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Analytical Studies

Commitments from the G7 Statement
Genoa, July 21, 2001
The G7/G8 Commitments Report 2001

Contents:
Commitments
Commitment Rankings
Appendix 1: Ranking Commitments Manual
Appendix 2: G8 Statement on Regional Issues

Commitments

The 2001 G7 Communique proved to be less productive than the 2000 G7 Communique, judged by the number and range of identifiable, specific, future-oriented commitments issued by the leaders. Together, the document issued by the leaders at Genoa offered 10 commitments. Of these, one came from the issue area of World Economy, two from Trade, five from Strengthening the International Financial System, and two from HIPC. This contrasts with the 12 commitments identified in the Okinawa G7 Communique, which contained four identifiable commitments from HIPC, three from International Financial Architecture, three from Global Financial System, and two from Nuclear Safety.

Although it is difficult to assess whether the 2001Genoa G7/G8 Summit was more productive than Okinawa, a partial estimate is available by comparing those issue areas where commitment data in the main G7 and G8 communiqués, produced by the same methodology, do exist.

World Economy:

  1. We pledge to pursue policies that will contribute to global growth by enhancing strong productivity growth in a sound macroeconomice environment, through structural reform, free trade and strengthened interational economice cooperation.

Launching a New Trade Round:

  1. We pledge today to engage personally and jointly in the launch of a new ambitious Round of global trade negotiations at the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar this November.

  2. We are committed to working with developing countries, including the least developed, to ensure that the new Round addresses their priorities through imporved market access and sounder, more transparent trade rules.

Strengthening the International Financial System:

  1. Increasing global growth and prosperity depends crucially on a sound and stable international financial system. We are united in our determination to continue to strengthen it to prevent financial crises, to limit the impact of those that inevitably do occur, and to tackle financial abuses.

  2. In particular, the international financial institutions and the G7 countries should stand ready to help countries adopt the policies required to ensure sustained access to capital markets.

  3. We also support our finance ministers' suggestions to further develop the frameword for private sector involvement.

  4. We support a meaningful replenishment of IDA and, in that context, we will explore the increased use of grants for priority social investments, such as education and health.

  5. We reaffirm our support for the multilateral effort agains abuses of the global financial system and endore our finance ministers' recommendations to address this challenge.

HIPC:

  1. We have all agreed as a minimum to provide 100% debt reduction of official development assistance (ODA) and eligible commercial claims for qualifying HIPC countries.

  2. We pledge to continue working together to ensure that the benefits of debt relief are targeted to assist the poor and most vulnerable.

Ranking Commitments by Ambition-Significance

In order to assess the productivity of the Genoa Summit, it is important to assess not only the overall number, but also the ambition and significance of each individual commitment the Summit generated. Led by Diana Juricevic, the G8 Research Group is devising a scale to rank commitments according to their level of ambition-significance. Outlined below is the evolving framework for ranking commitments according to their level of ambition-significance. An ambitious commitment is one that clearly identifies a goal, clearly identifies measures to attain that goal, and clearly identifies a target date at which time that goal is to be completed. A significant commitment is one that is timely, novel, and has appropriate scope. A commitment that is both "ambitious" and "significant" satisfies the above six criteria.

The ambition-significance ranking is scored out of a possible six points corresponding to the six criteria. A score of 6 entails both a high level of ambition and a high level of significance. A score of 3 entails a high level of ambition but has no level of significance. A score of 0 entails no level of ambition and no level of significance.

The coding manual for assessing the ambition-significance of each individual commitment is presented immediately below.

The results for the G7 Communique are listed immediately below.

Genoa G7 Communique 2001

Commitment Goal Measure Target Date Timeliness Scope Novelty Total ( x/6)
1 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
2 1 1 1 1 0 0 4
3 1 0 1 1 1 0 4
4 1 0 0 1 0 0 2
5 1 0 0 1 1 0 3
6 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
8 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
9 1 1 0 1 0 0 3
10 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Overall
Average
            2.4

Appendix 1
Ranking Commitments Manual

A. Ambition

1. Does the commitment identify a goal?
Yes = 1 point
No = 0 points

2. Does the commitment identify measures to attain the goal?
Yes = 1 point
No = 0 points

3. Does the commitment identify a target date at which time the goal is to be completed?
Yes = 1 point
No = 0 points

B. Significance

4. Timeliness*
Is the purpose of the commitment to respond to a current crisis?
Is the purpose of the commitment to prevent/address a future crisis/issue?
(1 point)

5. Scope*
Is the commitment directed only at G8 countries?
Is the commitment directed at countries outside G8 membership?
(1 point)

6. Novelty*
Is the commitment referring to an issue that was addressed in previous summits?
Is the commitment referring to an issue that has not been addressed in previous summits?
(1 point)

* Note that the scoring criteria for (4), (5), and (6) is specific to the particular commitment to be ranked. Take the issue of scope, for example: at times, it is appropriate for a particular commitment to be directed only at G8 countries (in this case, a score of 0 would be allocated), while at other times it is appropriate for the commitment to be directed outside G8 membership (in this case, a score of 1 would be allocated). Every effort has been taken by the Research G8 Group to minimize the measurement error associated with this ranking process, including the implementation of a two-stage verification process to ensure that, if there is a bias in the ranking, this bias is applied consistently across all commitments and across all issue areas.

Taken together, these criteria suggest that each individual commitment, and through normal or weighted averages an entire summit, can be judged as follows:

Ambition-Significance Ranking

0 = No Ambition, No Significance
1 = Low Ambition, No Significance
2 = Moderate Ambition, No Significance
3 = High Ambition, No Significance
4 = High Ambition, Low Significance
5 = High Ambition, Moderate Significance
6 = High Ambition, High Significance

Before applying this framework to the entire set of commitments, it must be noted that ranking commitments by ambition-significance is an arduous task involving several methodological challenges. In this exercise, the G8 Research Group is attempting to quantify an essentially qualitative enterprise. Every effort has been made to reduce the level of measurement error and simultaneity bias. Nevertheless, these two problems still exist. As a result, there tends to be a systematic overstatement of the level of ambition-significance for each commitment as well as a systematic overstatement of the level of compliance. Given the fact that the G8 Research Group has been examining this issue from a political science perspective and not from an economics perspective, no regressions have been employed and the corresponding economic techniques to correct for simultaneity bias have not been used.

With these caveats, the ambition-significance framework specified above has been applied, on a trial basis, to the commitments in the G7 Communiqué and the G8 Communiqué, as noted above. The results for the G7 Communique are listed immediately below.

Appendix 2
G8 Statement on Regional Issues

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

  1. We support the idea of convening a donors conference following the establishment of durable peace and a successful conclusion of a political agreement between the parties.

Korean Peninsula

  1. We reaffirm our support for the implementation of the Agreed Framework, including KEDO.

G8 Genova Plan for Africa

  1. We have decided today to forge a new partnership to address issues crucial to African development. We are committed to promoting this objective with our African partners and in multilateral fora-in the UN, the World Bank and the IMF, and in the new Round of WTO negotiations.

  2. To take this process forward, each of us will designate a high level personal representative to liase with committed African Leaders on the development of a concrete Action Plan to be approved at the G8 Summit next year under the leadership of Canada.


Commitment Goal Measure Target Date Scope Novelty Total ( x/6)
11. 1 0 0 1 0 2
12. 1 0 0 0 1 2
13. 1 0 0 1 1 3
14. 1 1 1 1 1 6
Overall
Average
          3.25

Prepared by , Ella Kokotsis and Diana Juricevic, University of Toronto G8 Research Group, June 2001.

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