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G8 Foreign Ministers' Meetings

Conclusions of G8 Foreign Ministers

9 May 1998

1. We, the Foreign Ministers of the G8 and representatives of the European Commission, met in London on 8 and 9 May 1998. Aware of the growing need to work ever more closely together to ensure a safe and prosperous world, we discussed a number of global and regional issues that are of common concern. Some issues will be taken up by our Heads of State or Government at the G8 Birmingham Summit. On others, we drew the following conclusions.

GLOBAL ISSUES

Environment

2. We fully endorse the outcome of last year's UN General Assembly review progress since the Rio Earth Summit and the conclusions of the G8 Environment Ministers' meeting at Leeds Castle. We reaffirm our commitment to sustainable development and poverty reduction as our over-riding goal and to work together in partnership with others to achieve it. We agree to provide a new impetus to global efforts to promote sustainable development by taking the following actions.

3. We have published today and commit ourselves to the implementation of an Action Programme on Forests. This sets out specific measures at the domestic and international levels to promote sustainable forest management, complementing the work of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests and other international initiatives. We underline the importance of participation and transparency in the development and implementation of practical approaches to sustainable forest management that reflect environmental, ecological, social and economic values. We look forward to working together and with other partners, including those outside government, in implementing the Action Programme and reporting back on progress in the year 2000. Recent large scale forest fires lend urgency to this task.

4. 1998 is the International Year of the Oceans. The world needs to use this year to consider how better to manage the seven-tenths of the planet covered by sea. Governments need to take actions domestically and internationally to protect the marine environment and to promote increased public awareness of its vital importance . We commit ourselves to work actively with others at the 1999 meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development for conclusions designed to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the seas, including at the regional level. As mapped out by the G8 Environment Ministers at their meeting at Leeds Castle, we shall promote greater and more co-ordinated action on marine biodiversity, including regional initiatives, notably in relation to enclosed and semi-enclosed seas and the Arctic. We welcome the intention of the United Kingdom to organise a Second London Oceans Workshop in December 1998, which can offer a focus for the preparation for CSD. We commit ourselves to renewed efforts to implement existing international agreements, including the UN Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks.

5. On Freshwater, access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, within a proper framework for integrated water-resource management, is essential to help reduce disease, improve food security and reduce poverty. Water resource management must reflect the integration of water quality and quantity with land management activities, and highlight the need for protection of eco-systems, including water resources, from pollution. Responsible water management entities, including Governments, must organise themselves at local, national, regional and global levels, to achieve these goals. We therefore commit ourselves to helping develop partnerships, including with the private sector, to apply the strategic approach to freshwater management agreed at the recent meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. We welcome the Ministerial Declaration that was adopted at the Paris Conference on Water and Sustainable Development in March, and emphasise the importance of following up its programme for priority actions.

6. We recognise that national strategies are an essential tool of policy making by bringing together the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainable development. We commit ourselves to working with developing countries to help put in place relevant sustainable development strategies by 2002 and to have implementation underway by 2005.

7. We pledge our support to the new Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and look forward to a revitalised role for UNEP as the leading global environment authority.

8. We welcome the successful US $2.75 billion replenishment of the Global Environment Facility and reaffirm our commitment to it as the principal funding mechanism for promoting global environmental benefits.

9. We welcome the success of the first Rome Conference of the Parties to the Desertification Convention and encourage its full implementation.

10. We recognise the need to take action on the problems persistent organic pollutants pose to human health and the environment, and welcome the beginning of negotiations in Montreal in June on a multilateral legal instrument. We recognise the need to address the problems some developing countries will face in reducing and phasing out the use of certain persistent chemicals.

11. Building on efforts in the OECD on taking environmental factors into account when providing official export credits, we encourage further work by the OECD to this end and ask for a report back next year.

Nuclear Safety

12. Nuclear safety is a top priority. As our Energy Ministerial colleagues confirmed when they met in April, we intend to meet in full our commitments at the 1996 Moscow Summit on Nuclear Safety and Security. This will involve our active and constructive participation in the work of the international conventions on the safety of nuclear power installations and spent fuel and radioactive waste management. We discussed the situation at Reactor No. 1 of the Kursk nuclear power plant. We agreed on the necessity of the full observation of all the provisions of the Nuclear Safety Account Agreement. We noted that the Russian authorities have invited an EBRD team to examine jointly with Gosatomnadzor the safety conditions of the reactor in the middle of May, and that they have undertaken that any further operation of the reactor prior to the completion of the indepth safety review should comply with the recommendations of both authorities. It is also important to continue developing and implementing national and international nuclear liability regimes. We welcome the adoption of the Protocol to amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage and the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage.

13. We shall continue to work closely together to help the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States to improve nuclear safety. Full implementation of the agreements reached under the auspices of the Nuclear Safety Account since 1993 remains a high priority. As to Chernobyl and the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding, good progress has been made in establishing the new international fund to finance a major programme to make the sarcophagus safe. Over half of the $760m required has been raised and the first projects are about to get under way. We urge the countries which have not yet pledged funds to consider joining the 18 countries and the European Union which have already done so, thereby helping to ensure that this important project can be completed by 2006. We also emphasise that contributions by other donors called for at the Denver Summit are necessary.

UN Issues

14. The UN has our firm backing in maintaining international peace and security, and in promoting sustainable development. We continue to support thorough-going institutional reform with the goal of strengthening the UN system. Last summer we, along with the overwhelming majority of our fellow UN members, welcomed Kofi Annan's wide-ranging proposals. We are pleased to see several already in force – particularly the new Development Group, the appointment of Louise Frechette as the UN's first Deputy Secretary-General, and the improvement of management practices across the system.

15. But there is still much to do. The main responsibility lies with member states. We will work for agreement of Kofi Annan's remaining recommendations, among them results-based budgeting, sunset provisions, greater coherence in the field, and recycling efficiency savings back into high priority development programmes. We will also encourage further streamlining, especially of ECOSOC subsidiaries, better co-ordination within the UN and stronger links with civil society and other international institutions.

16. The UN continues to have serious financial problems. We must find a solution which includes full and timely payment of obligations, and development of a more logical and more equitable scale of assessment.

17. The G8 attaches great importance to conflict prevention: we support Kofi Annan's moves to enhance UN capabilities in this area, to integrate human rights concerns into all such activities, and to develop close links with regional organisations. We will offer increased support for his conflict prevention efforts.

18. We welcome the Secretary-General's recommendations on addressing conflict in Africa, as well as efforts by member states, under the aegis of the UN, to work with African states to enhance their peacekeeping capacity and expand the role of the Organisation for African Unity and African subregional organisations in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, within the context of the UN Charter. We reaffirm the importance of the UN's co-ordinating role in demining.

19. Violent conflicts often have roots in social and economic injustice. Trade, aid and economic reform programmes should take account of this. When violence ends, the Security Council should support the transition from military peacekeeping operations to peacebuilding and reconstruction. UN civilian police, with human rights field officers, have a key role to play in this, protecting human rights and rebuilding democracy. However, there is a need for better training and rapid deployment. We reaffirm the importance of UNDPA's role as the UN focal point for peacebuilding.

20. Perpetrators of atrocities must not be left unpunished. Bringing them to justice will deter others. We strongly support the creation of a credible and effective International Criminal Court. Because it is important that the Court enjoy participation of a large number of states from all regions of the world, we call on all states to ensure a successful outcome to the forthcoming Rome Conference.

Non-Proliferation, arms control and disarmament

21. In pursuit of our shared non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament objectives, we are committed to action in the following areas:

22. We remain committed to tackling the continuing risks of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles capable of delivering them. We will work to ensure the success of the strengthened review process for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). We will continue to support the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention in a cost-effective way and we call for the ratification of, or accession to, the Convention by all States which are not yet Parties to it. We urge all those who have not yet done so to adhere to the NPT and to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We will continue to provide full support to UNSCOM and the IAEA's efforts to eliminate Iraq's WMD programmes and monitor compliance with relevant UNSCRs. We remain committed to the immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. We will also continue to look forward to the entry into force of START II and the beginning of negotiations on START III. We welcome the work in progress on adaptation of the CFE treaty to take account of the changes in Europe and look forward to the conclusion of the negotiations. We reaffirm our commitment to all States Parties' obligations under Article VI of the NPT.

23. We remain concerned about the potentially destabilising effect of accumulations of conventional weapons in regions of tension. We see merit in promoting further practical disarmament measures for the consolidation of peace in areas that have suffered from conflict. We encourage continuing efforts by interested states in this direction, in particular at the United Nations, and reaffirm the importance of transparency and responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies. We therefore reiterate our full support for the objectives of the Wassenaar Arrangement. We also reaffirm our commitment to the improvement of the UN Register of Conventional Arms. In addition, we will pursue in the appropriate fora the problem of small arms proliferation. We support the recommendations of the UN Panel of Governmental Experts on Small Arms, encourage their implementation, and request the UN to consider further action to address the issue. We recognise the threat posed to civil aviation by the criminal use of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MAN PADS), and call for further work to be done to address this problem.

Anti-personnel landmines

24. The opening for signature of the Ottawa Convention was a significant step towards a world free of anti-personnel landmines. We encourage universal fulfillment of its objectives. We note that it will enter into force at an early date. We welcome the contributions made by various bans, moratoria and other restrictions that address the humanitarian impact of landmines. We urge all countries to make further progress towards this goal through signature and ratification of the relevant international agreements, for example through the Ottawa Convention and through Amended Protocol II of the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons, and by pursuing complementary work at international and regional fora, recognising the special importance of the UN Conference on Disarmament. We encourage the international community to cooperate more effectively in its demining efforts towards the goal of zero victims, including through the newly constituted United Nations Mine Action Service, and to strengthen efforts to ensure effective assistance to and the long term rehabilitation of mine victims.

Democracy and human rights

25. In this 50th Anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) we pay tribute to all those who work to defend and protect human rights. We are strongly committed to strengthening democratic values, good governance and the rule of law throughout the world. Human rights are universal and we call upon all states to refrain from denying human rights and fundamental freedoms to individuals because of nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, opinion or language.

26. We will continue to promote the universal implementation of human rights and fundamental freedoms. We will:

Terrorism

27. We reaffirm our determination to combat terrorism in all its forms, irrespective of motive, to oppose any concession to terrorist demands and to promote coordinated international action against this evil. We welcome the substantial progress made to combat terrorism by implementing the 25 measures adopted by the G8 in 1996, and the additional steps agreed at the Denver Summit, including the adoption of the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. We are taking the following steps to enhance international cooperation: requesting all governments to ratify the eleven international counter-terrorism conventions by 2000; negotiating a draft UN Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism; exchanging summaries of G8 national crisis management procedures; promoting consultation, cooperation and joint action with other states; and exchanging information on new or growing threats, including those from chemical and biological terrorism.

28. We endorse our experts' report and identify the following priority areas for further action:

Infectious Diseases

29. The impact of infectious and parasitic diseases continues to cause concern. The G8 is committed to helping countries respond to these challenges, for example through strengthening national health sectors, improving surveillance capacity, developing strategies to reduce the threat of anti-microbial drug resistance through suitable drug use policies and development of alternative interventions, and improving disease resistance in children through appropriate micronutrient fortification. Experts from G8 countries and WHO will meet later this month to review current surveillance systems throughout the world, and examine options for assisting WHO as it helps to develop global surveillance networks.

30. We note with renewed concern the UNAIDS estimate that over 30 million people are now living with HIV/AIDS. Prevention measures must remain a priority. We will continue to work with those countries which bear the heaviest burden of the disease, to develop and disseminate cost effective mechanisms which will decrease the rate of HIV infection and the suffering it causes. A vaccine remains the ultimate goal and G8 countries will take forward scientific co-operation in the development of an effective and affordable vaccine.

Intellectual property-related crime

31. We recognise that intellectual property related crime, such as piracy and counterfeiting, is a major and growing problem which should be of concern to all. We agree on the importance of effective action against such crime in our own countries and of the need to encourage other countries to meet the demanding enforcement provisions of the WTO TRIPS agreement as soon as possible so that there are real reductions in the level of piracy and counterfeiting worldwide. We agree to explore opportunities for better co- operation and exchange of information between governments and intellectual property rights holders so as to facilitate more effective enforcement of intellectual property rights.

REGIONAL ISSUES

Bosnia and Herzegovina

32. Peace and reconciliation in Bosnia which is directly linked to security in Europe remains a top priority of the G8 countries' foreign policy. We welcome the progress achieved on implementation of the Dayton/Paris Peace Agreement in Bosnia and, in particular, in Republika Srpska following President Plavsic's and Prime Minister Dodik's move towards peace implementation and cooperation with the international community. But we also remind all signatories to the Dayton/Paris Peace Agreement that any attempt to obstruct or reverse the Peace Process will carry severe consequences. The resolution and co-ordinated approach of the international community, together with that of the High Representative, is proving decisive. We encourage the High Representative to continue taking an active role in the Bosnian Peace Process, using all the authority given to him under the Dayton/Paris Peace Agreement and by the Peace Implementation Conference. The future of the peace process will largely depend on the willingness of the Bosnian authorities themselves to fulfil their commitments to move the peace process forward and build a prosperous and democratic Bosnian state with two pluralist and multi-ethnic Entities. 1998 is a critical year for peace implementation, in particular for all the questions associated with refugee return, freedom of movement, and for the elections held across Bosnia in September. More progress is now also needed on building the central institutions, police reform, economic reform and cooperation with the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. We therefore welcome SFOR's efforts to maintain a secure environment and provide support to civilian implementation. We urge the leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina to cooperate fully with OHR, UNHCR, OSCE, IPTF and other international agencies to achieve the necessary goals and reaffirm our willingness to assist those who do.

Croatia

33. We call on the Croatian Government, and all other parties concerned, to comply fully with all commitments of the Dayton/Paris Peace Agreement, and with commitments made regarding Eastern Slavonia, and to engage constructively and energetically in international efforts to secure the return of all refugees and displaced persons to their former homes in Croatia and throughout the region, regardless of ethnicity or current residence. We draw particular attention to the need for progress on democratisation in Croatia, especially on improved election laws and increased media freedom.

Kosovo

34. We are deeply concerned by the increasing violence and growing polarisation in Kosovo, and in particular the excessive use of force by the Serbian forces. We reject absolutely terrorism and the supply of arms to terrorists, and the use of violence by armed extremists as a means of bringing about political change. We are firmly opposed to independence for Kosovo and to a continuation of the unacceptable status quo; and we support an enhanced status and autonomy for Kosovo. It is Belgrade's primary responsibility as the government to seek a negotiated solution and to ensure adherence to the rule of law, the protection of all citizens and the safeguarding of human and civil rights.

35. We call on the authorities in Belgrade and the Kosovo Albanian leadership urgently to begin a process of dialogue without preconditions on either side, and for Belgrade to accept international involvement in the negotiations. We also fully support the engagement of Felipe Gonzalez as the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and the Special Representative of the EU for the FRY and urge the authorities in Belgrade to co-operate fully with him.

36. Finding a political solution in Kosovo through dialogue is in the interest of all the people in the region. We stand ready to promote a clear and achievable path toward Belgrade's full integration in the international community. However, in the light of Belgrade's failure to start a dialogue to bring about a political solution in Kosovo, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Commission have agreed to implement the decision by members of the Contact Group to freeze funds held abroad by the FRY and Serbian Governments and to stop new investments in Serbia. Japan supports this approach and will study possible action. Other countries are encouraged to take similar action. The Russian Federation does not associate itself with these measures.

37. The international community and we, the G8, have made great efforts to bring about peace in Bosnia and the wider region. We are determined to work with the relevant international organisations to address the growing problem of refugees and displaced persons in this region. We are committed to working together to enhance the security of all the states in the region, and to upholding the principle of inviolability of borders.

Albania

38. We welcome the commitment of the Albanian Government to restore law and order, to undertake political and economic reform, and to contribute to regional stability. We support Albania's territorial integrity. We pledge our full support to helping Albania recover from the unrest of last year, and encourage the International Financial Institutions and other international agencies to assist in this progress. We reiterate that ultimate responsibility rests with the Albanians themselves and urge all sides - Government and opposition - to work together to this end.

Cyprus

39. We reiterate our support for the UN's efforts to find a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN resolutions and the high level agreements. We call upon the parties to resume the direct talks under the auspices of the UN. We urge all concerned to work for a settlement on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. We are concerned that new developments in the military sphere, including any increase in force levels and the upgrading of sophisticated weaponry, may risk further raising tension in this already unstable region. We particularly urge the governments of Greece and Turkey to promote good neighbourly relations between them, and to work for the peaceful settlement of their bilateral disputes.

Middle East Peace Process

40. We are deeply concerned at the lack of progress in the Middle East Peace Process. We note and commend all efforts to move the process forward, including by the US at the recent talks in London. We call upon all parties to pursue with renewed vigour negotiations leading to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace which must include security for all in the region. Such negotiations must be based on the full implementation of existing commitments and on the principles of land for peace, as enshrined in UNSC resolutions 242 and 338 and agreed at Madrid and Oslo. On the Israeli-Palestinian track, we further urge the parties to implement existing agreements, to pursue confidence building measures and to refrain from unilateral acts which predetermine the final status negotiations and undermine confidence. Final status negotiations should resume as soon as possible. We support a reinvigoration of the multilateral track of the peace process and the efforts of the multilateral working groups to address regional issues. We are also determined to work with Israel, Syria and Lebanon to bring about a resumption of progress towards a comprehensive settlement. We continue to support the positive role of the Israel-Lebanon Monitoring Group in reducing the risks to civilians in Southern Lebanon and in Israel. Sustained economic development and improved living standards for the Palestinian people are a real factor in securing peace and enhancing stability in the region.

Iran

41. We welcome recent encouraging political developments in Iran: its ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention, its stated commitment to develop a civil society based on the rule of law, including greater freedom of speech, and Iran's interest in pursuing a more positive relationship with its neighbours, in the region and with the outside world. We urge Iran to build on this and play a more constructive role in world affairs. We call on Iran to adopt a more positive approach to the Middle East Peace Process and not to support groups that use violent means against it; to take further measures to ensure the human rights of all Iranian citizens, including the Bahai and other communities; to stand by its stated condemnation of all forms of terrorism against anyone anywhere; and to ensure that the threat against the life of Salman Rushdie and those associated with his work is removed. We further call on Iran to respect the international conventions or arrangements it has signed regarding the development of weapons of mass destruction and urge all states to avoid providing assistance to Iran that might contribute to its ability to develop these weapons or missile capabilities in violation of international conventions or arrangements.

Iraq

42. We reaffirm our determination to obtain full compliance with all UN Security Council resolutions related to Iraq. We are determined to ensure the swift, full and effective implementation of arrangements for providing increased humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people under UNSCR 1153, and call on the Iraqi government to cooperate fully with the UN in this effort and with the UN Special Rapporteur. We commend the UN Secretary General's efforts in obtaining in the Memorandum of Understanding Iraq's commitment to providing full, unconditional and immediate access to UNSCOM and the IAEA in carrying out their UNSC mandate. We welcome the inspections of Presidential sites carried out so far under the arrangements agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding as noted above, and take note that they were achieved on the whole in a satisfactory way with only minor incidents. We look forward to the full implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding and to Iraqi compliance with its obligations under UNSCR 1154. We note that any violation by Iraq would have severest consequences. We regret Iraq's failure so far to comply with its relevant obligations and we note that full compliance with the relevant Resolutions would allow the process of lifting sanctions to begin.

Algeria

43. The continuing violence in Algeria is a cause for serious concern. We condemn unreservedly all acts of terrorism and call on those responsible to bring the violence to an immediate end. We welcome Algeria's commitment to human rights and democracy and the government's efforts to strengthen further democratic institutions. In this regard, visits by UN Special Rapporteurs and greater access for journalists and NGOs would make an important contribution to transparency and openness. We hope the Algerian Government will move ahead quickly, further strengthening the democratic process as well as pursuing the economic reforms to which it is committed.

Afghanistan

44. We fully support the United Nations' efforts to seek a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan and endorse the view of the "six plus two" group that the war must be brought to a rapid close. It is our conviction that there is no military solution to the conflict. We are encouraged by the recent UN efforts to promote direct dialogue. We hope that this dialogue will be substantive and will soon result in a peaceful settlement and establishment of a broad-based, multi-ethnic representative government. All factions must refrain from further military offensives. It is essential that all countries with influence on the parties support the UN's efforts and work to halt the supply of arms and materials to the factions from outside Afghanistan. We also call on all Afghan factions to end the appalling human rights abuses in Afghanistan, including discrimination against women and girls; to reduce substantially the production, trafficking and abuse of drugs; and to halt all support for foreign terrorists. We urge all the Afghan factions, and particularly the Taliban, to ensure a cooperative climate for the indispensable work of international humanitarian organisations.

Cambodia

45. Free and fair elections are indispensable to restoring representative government and political stability in Cambodia. We welcome recent positive developments, such as the return of Prince Ranariddh to Cambodia on 30 March and the return of King Sihanouk, whose role remains central to the proper functioning of Cambodia's institutions. We further welcome the efforts undertaken by the members of ASEAN, Japan and the other Friends of Cambodia countries. We remain willing to provide electoral assistance subject to acceptable conditions on the ground. However, serious concerns remain. We call for all parties and political figures to be permitted to participate in the electoral process, and for all sides to respect the result of the elections. We encourage all fighting forces to implement fully the ceasefire as soon as possible. We attach the utmost importance to the respect of human rights, and we urge the Cambodian authorities to investigate human rights abuses, including those catalogued by the United Nations, and to bring the guilty to justice without further delay.

Myanmar/Burma

46. We remain concerned at the political and economic situation in the country and at continuing widespread human rights abuses, particularly in ethnic minority areas, and the cross-border attacks on refugees in camps in Thailand. We call on the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to tackle these issues as a matter of urgency, notably by engaging in substantive political dialogue with national minorities and leaders of the democracy movement, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, for the purpose of establishing democracy. We also call on the SPDC to take further concrete action to eliminate the production and trafficking of illicit drugs and to participate more actively in regional and international drug control efforts.

Korean Peninsula

47. We endorse North/South dialogue and the Four-Party process aimed at achieving peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. We reaffirm our support for the US-DPRK Agreed Framework and to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organisation, and underline the importance of North Korea complying fully with all its non-proliferation obligations. We have provided substantial emergency food aid to North Korea and will continue to encourage the government of North Korea to take measures to address the basic causes of the food shortages and allow adequate monitoring of food shipments to be allowed.

Great Lakes Region

48. The destabilising impact of the continuing conflict in the Great Lakes region remains a major concern to the international community. We condemn all politically and ethnically-motivated killings, which risk renewed genocide, and welcome steps to stem the violence such as the reactivation of the UN Arms Flow Commission. We urge the governments and people of Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to address the causes of conflict, through a process of dialogue and through justice, rejection of violence, reconciliation and capacity-building, to create strengthened democratic institutions and processes, including accountable and representative governments. In this regard, the review by an international panel of eminent persons of the genocide in Rwanda and surrounding events, as proposed by the Organisation of African Unity, should help regional governments and the international community identify ways forward. We commend the continuing efforts of those in the region to promote stability, democracy and prosperity and stand ready to assist these efforts. We deplore the fact that conditions made it impossible for the UN Secretary General's investigative team to continue and we urge the Democratic Republic of the Congo to cooperate in international investigation of human rights violations.

Nigeria

49. Transition to a credible civilian democratic administration is imperative so that Nigeria can fulfil its true potential in the international community and its important role in the future of Africa. We note that even from the five Government-approved political parties only a single presidential nomination has yet emerged. We underscore that in Africa, as elsewhere, a credible transition requires that those who have an alternative view on the succession to the current leadership should be able to make nominations, organise freely, campaign and take their case to the Nigerian people. We remain deeply concerned about continued human rights abuses, including the detention of leaders and other pro-democracy activists, as well as the harassment of journalists and human rights groups. We call on the Nigerian regime to take immediate steps to release all political prisoners, to restore respect for human rights and the rule of law and to recognise the great importance which the international community attaches to early progress on these issues.

Angola

50. Taking note of certain positive changes in the peace process, we call on all the Angolan parties to implement fully within the previously agreed dates all the provisions of the bilateral agreements, the timetable of the settlement and corresponding Security Council resolutions. We support the efforts to that end of the “troika”, of the UN Security Council, and of the UN Secretary General and his Special Representative in Angola.

Somalia

51. We are concerned at the situation of conflict in Somalia, marked by a lack of legal authority and the obstruction of humanitarian aid and rehabilitation. We support the coordinated efforts of the countries of the sub-region through the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), backed up by the IGAD partners and other interested countries and international and regional organisations, to promote peace, stability and institutional reconstruction in Somalia.


Source: Released at the Foreign Ministers Meeting, London, England, May 9, 1998


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