G7 Information Centre
Summits |  Meetings |  Publications |  Research |  Search |  Home |  About the G7 and G8 Research Group
Follow @g7_rg

Partnering for Durable Democracy:
The G8 Camp David’s Performance on the Transitions in the Middle East and North Africa

John Kirton, G8 Research Group
May 20, 2012

The G8’s Camp David leaders approached the transition in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by firmly putting the G8’s foundational values of open democracy and individual liberty first. They open this five-paragraph section of the Camp David Declaration by declaring “a year after the historic events across the Middle East and North Africa began to unfold, the aspirations of people of the region for freedom, human rights, democracy, job opportunities, empowerment and dignity are undiminished.”The G8’s Camp David leaders approached the transition in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by firmly putting the G8’s foundational values of open democracy and individual liberty first. They open this five-paragraph section of the Camp David Declaration by declaring “a year after the historic events across the Middle East and North Africa began to unfold, the aspirations of people of the region for freedom, human rights, democracy, job opportunities, empowerment and dignity are undiminished.”

If freedom came first, jobs wisely came second, in strong contrast to the economics section of the communiqué. For MENA the G8 affirmed the importance of “job opportunities,” a “thriving private sector to provide jobs,” as an “essential foundation for democratic and participatory government,” “training and training programs, and trade and investment ties for job creation.” In linking jobs and democracy in this way, the G8 got the recipe right.It importantly added a focus, commitment and mechanism on mutual accountability, to ensure the promised money was delivered, used as intended and accomplished the intended result. The money thus came with “mutual commitments and benchmarks between Afghanistan and the international community” and a “mechanism for biennial reviews of progress being made against those benchmarks through the transformation decade.”

The G8’s conception of the human rights that are a requisite for the region was an expansive one. It embraced the gender dimension — “respect the rights of women and girls.” And it extended to the “right to practise religious faith in safety and security,” a statement of solace to Coptic Christians whose lives were in danger in Egypt.The G8’s conception of the human rights that are a requisite for the region was an expansive one. It embraced the gender dimension — “respect the rights of women and girls.” And it extended to the “right to practise religious faith in safety and security,” a statement of solace to Coptic Christians whose lives were in danger in Egypt.

Once again the G8 put its money where its mouth is. In addition to the existing international instruments, it created a new transition fund, to be filled by its own and others’ finance.

Finally, the G8 showed it was with its MENA partners for the needed long haul. And South Africa a fast follow-up its asked G8 foreign ministers meeting in September to review the progress being made.

[back to top]


G7 Information Centre

Top of Page
This Information System is provided by the University of Toronto Library and the G7 and G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto.
Please send comments to: g8@utoronto.ca
This page was last updated July 06, 2012.

All contents copyright © 2017. University of Toronto unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.