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Trinity College in the University of Toronto

The 1997 G7 Compliance Report:
From Lyon 1996 to Denver 1997

John Kirton, April 28, 1998

• Overall Scores
• Introduction
• List of Commitments in the Lyon Communiqué by Issue Area
• Compliance Studies by Country
   • Canada
   • France
   • Germany
   • United Kingdom
   • Italy
   • Japan
   • United States
• Methodology
   • Defining Commitments
   • What Constitutes Compliance
   • The Scoring Method
• Comments
• Appendix A: Economic Communiqué • Endnotes


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Table of Compliance Scores by Issue Area

Issue Area

Canada

France

Germany

Italy

Japan

United States

United Kingdom

Average Score

Economic Issues

 

0.307

Macroeconomics

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1.00

Microeconomics

1

0

1

n/a

-1

0

1

0.29

Trade

0

0

0

n/a

0

1

1

0.29

Development

0

0

0

n/a

0

0

0

0.00

IFI Reform

-1

n/a

0

n/a

1

1

1

0.29

UN Reform I ($ obligations)

1

0

1

0

0

0

-1

0.14

UN Reform II (devt agenda)

1

0

1

0

0

0

-1

0.14

Issue Area

Canada

France

Germany

Italy

Japan

United States

United Kingdom

Average Score

Transnational Issues

 

0.475

Terrorism

1

1

1

n/a

1

1

0

0.71

Human Rights

1

1

1

n/a

0

1

1

0.71

Nuclear Safety

1

1

1

0

0

-1

0

0.29

Environment

0

0

1

0

-1

0

1

0.14

Global Information Society

1

0

0

n/a

1

1

1

0.57

Crime

0

0

1

n/a

1

0

1

0.43

Issue Area

Canada

France

Germany

Italy

Japan

United States

United Kingdom

Average Score

Security Issues

 

0.310

Arms Control

1

0

1

n/a

0

-1

1

0.29

Proliferation (Land Mines)

1

1

1

1

0

0

1

0.71

East/West Relations

1

1

1

n/a

1

1

1

0.86

Middle East

-1

-1

-1

n/a

0

1

-1

-0.43

Asia

-1

-1

-1

n/a

0

1

-1

-0.43

Conflict in Europe

1

1

1

1

n/a

1

1

0.86

Issue Area

Canada

France

Germany

Italy

Japan

United States

United Kingdom

Average Score

Total

9

5

11

3

4

8

8

6.86

Average Score

0.47

0.26

0.58

0.16

0.21

0.42

0.42

0.36

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Introduction

The annual meeting of the leaders of the seven and now eight major industrial democracies routinely arouses a sea of skepticism from the media and other commentators about the practical utility of the G8 forum. Much of this skepticism surrounds the ability of a particular collection of G8 leaders to arrive at timely, well tailored, ambitious agreements during the course of two or three days of private discussion with thousands of media representatives awaiting on the outside. But far more doubts arise over the effect of the G8 as a collective institution inducing its members to fulfill their commitments once the Summit is over, the media have dispersed and the leaders return home to their daily domestic routines. Because the G8 participants are all powerful, autonomous sovereign states whose democratically-elected leaders are driven by differing national interests and domestic demands, there are real limits to how much commitments collectively made at one moment can constrain and induce compliance in national government behaviour in the coming year.

The limited studies available on compliance with G7 commitments indicates that collective commitments do matter - the member countries comply, if weakly, to a greater degree than they otherwise would. Far more importantly, these studies reveal that the degree of national compliance varies widely by country, issue area, and time. The classic study, reviewing compliance with G7 economic and energy commitments from 1975 to 1989, found that Britain and Canada complied the most and the United States and France the least, while compliance was highest with commitments made in the fields of international trade and energy. [1] A more recent study, reviewing the compliance record of the United States and Canada with the G7's sustainable development commitments from 1988 to 1995, suggests that compliance has risen during the 1990's in particular after the Rio Conference of 1992. [2]

How well have each of the G8 members gathering at Denver on June 20-22, 1997 complied with the commitments they made at the 1996 Lyon Summit last year? The question is a critical one, for answers to it will point to areas where Denver needs to undertake remedial action, how much credibility this year's participants bring to the table, and whether the products of the Denver Summit, proudly announced at its conclusion, deserve to be treated with any seriousness at all.

Systematically assessing compliance with G7 commitments is a formidable exercise, involving many analytical complexities and heavy data demands. Yet the importance of the task has inspired the G8 Research Group, centered at the University of Toronto, to begin the exercise in relation to the Lyon Summit last year. This paper reports the first preliminary results. It offers a definition of and procedure for identifying "commitments" encoded within the concluding communiqués of the G7 at the leaders' level. It identifies what qualifies as compliant behaviour on the part of participating governments in the following year. It presents a scale for scoring compliance. And as a bases for assessing compliance it specifies (in Appendix A) the 19 priority or "major" commitments &mdash' from each issue area addressed by the Summit — made by the G7 at Lyon last year.

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Appendix A: The Economic Communiqué

Macro (8) "While recognizing that our individual circumstances may vary, we share a common commitment to a medium-term economic strategy: credible fiscal consolidation programs, successful anti-inflationary policies and as a consequence low interest rates and strengthened structural reform."

Trade (22) "We will ensure full and effective implementation of the Uruguay Round results according to the agreed timetables."

Micro (29) "we pledge to carry out practical reforms, consistent with the specific situation in each of our countries, aimed at achieving a high level of employment and widely-shared prosperity: these include tax and social system reforms to ensure that 'work pays,' particularly the least well-off,- lowering social security charges which place a burden on low-skilled jobs, in countries with high indirect labour costs; and improving public employment agencies."

Development (36) "We renew our commitment to secure substantial flows of official aid and to improve the quality of this aid. The whole international community should be mobilized in this effort and new donors should assume growing responsibility, so that the burden is more equally shared;"

International [Financial] Institution Reform (44) "UNCTAD IX was a major milestone in the renewal of UNCTAD. In close partnership with the other member States, we succeeded in reforming UNCTAD's intergovernmental machinery and in refocusing its work on a small number of priorities to promote development through trade and investment with the aim of facilitating the integration of developing countries in the international trade system. We are committed to the implementation of these reforms."

Declaration on Terrorism

Terrorism "We rededicate ourselves and invite others to associate our efforts in order to thwart the activities of terrorists and their supporters, including fund-raising, the planning of terrorist acts, procurement of weapons, calling for violence, and incitement to commit terrorist acts."

Chairman's Statement

Global Issues

UN Reform (1) "Conscious of the risks that the present financial crisis poses to the United Nations' ability to function, we are resolved to promote in parallel and as soon as possible a long-term solution based on the adoption of a more equitable scale of contributions, on scrupulous respect by Member States for their financial obligations, and on the payment of arrears."

Human Rights (2) "We will take care to ensure that women as well as men benefit fully and equally from the recognition of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which were reiterated on the occasion of the Beijing Conference, and that the rights of children be respected."

Non-proliferation of Weapons (3) "We reiterate the importance we attach to the entry into force of the Convention on Chemical Weapons. We will continue to work hard to implement the Convention on Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons, including the establishment of an effective verification mechanism."

Non-proliferation of Weapons (3) "We call upon all States to spare no effort in securing a global ban on the scourge represented by the proliferation and the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel landmines and welcome the moratoria and bans already adopted by a number of countries on the production, use and export of these weapons, unilateral reductions in stockpiles as well as initiatives to address this urgent problem."

Nuclear Safety and Security (4) "We stress the necessity of further progress in the establishment of relevant domestic legislation and in the enhancement of the international regime of nuclear liability as well as in the preparation of an international convention on the safety of radioactive waste management."

Environment (5) "It is important to ensure adherence to environmental agreements. International crime in areas such as illegal trade in CFCs, endangered species and hazardous waste is of particular concern. We will assess compliance with international environmental agreements and consider options for enhancing compliance."

Global Information Society (6) "We will support public and private efforts to increase the use of information and communication technologies for development and encourage international organizations to assess the appropriate role which they can play."

Transnational Organized Crime (10)"Therefore we commit ourselves to: ... Resist the enormous threat posed by narcotic traffickers, by implementing the UN conventions against drugs, and intensifying efforts to put traffickers behind bars and prevent them from laundering their money."

Regional Situations

Eastern and Central Europe (2) "We actively support the process of economic and political transition under way for over five years in Central and Eastern Europe."

Middle East (3) "We reaffirm our determination to enforce full implementation of all UN Security Council resolutions concerning Iraq and Libya only full compliance with which could result in the lifting of all sanctions."

Asia (4) "We urge the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to develop the dialogue and cooperation with the Republic of Korea (ROK), this being the only means of achieving permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and ensuring a more stable and more secure future for the Korean People."

Halifax Summit Follow-up

UN Reform cont'd (3) "We will continue and reinforce our efforts to improve the functioning of the UN in the economic and social fields and its impact on development. We will continue to work in partnership with other members to complete processes underway, including Agenda for Development, and initiate further processes as required. "

Decisions Concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina

Conflict – Europe "We support the High Representative in his work of preparation with the Parties of the establishment of the new institutions: the collective Presidency, the Council of Ministers, the Parliament, the Constitutional Court and the Central Bank. We shall provide the future authorities with the necessary constitutional and legal assistance."

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Compliance Studies by Country

Canada

Commitment Grade
Macroeconomics (8) +1
Trade (22) 0
Microeconomics(29) +1
Development (36) 0
International Institutional Reform (UNCTAD IX) (44) -1
Terrorism +1
United Nations Reform (Financial Obligations) (1) +1
Human Rights (2) +1
Non-Proliferation of Weapons (Chemical) (3) +1
Non-Proliferation of Weapons (Land Mines) (3) +1
Nuclear Safety and Security (4) +1
Environment (5) 0
Global Information Society +1
Transnational Organized Crime 0
Eastern and Central Europe +1
Middle East +1
Asia (Korea) (4) -1
United Nations Reform (Agenda for Development) (3) +1
European Conflict (Bosnia-Herzegovina) +1

Click here for the full report by Natalie Armstrong, Ina Kota, Jason Krausert, Eleni Maniatis, Nicholas Staines and Christina Tahoces.

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France

 

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[1] Von Furstenburg, George and Joseph Daniels, Economic Summit Declarations, 1975-1989: Examining the Written Record of International Cooperation, Princeton Studies in International Finance 72, Princeton, NJ, Department of Economics, 1992.

[2] Kokotsis, Ella and John Kirton, "National Compliance with Environmental Regimes: The Case of the G7, 1988-1995," Paper prepared for the Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, Toronto, March 18-22 1997. Unpublished.

[3] Daniels, Joseph P., The Meaning and Reliability of Economic Undertakings, 1975-1989 (New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1993).

[4] Kokotsis, Ella and John Kirton, "National Compliance with Environmental Regimes: The Case of the G7, 1988-1995," Paper prepared for the Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, Toronto, March 18-22 1997. Unpublished. [an error occurred while processing this directive]