Overall Grade: C+
Objective: Microeconomics and Public Sector Reform
(Microeconomics = C and Public Sector Reform = B)
With the UK not affected deeply by the global economic slowdown, microeconomic and public sector reforms were not major issues addressed in the Communique.
Nevertheless, "Employment" was discussed in the context of "Increasing Prosperity in a Socially-Inclusive Society." Furthermore, one of the priorities of the UK's 2002 Spending Review was the spreading of opportunities and prosperity more widely, and tackling child poverty and social exclusion.
Therefore, while the UK fell short of its microeconomic objectives, per se, it was successful in stressing the importance of public sector reform to increase prosperity and access to public services both in a domestic context and in the context of development in less developed countries.
As stated in our initial report, reforms to the UK's National Health Serivce is a primarily domestic issue, nevertheless, in the context of development the Communique called for "strong national health systems to continue to play a key role in the delivery of effective prevention, treatment and care in improving access to essential health services and commodities without discrimination."
This is an initiative that has already begun in the UK and its inclusion in the Communique serves to emphasize the importance of the Blair government's domestic reforms and initiatives in this regard.
Objective: Environment - Climate Change and Energy
As stated in the initial report, the UK committed itself to moving the environment up on the G8 agenda. More specifically, Prime Minister Blair hoped to lead the discussion for common policy and the ways to combat global warming and the depletion of natural energy resources. In order to do this, the UK needed to promote mutual responsibility for the environment and collective action to combat new environmental challenges. It appears that Prime Minister Blair was successful in achieving agreement that the leaders had a common interest in continuing to meet greenhouse gas emission targets, however, the leaders failed to agree on exactly how to achieve this end. Nevertheless, the Communique confirms their determination to find global solutions to threats endangering the planet, recognizing that climate change is a pressing issue requiring a global solution and strong leadership from the G8 countries.
With respect to energy, the leaders recognized the importance of renewable energy for sustainable development, diversification of energy supply, and preservation of the environment, pledging to ensure that renewable energy sources are adequately considered and their respective national plans and encouraging others to do so as well.
The leaders committed to encourage continuing research and investment in renewable energy technology, which is consistent with Prime Minister Blair's Performance and Innovation Unit energy review initiative.
The leaders also committed to promoting and following processes leading up to the Rio +10 processes, as we predicted in our initial report.
Objective: Crime and Drugs
Crime and drugs were not dealt with in the context in which we expected the UK to bring these issues to the table at the Summit.
Our initial study predicted that several prominent issues on the domestic front would form the basis for bilateral discussions at the Summit. In fact, development, specifically the African initiative, was emphasised much more heavily at the Summit than was expected.
Additionally, elements of both cultural diversity and education are addressed throughout the Communique in the context of development.
Prepared by: Allison Smith and Denisse Rudich. G8 Research Group, University of Toronto
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