houston", there was no clear, explicit commitment to seeing the 1990 initiative for a global forestry convention through to completion within a specified time period. The grade of "C" represents that overall, G7 progress in the area of global forests remained unchanged from the 1990 Houston summit commitment. That the leaders were specific in considering an international agreement on forests and interest in discussions in upcoming fora raised the grade to a "C+".

United Nations Reform
Grade: A
Explanation of Grade:

On United Nations Reform, Canada was very successful in securing the appropriate support and commitment from its G7 partners. The wording in the Denver Communiqué clearly expressed the will and desire of the G7 nations to maintain the financial viability of the United Nations. It placed a strong emphasis on full and timely payment of financial obligations and called for "a thorough and urgent review of the UN's funds and programs." Moreover, the G7 leaders expressed their commitment to budget prioritization "a system-wide review of the roles and mandates of specialized agencies and commissions" and "maximum operating efficiency of the UN system."

In keeping with Canada's reaffirmed support for Secretary-General Kofi Annan's agenda, the Denver Communiqué also welcomed recent reform proposals and supported their rapid implementation. In particular, the G7 nations expressed their interest in "the Secretary-General's specific proposals for re-investing savings from improved cost- effectiveness in high priority development programs."

Social Security Reform
Grade: B
Explanation of Grade:

Canada was successful in meeting the larger part of its objective on social security. The Denver Communiqué put considerable emphasis on the issues raised related to aging populations in sections 6-9. The Communiqué highlighted the issues and discussed the main trends in policy thought to address these problems especially with respect to health and pensions. The communiqué committed the G7 to further research in co- ordination with the OECD. However, it fell short of making any firm commitment to "policy direction". This is the reason why this objective is only awarded a "B".

Grade: A
Explanation of Grade:

The Canadian objective regarding Africa is clearly reflected in the Denver Communiqué. Canada's desire for a broad-based and holistic approach to Africa is represented by the recognition that development will require "the integration of poor populations into economic, social and political life of their countries." This goal will be sought through the provision of support by bilateral donors, IFIs and the UNDP for human rights, democratic governance and liberalization of trade and investor relations between sub- Saharan Africa and the developed world.

The Canadian desire for this broad-based and holistic approach to emphasize conflict prevention, peace building and good governance is also present. The G7 leaders agreed to support efforts by the Organization of African Unity to build peace in Africa and called for an increased use of the UN Trust Fund to strengthen African peacekeeping and conflict prevention. "Broader and substantial donor commitments to the OAU and to sub-regional bodies" were also called for to strengthen conflict mediation efforts by these groups.

Land Mines
Grade: B+
Explanation of Grade:

The Ottawa process was recognized as a successful forum, in its effort to ban anti-personnel landmines. Unfortunately, Canada did not obtain the amount of political will it desired, as the Ottawa Process was not fully committed to by all G8 members. However, Canada was successful in getting France and Italy to announce their full support and commitment to the Ottawa Process.

While the Denver Communiqué does not single out a particular plan of action to globally ban anti-personnel landmines, which suggests G8 dissension over the route deemed best to achieve a global ban (the Ottawa Process or the Geneva Process), the various current efforts identified and welcomed do signal a general G8 commitment to the destruction of all landmines -- and this much reveals that Canada's efforts are not in vain.

Contributors: Natalie Armstrong, Ina Kota, Jason Krausert, Eleni Maniatis, Nicholas Staines, and Christina Tahoces

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