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Trinity College in the University of Toronto

From Okinawa 2000 to Genoa 2001

Generating Genuine Global Governance:
Prospects for the Genoa G8 Summit

Professor John Kirton, Director
G8 Research Group, University of Toronto
Revised Draft, July 15, 2001

For information please contact Madeline Koch in Italy at (39) 335 310 172 (until July 23, 2001) or in Toronto at 416 588 3833.


The Italian-hosted Genoa G7/G8 Summit, to be held on July 20-22, 2001, promises to generate genuine global governance for an international community confronting several critical crises. For the first time since its 1975 creation, the G7/G8 at Genoa will bring the United Nations family into the G7/G8 process as an integral partner in providing effective, fully legitimate governance for an African continent and developing world devastated by deadly disease and persistent poverty. Building on the innovations of Okinawa the year before, it will take a step-level jump into greater inclusiveness, by thoroughly involving civil society organizations, the labour movement, international organizations, and developing countries in the summit preparations, by continuing and creating subject-specific G8-centred multistakeholder institutions - the old Dot Force and new global health secretariat - and by giving nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) a real role in program delivery. It will mobilize massive amounts of new money, no longer for the old post-cold war purpose of supporting a reforming Russia but now for the globalization imperative of combating disease and hence underdevelopment in the world's poorest places. At the same time, inspired by the tens of thousands of protesters at the event, and uncowed by the few hundred intent on violence, the democratic G8 will confront, and may solve, some of the toughest issues that have immobilized other institutions, notably by launching a "Millennium Round" of multilateral trade negotiations and by finding ways to move forward on realizing the objectives of the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change. In short, Genoa could well go down as a historic summit, not for the variety, volume, and even violence of the protesters at the event, but for the vastly larger array of actors who have produced, will deliver, and benefit from the new programs it will launch.

Propellers of Performance

This favourable forecast for the Genoa G8 flows in the first instance from the current conditions on those processes that predict the success of a G7/G8 summit conceived of as a modern global concert.

The first factor is the predominance of G7/G8 capabilities over outside actors, and the equalization of capabilities among members within the club. The persistent poverty of continents such as Africa, the uncertain recovery of many emerging economies from the global financial crisis of 1997-99, and the plunging currency values, growth rates, and prospects of many emerging economies from the prospective financial crisis bred by Argentina and Turkey in 2001 have confirmed that it is inside the G8, even with the currently slowing growth of all it members, where the world's wealth and power lie.

Within the G8, the rise of the U.S. dollar to its highest trade-weighted value within 15 years could give rise to an outburst of U.S. self-confidence verging on an arrogance reminiscent of Denver 1997, even with neighbouring Canada and Britain sporting currencies that have held pace. Yet unlike the U.S. ascent of 1980-85, and the unilateralist instincts it fuelled, the G8-leading plunge in the U.S. growth rate, from a 5% in 2002 to a 1.2% in 2001's first quarter (and perhaps zero in the second), has led the U.S. to recognize that it needs, and to ask for, the G7's help1. Although Europe and now Japan have also suffered growth declines, these have been proportionately much smaller. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the G8 charts, Britain, Canada, and now finally Russia - the G8's "petropowers" - have been doing very well. It is thus understandable that, in an unexpected replay of Jimmy Carter and the G7 of the 1970s, it is the U.S. that is pleading for a pull from European and Japanese (and now even Russian) locomotives, and worrying about the energy crisis that is crippling it at the same time.

Constricted participation, allowing for timely, well-tailored and ambitious agreement and action among the powerful, is also abundantly evident. The G7, at the finance ministers level on July 7 in Rome and the leaders level on the afternoon of July 20 in Genoa, continues to meet without the Russians. But the Russians have become in function as well as form full members of the G8 on the political and global issues side and are increasingly proving their credentials in the economic domain as well. Moreover, recent concern about associating China, or calls for the G20 to grow to replace rather than reinforce the G7, have diminished.

Equally important is the way that the G8 and G8, at the ministerial level, have reached out to involve additional countries, in ways that reinforce the G7/G8's sensitivity, responsiveness and legitimacy, but that do not erode the compact capacity of the inner core. Both the lead-up G7 finance and G8 foreign ministers made small advances in this way. More importantly, at the leaders level, the Italian hosts had indicated they were hoping to organize a meeting between several Africa heads of state and representatives of G8 countries on the eve of the Genoa Summit (March 7, 2001, Reuters). As it evolved, this outreach session at the start of the Summit came to include Kofi Annan of the United nations, the heads of several other international organizations, and national leaders from an array of regions and representing other international groupings as well. This was a substantial advance on the Paris 1989 formula of a G7-"G15" pre-Summit dinner, and one that promised to advance, rather than detract from, G7/G8 leaders' subsequent focus among themselves on their core agenda (see below).

The G8's binding common purposes of democratic politics, market economics, and open societies with their rich repertoire of human rights, cultural diversity and rights of minorities has also deepened over the past years. Despite fears that the advent of Russia's Vladimir Putin, especially when joined by America's George Bush, might mark a return to cold war dynamics and differences over spies, Chechnya and National Missile Defence (NMB), Russia's spiritual conversion to its G8 identity, made during the 1999 war to liberate Kosovo, has endured the change in political leadership. The triumph of a now democratic Serbia having sent Milosevic to face an international war crimes tribunal at the Hague has deepened the common faith. In addition, the eagerness of the Japanese host at Okinawa to highlight the values of cultural diversity has added another common conviction to the G8 club.

Political control by popularly and democratically elected leaders will also flourish at Genoa. It is true there will be a large number of newly arriving leaders, with America's Bush, and Japan's Koizumi from the biggest two Summit countries, never having been at a G7/G8 Summit before. Partly as a result, the assembled leaders will have on average only 2.7 years of experience as leaders at Summits, marginally below productive Okinawa's average of 3.0 2. Yet is should be recalled that all the leaders were brand new Summiteers at the high-performing 1975 Rambouillet Summit and all were relatively inexperienced, including the new U.S. President Jimmy Carter, at the productive Summits of London 1977 and Bonn 1978. Moreover, for Genoa host leader Silvio Berlusconi brings to the table his experience as host of Naples 1994, where he also met Canada's Jean Chrétien and France's Jacques Chirac. Here he produced a Summit that garnered a grade of C, a score consistent with the rather poor record that Italian-hosted Summits traditionally have received.3

In the weeks leading up to Genoa, Berlusconi has been working virtually full time on preparations for the summit. At Genoa he will draw on his experience as host at Naples 1994, but not simply repeat his approach at that time. He is very confident that he can work with the other leaders, most of whom he has met, by establishing personal contact at the summit in ways that would maximize results. With this easy contact with his peers, he would find ways to steer conversations to draw on the collected wisdom of the leaders. With his formidable skills as a communicator, he would use the summit to maximize the impact of his policies and issues at home and abroad.

Beyond Berlusconi as host, Genoa also features a new U.S. President, one representing a shift to the American right. Previous Summits welcoming new U.S. presidents, apart from the Rambouillet inaugural, have had an uninspiring record, and the one that saw a similar Democratic-to-Republican party transition (Ottawa 1981 with a C) did rather badly.4 Genoa will thus play the important role, as Ottawa did before it, of socializing the new Republican U.S. President into the world beyond neighbouring North America and into America's need for G7/G8 plurilateralism in a globalizing age. With Bush's narrow mandate, divided Congress, and father's advisers, he will be a far faster learner than Ronald Reagan was.

What is most important about the individual leaders at Genoa is not their freshness, but their exceptional domestic popularity and personal commitment to the G8 club. In sharp contrast tot he Summit's of the early 1990's these features leaders who are popular at home and thus confident they can lead both at home and abroad. Canada's Chrétien, Britain's Blair, and Italy's Berlusconi bring fresh electoral mandates massive majorities and enduring honeymoon's. Japan's Koizumi is enjoys unprecedented popularity, even as his upper house elections on July 29th loom.5 Putin was the first Russian leader to enter the presidency through the ballot box and maintains a firm grip at home that Yeltsin often seemed to lack. And Bush's popularity remains intact. During his presidential election campaign he also, unusually, for U.S. presidents, spoke of expanding the G8 institutions, by having G8 energy ministers meet.

A final factor inducing co-operation is a recognition of the G8 countries growing, globalization-bred vulnerability to each other, especially when they are reminded by the reappearance of shocks they suffered from in the past. The prospect of a common economic downturn of proportions last seen in the early 1970's, and fears of an energy "crisis" along with it, have revived the "hanging together" instinct of old. More importantly, the emergence of financial crises in Turkey and Argentina, and the failure to date of IMF-only programs to solve them, have dispelled any complacent self-confidence flowing from the G7's ultimately successful response to the global financial crisis of 1997-99.

Italy's Approach

The Okinawa Inheritance

In preparing for the Genoa, the Italian hosts began an impressive legacy from Okinawa. It included a wealth of new and old agenda items dealt with at the leaders' level, 82 paragraphs of material in the G8 communiqué, 169 specific actionable commitments in the five documents issues by the leaders, 96 items requiring follow-up, and a "built in" agenda of five specific remits (see Appendix A).

The Summit Theme and Agenda

Even before they formally assumed the chair of the G8, Italy signaled its desire to produce a summit that had a focused agenda, embraced the full global community, worked with the United Nations, other international organizations, and developing countries, and built upon Okinawa's emphases and successes in poverty reduction and infectious disease.

In late December, Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, during his annual year-end greetings to the foreign diplomatic corps, said Italy would try to make Genoa a success whose political and economic benefits would "extend beyond" the members (December 21, Xinhua). It would further develop the role of the G8 as an "essential point of reference in the international community for peace and progress in the world." He declared Italy as host to have "an opportunity and an obligation to provide a stimulus that is concrete and focused." He noted that the G8 had "expanded its horizons" with the participation of Russia, whose President assured him he looked forward to continuing the "influential and constructive" experience begun in the last two meetings. Italy was determined to carry through on the "important progress" made under the Japanese Presidency in reducing the debt of poorer nations. While reaffirming Italy's support of the UN, Ciampi said its members had to rethink their way of responding to global crises such as AIDA and mad cow disease. " In the face of profound changes in the world equilibrium, the traditional norms of the Security Council or the Economic and Social Council are no longer sufficient; the UN can do better and more." The international community "must be better prepared to manage new health threats facing humanity."

At an early stage in their hosting year, the Italians signaled that their summit would centre on three themes - poverty reduction, the environment and conflict prevention. They also indicated that discussion would be held on launching another round of MTN in the wake of the failed WTO ministerial at Seattle in 1999, and the global economy, focused on the expected sharp slowdown in the U.S. and its impact on Europe and emerging economies (Olivieri, March 7, Reuters).

This emphasis reflected the host's decision early in its presidency to take seriously the advice from experts, including a group involving Summit founder Henry Kissinger, to concentrate on a limited agenda with a smaller number of issues than Okinawa had dealt with. Starting with a relatively large number of candidates, the Italian sherpa team refined the list through discussions with a number of colleagues. By the eve of the Summit, the Italians had thus decided to concentrate on four major issues: 1) the economic situation, 2) trade negotiations as an integrally connected part of the first subject, 3) how to share growth among all countries within and beyond the G8, and 4) how to deal with emergencies, with poverty reduction a key factor here.

The Preparatory Process

While following a conventional sherpa process to prepare their Summit, the Italians made major innovations in inclusiveness, bringing in from the beginning many outsiders from civil society, labour, non-G8 countries and international organizations. The sherpa team traveled to Paris to meet with the OECD, the G15 and individual countries. It met with African representatives, particularly those centrally involved in the MAP. Only the Italian elections on May 13 prevented it from travelling to China.

The Italians made a particular effort to embrace the UN, in order to resist any feeling that the G8 stood opposed to the work of the UN. Convinced of the need to work in harmony, the Italians invited Kofi Annan to Genoa and made a particular effort to ensure that he felt comfortable participating there.. The Italians further involved others in the UN family, notably those in Rome and Geneva, for their specific expertise, in order to include their opinions and input for the work of the Genoa G8. Several trips were also made to Geneva to meet with the international organizations located there, especially the WHO and UNCTAD.

Consistent with the rising attention accorded NGOs since the WTO's Seattle ministerial meeting in December 1999, the Italian sherpa team held more meetings with NGOs than it did among the G8 sherpas themselves. As with the Japanese the year before, the sherpa traveled to London to meet, with the assistance of British colleagues, with European and international NGOs. He also met in Washington foundations, nonprofit organizations, and NGOs, working on subjects such as disease etc. They were consulted on specific and general subjects. On his pre-Summit trip to Ottawa in late March, Prime Minister Amato also took time to fly to Toronto, for discussions with the academically based G8 Research Group.

Several meetings were also held with trade unions. Representatives of the TUAC were briefed on two occasions. Prime Minister Berlusconi is also scheduled to meet with trade union representatives, probably in Genoa, just prior to the summit.

To handle the hundreds of organizations involved in the process, and assure the independence and authenticity of the civil society consultative process, the Italian sherpa team worked through several think tanks to conduct a dialogue, host meetings and set an agenda. In April then Prime Minister Amato, his sherpa team and development officials met with the four working groups established by the NGOs. The consultation generated a document that was presented to Amato shortly before the end of his presidency and passed on to Berlusconi upon his election on May 13th.

This process had the useful effect of inducing NGOs to engage in a process, similar to that of government leaders and their senior officials, of finding common ground with people of different but equally valid views, rather than demanding ever more for their one particular cause without regard for others concerns. The NGOs did find common ground, if at a somewhat general level, on many things. They helped establish priorities between the life threatening and the merely desirable. In the end they produced common positions remarkably close to what the Italian hosts wished to advocate. Even with the remaining differences on precise priorities and degrees, they did give the government the confidence, and NGOs the feeling, that they were engaged in movement in the right direction.

Finally the NGOs were given an integral role not just in Summit preparation, but in the implementation of its key deliverable. For the Global health Fund launched at Genoa, the NGOs were assigned the critical role of monitoring developments in the field. Rather than rely on a centralized bureaucracy, foreign NGOs were asked to empower local NGOs in the recipient countries to guarantee that the new money Genoa mobilized was well spent.


Infectious Disease

The centerpiece deliverable of the Genoa Summit is destined to be an innovative Global Health Fund. This will involve the creation of a new, and new style international organization to combat the worlds major killer diseases of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, the mobilization of massive resources in an ongoing and expanding process, and mechanisms to ensure that the money's are actually devoted to and accomplish the purposes for which they are intended. While both the new organization and funding may seem small relative to the big bureaucracy of the venerable World Heath Organization and the US$7 billion plus in new money annually that UN leaders called for to meet the job done, it has become clear that the old approach of relying on the UN family and massive funding from national governments and their taxpayers alone had failed the ten of millions of the world's citizens who had died or are destined to die from these killer diseases. With so many deaths now flowing from this massive failure of the UN system, the time had come for a new G8 designed and led approach.

At an organizational meeting in Brussels nine days before the Summit opened, the G8, the WHO and the European Union worked to establish a very small shell organization, located in either a developed or developing country, and headed by someone with an international reputation. Its mandate would be to ensure that the Global Health Fund is functioning by the end of the year, with the core monies committed and its programs put into action. The concept was to create a governing body only large enough to include donor countries, beneficiaries and those with an interest in supporting the work. The actual programs would be carried out by beneficiary governments, as monitored by local NGOs. Once the Genoa Summit gave life to this arrangement, officials responsible for development in G8 governments would implement on the G8's behalf.

This governance arrangement reflected in part a desire to mobilize the most money possible to devote to the cause, and the reluctance of so many potential donors to give if their money were to be swallowed up in the big bureaucracy and traditional delivery channels and culture of the UN institutions would claim a piece. G8 and other donor governments committed to transparency, accountability and the rule of law at home in the disbursement of their taxpayers money had understandably asked for tight accounting rules and banker-like procedures. Beneficiary governments, whose full participation in the Fund was important, asked that the UN should be in control, as its institutions were dominated by their votes. Potential private donors, whose money could make a major difference, were skeptical of bureaucracy. After a half century of massive spending through the old institutions, with political considerations diverting the focus and resources from the real concern, and a proliferating problem in responses, they would inclined to give the private sector a chance to prove it could be more efficient. There were also differences over the priority devoted to prevention as opposed to care and cure.

To find a solution that would enable all potential groups to participate, the G8 worked with the UN, its Secretary General, the WHO, and UNAIDS, to meld the six different initiatives at the start into a single campaign. The G8 proved to be successful, in part because it avoided the normal tendency of individual partners to have the fund named after them.

With the issue of ownership solved, the question of delivery assumed prominence. Here Kofi Annan proved successful in handling UNGASS, an event which was necessary for the G8 to succeed. It along with G8 meetings with the affected countries provided the necessary legitimation and consent.

The G8 also found a solution to the critical question of funding. Genoa was designed as a commitment session, not a pledging session. At the Summit G8 leaders will say what their financial intentions are, and invite others to join in. The leaders will appeal for funds, by saying that among themselves they will endow the Fund with an ample minimum. They will then have a subsequent pledging session, along thew lines of the one used for Balkan reconstruction, where other donors can join in.

The amount the G8 would offer to begin the process is likely to be impressive. When the Italian host had begun the process in February, with a paper on "beyond debt relief" it had envisaged at total of $1 billion in new money, coming from governments and nonprofits alike.6 The G8 at Genoa was destined to surpass that amount by far. Following Genoa, and moving into the subsequent Canadian presidency, the G8 would work on public-private partnerships, involving NPOs, donors, and pharmaceutical companies.

Information Technology

A second area where Genoa was destined for a clear, if far more modest success, was in the new area of information technology. The Dot Force established at Okinawa proved to very successful because it struck the imagination on many last year when its subject seemed so new. Launched with enthusiasm, its very novelty brought some delay in its establishment but from the Japanese through the Italian presidency it was brought to life.

Involving 45 individuals from the G8 and non-G8 governments, and from profit and nonprofit sectors, its members worked together, with a great mood around the table, to produce a good report. When delivered, on time, the sherpas felt it should be received and put into action by governments, with the Task Force thanked and disbanded after having done a good job. But the Dot Force's private sector representatives demanded its continuation, and pleaded that government participation and legitimation if they were to get the job done. Perhaps paradoxically, those at the lead edge of "globalization" were the ones who saw the need for governments, co-operating plurilaterally, to be involved in the critical process of governance in this new sphere.

The G8 leaders at Genoa will thus authorize another year of work. It is possible that the Canadian presidency will take up the Dot Force's proposals, receive another report when they host the G8 (probably in Ottawa in late June 2002), and convert it into a plan of action by the end of Canada's hosting year.

Renewable Energies Task Force

Less promising are the prospects for another Okinawa-originated body - the Renewable Energies Task Force. Heavily supported by the Italian Ministry of Energy, this body had produced a very extensive report, containing a wealth of conclusions and recommendations based on IEA technical expertise. While agreement was not sought on every recommendation, the overall thrust of the report is important and conclusive.

The environmental movement is quite pleased with the report. But two G8 members remained strongly resistant. By far the most consequential is the U.S., which under the Bush Administration, has a fundamentally philosophic difference with the mandate, which its predecessor and political rival under the Clinton-Gore administration had helped draft. The Americans, while approving of a majority of the proposals, seek more private sector involvement in securing a solution than they see the report containing. Prospects are for the report to be published around the time of Genoa, but as food for thought.

Trade and the WTO Millennium Round

Another difficult issue for Genoa was on the central subject of trade. Since the start of its presidency, Italy sought to use Genoa to help launch another round of WTO talks and push for reform of the World Trade Organization.7 To do so it would be necessary to rebuild the confidence of developing countries in the WTO and focus on their concerns. In the view of the Italians, the needed reforms to the WTO included increasing the organization's ability to involve developing countries, representatives of civil society, national and international parliaments and trade unions. This Italian position reflected that of the European Union which wanted to secure an agreement in 2001 on new trade talks that would focus on the problems of developing countries.

On the eve of Genoa, Italy had made it clear to those in the WTO system and national capitals that the G8 at Genoa would deal with the issue of a new Round. This had the intended effect of putting pressure on others in Geneva to produce thoughts as to how to move ahead on an urgent basis. The G8 kept up the pressure by making heavy hints that the leaders would talk about this in depth. In addition, the economic downturn gave the issue a sense of urgency, due to the widespread feeling trade was one ingredient to generate growth. A strong signal from Genoa that there would be a successful launch at Doha would thus give the market an immediate growth boost. Conversely, inaction could compound the downward turn, from which developing countries suffered the most. Here the G7 thus sought to mobilize market and its rational calculations to helps secure their own intergovernmental ends.

The Italian sherpa team worked intensively within the G8, with national delegations in Geneva, with the WTO Secretariat, and with those in development agencies. On the eve of the Summit they had secured a common sense that it would be good for no-one if the round were called and it failed. There was also a feeling that part of the recipe for a successful launch was that the people who went to Doha must come back with something. They would thus go only with a reasonable expectation that something would happen. This implicit threat that G7 members would not even attend the WTO Doha ministerial, and the negative market reaction that would follow, helped end a period of uncertainty and engendered a process of relevant players rearranging priorities. There was thus a chance that the G8 at Genoa could point to a balanced agenda for the new Round, and thus produce willing participants in the Doha meeting. With the G8 relying on the highly capable USTR Robert Zoellick to secure Trade Promotion Authority from the U.S. Congress, the immediate task was to ensure that there were no stumbling blocks within the G8 that could nullify the rest of the process. While not wanting to produce any precooked G8 arrangements that would be imposed on outsiders, the G8 felt obliged to ensure that there was nothing inside the club that would makes the larger WTO negotiation vain or useless. It wanted to make sure each member understood one another before Doha. Only then could they sit down and discuss with developing countries their demands, as opposed to making a further unilateral G8 downpayment in advance, along the lines of the EU's earlier "everything but arms" action.8

They key challenge was thus for the G8 to construct an elaborate agenda, based on the common willingness to sit down at the table and listen to the other side. The week leading up to Genoa will be critical in securing a signal that would allow G8 countries to instruct their negotiators to proceed with the Doha event.

Climate Change in the Post Kyoto World

A second formidable challenge for Genoa was to find a way forward to cope with climate change, following the effective destruction of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol at an environment ministers meeting in the Hague and President Bush's subsequent recognition of that reality in his statement that Kyoto was "Fundamentally flawed." Some clinging to the sanctity of the particular and peculiar Kyoto formula felt that environment ministers meeting in Bonn during the Genoa summit could by themselves save Kyoto, by inducing the U.S. to admit it was wrong and accepting the program the Europeans had attempted to force on them at the Hague.9 Far more likely was the prospect that the leaders at Genoa would have to find a way forward, and one that would respect their basic commitment, made at their Houston G7 Summit two years before the mother Convention on Climate Change, to address the problem by comprehensively taking account of "all sources and all sinks."

Italy and its fellow Europeans were committed to dealing with climate change at Genoa, as they had declared in their recent European Council Gothenburg communiqué. This meant acknowledging that commitments were made a Kyoto, but recognizing that the issue of climate change is bigger than the Kyoto Protocol. The way forward is to start with the UN Framework Convention itself and build on it. That framework convention set forth different objectives that G8 countries can reach using different tools. The challenge at Genoa was to find an agreement on the tools. That would require involving the Annex 1 countries, plus the NICs of Brazil, Argentina, India and China. Public changes in Japan's position on the eve of the Summit suggested that the needed flexibility to move forward might come. But the challenge remained formidable indeed.

Poverty Reduction and Development

Far more promising were the prospects on poverty reduction, in large part because of the more inclusive process innovations Genoa made. The topic had long been planned as a featured part of the Genoa Summit, with the initial emphasis placed on new development initiatives for underprivileged areas. At Palermo in February, G7 finance ministers were slated to discuss liberalizing trade in agriculture and textiles, a measure favoured by the U.S., and offering poorer countries more grants for their school and health systems (February 8). Focusing on the crisis in Africa, the Italians promoted initiatives to create a fund for the improvement of education and health in Africa and to open up the world's markets to African products Indeed, Francesco Olivieri, Italian sherpa and diplomatic advisor to Italian prime minister Giuliano Amato publicly declared: "We will have achieved a successful summit in Genoa if, among other things, we manage to come up with concrete and tangible progress in tackling the crisis in Africa."10 This call was echoed by Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini who, speaking in Rome, stated: "Poverty eradication requires major efforts to be deployed to deal with infrastructure, nutrition, education, health care…an access by the regions' resources to world markets."11 Yet Dini was quick to draw a strong link between development and democracy, adding that "…none of these objectives in these fields can be achieved without democratic institutions, based on respect for human dignity and fundamental human rights." Britain, as usual, was a strong supporter of this emphasis. Led by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, it called for the G8 to make a commitment to halve global poverty by the year 2015. Brown indicated the G7 finance ministers at Palermo would ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank to set targets for reducing poverty and produce plans to ensure those targets are met.

Thus poverty reduction will be a featured subject on the Summit's first evening (July 20) at the "outreach event." This will consist of a meeting with invited leaders and a dinner hosted by the G8. This dialogue will deal with the issues of development and fighting poverty. UN secretary general Kofi Annan will attend to remind G8 leaders of their commitment to reduce poverty by half by 2015. To reach that objective it is necessary to have growth in Africa of 7% per annum for a sustained period. This requires more assistance from outside and addressing some core political issues. The G8 leaders will respond to Annan's admonition by promising more effective aid, and the creation of a health fund. For success in controlling HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria would signify annual growth of 2.3 or 2.4%, an important component of the 7% target. The health initiative in itself, while valuable in its own right in saving lives, would also make a considerable difference in the much larger development crusade. It would enable countries now falling behind to could catch up. The G8 will also offer access to its markets and help with capacity building so developing countries can take advantage of the opportunities offered by the newly opened markets of the north.

At the outreach event, the G8's guest leaders from Africa will speak about their discussions in Lusaka to transform the old Organization of African Unity into a new African Union. While an important event in itself, the decision came with a courageous document declaring that it was the duty of Africans themselves to take responsibility for leading Africa out of its current crisis. Only when they have done that can they ask others outside Africa for assistance. That approach might then lead into a discussion at Genoa on conflict prevention and conflict management in Africa and how Africans must be responsible for that. In this way, the opening outreach portion of the Summit will not be just a ceremonial event with leaders reading prepared statements, in the finest traditions of the United Nations General Assembly. It will be a place for leaders to have real conversations, in the finest tradition of the G8.


Bayne, Nicholas (2000), Hanging in There: The G7 and G8 Summit in Maturity and Renewal, Ashgate, Aldershot.

Kirton, John (1999), "Explaining G8 Effectiveness," in Michael Hodges, John Kirton, and Joseph Daniels, The G8's Role in the New Millennium, Ashgate, Aldershot.

Kirton and von Furstenberg (2001), New Directions for Global Economic Governance: Managing Globalisation for the Twenty-First Century, Ashgate, Aldershot.

Appendix A: List of Remits from Okinawa 2000

G8 Communiqué

Dotforce. "We will set up a Digital Opportunities Task Force (dot force) which will be asked to report to our next meeting its findings and recommendations on global actions to bridge the international information and knowledge divide."

Poverty Reduction Report. " we look forward to receiving an annual poverty reduction report as we review progress each year in reducing poverty across the globe."

Health Stocktaking. "We will take stock of progress ((on health)) at the Genoa summit next year and will also work with the UN to organize a conference in 2001 focusing on strategies to facilitate access to AIDS treatment and care."

Renewable Energy. "We therefore call on all stakeholders to identify the barriers and solutions to elevating the level of renewable energy supply and distribution in developing countries. We invite stakeholders to join us in a Task Force to prepare concrete recommendations for consideration at our next Summit regarding sound ways to better encourage the use of renewables in developing countries."

Plutonium Disposition. "Our goal for the next summit is to develop an international financing plan for plutonium management and disposition based on a detailed project plan and a multilateral framework to coordinate this co-operation."

Note: Remits are items with a specific request to report back to leaders at the next Summit, rather than merely a specified deadline to complete work by the following year or at the time of the next Summit (as in the case of environmental assessments of export credits).

Lead-up Meetings


December -->
February 17 Finance Ministers, Palermo
February 26 Interior and Justice Ministers
April 29 Finance Ministers, Washington
July 7 Finance Ministers, Genoa
July 18-19 Foreign Ministers, Portofino, Ligurian Coast
July 20-23 Genoa Summit
October 1-3 Finance Ministers


February 1 Finance Deputies, Rome

Italy = 2000 Amato, 1999 D'Alema, 1998 Prodi, 1997 Prodi, 1996 Prodi, 1996 Moscow Dini, 1995 Dini, 1994 Silvio Berlusconi, 1993 Ciampi, 1992 Amato, 1991 Andreotti,


1 The U.S. plunge was the greatest among any of the G8 countries. The trend was evident in early March 2001, when the IMF issued growth forecasts for G7 members as follows: Canada 3.0%, Britain 2.7%, France 2.7%, Germany 2.6%, Italy 2.3%, the U.S. 1.7%, and Japan 1.0%. As this was almost the exact inverse of the members' overall GNP, it represented a strong short-term move toward equalization. However, changes in the exchange rate value of G7 currencies did not reflect this projected and emerging real growth trend. Rather, the Euro remained close to its all-time lows against the U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen held surprising strength, and a March flight to safety to the U.S. dollar, amidst fears of Japan's precarious financial system, drove the Canadian dollar toward record lows.
2 Genoa's count is U.S. 0, Japan 0, Germany 2, France 7, Italy 1, Britain 4, Canada 8, Russia 1, EU 1. Okinawa's was U.S. 0, Japan 0, Germany 2, France 7, Italy 1, Britain 4, Canada 8, Russia 1, EU 1.
3 These are 1980 C+, 1987 D, and 1994 C, as judged by Nicholas Bayne (2000: 195).
4 These are 1977 B-, 1981 C, 1989 B+, and 1993 C+ (Bayne 2000: 195).
5 His predecessor, Yoshiro Mori, steadily plunged to under 10% by February 2001, after an Okinawa G8 bounce to 30% for the approval rating of his cabinet in July 2000 and another to 28% in September.
6 The Italian newspaper Republicca had reported on February 24 that at Genoa Italy would invite 1,000 of the world's leading companies to donate $500,000. each to fight poverty in developing countries (Xinhua News Agency). As explained by then Italian Finance minister Vincenzo Visco, governments would match the contribution to create a trust fund of US$1 billion. Discussed in private by Finance ministers at Palermo, the plan met with a warm response.
7 According to Amato's Industry Minister Enrico Letta, as quoted in Reuters, February 1, 2001. Italian sherpa Francesco Olivieri confirmed that the leaders at Genoa would discuss launching another MTN round.
8 In late August 2000, in response to a request from Mike Moore, Director General of the WTO, Canada announced it was eliminating almost all tariffs on products from the least developed countries, but exempted textiles from the tariff-free list. This meant that starting September 1, 90% of product categories would enter duty free from 46 of the world's poorest countries, up from 82% previously. In addition to the annual revenue of Canadian dollars foregone by this move, Ottawa also contributed C$700,000 to a fund to integrate poor countries into global trade. Further action had come in early 2001 when the European Union announced that its 15 members would remove all barriers to imports, save arms, from all 48 countries with per capita incomes of less than US$1 a day. It called on other countries to follow its example. In deference to its farm lobby, the removal of barriers to rice, sugar, and bananas would be delayed, to 2009 for the first two commodities.
9 Just prior to Bush's announcement, at the G7 environment ministers meeting in Trieste in early March, the ministers had defined an agenda for the Genoa Summit and committed themselves to reach an accord on cutting greenhouse gas emissions during the meeting in Bonn in July.
10 March 7, 2001, Reuters.
11 March 21, 2001, Reuters.

For information please contact Madeline Koch in Italy at (39) 335 310 172 (until July 23, 2001) or in Toronto at 416 588 3833.

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