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From Köln 1999 to Okinawa 2000
~ Country Objectives ~
- Reaffirm HIPC Initative
Germany's number one priority at Okinawa will be a reaffirmation of the debt relief initative for the worlds poorest nations reached at last years Cologne Summit. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder maintained that this issue is of@primary importance to Germany, considering its unilateral debt initiatives and its efforts at the Cairo Summit earlier this year. Schroeder is especially going to put pressure on his American counterpart to release their promised part of the fund which so far has been blocked in Congress.
- Information Technology
As its second priority, Germany will take on Japan's lead on bridging the digital divide between industrialized nations adopting information technology (IT) and developing countries where basic telephone, let alone the internet, can be a distant dream. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called upon politicians worldwide to listen to the concerns of their citizens about these new technologies and to take measures to prevent a further widening of the gap between industrialized and developing nations.
- Rejection of Russian overtures for a debt write-off
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has stated in no uncertain terms that it will not consider a waiver on the Soviet-era debt which will be sought after by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Schroeder said that Russia was quite capable of meeting its financial obligations to its foreign creditors. Furthermore, Russian interests would not be best served if the country's debt were written off because its image and credit worthiness abroad could be damaged according to the Chancellor.
- Food Safety / Genetically Modi fied Organisms (GMO)
The food safety issue almost caused a major disruption at last years Summit in Cologne and it will be in the interest of the Coalition Green Party to be brought on the agenda. The German public has a great interest in the issue and have reacted strongly against GMOs. While it is unlikely that the German Government will push for a detailed solution, they will aim at setting some common principles for GMOs.
- Environmental Issues
Germany has displayed a great concern over environmental issues in recent years and will like continue to call for a ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. North America has been especially slow and reluctant to move on the issue. Germany's Green Party Environment Minister Trittin has been very vocal at the Environment Minister's Meeting earlier this year and with the momentum of Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power plants entirely will have a greater and better track record to put pressure on its fellow G7 member countries.
Report by Ralph Czychun
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