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Russia's membership in key international for a endorsed by G7

by Lynne Driscoll

Saturday , June 21, 1997, 5:00 p.m.

Integrating Russia into the global economy has surfaced as the top priority for the leaders at the Denver Summit of the Eight, according to an early communiqué. All of the G7 countries have endorsed Russia's plan to implement its EEF program with the IMF. However, Russia's entrance as a creditor in the Paris Club has yet to be agreed upon . The seven countries also agreed to facilitate the early accession of Russia to the WTO but that it must meet the same conditions as other new members. OECD membership however was not accomplished although the seven major powers stated that they look forward to Russia's progress to membership.

Absent from the document are the economic policies such as reform of international financial institutions, supervision of markets, international trade, debt relief and Chernobyl. Positions on these issues will likely be released in the G7 communiqué on Sunday.

For the first time, a reflective passage on aging societies has been included as longer life expectancies and lower birth rates have resulted in a rise in the proportion of seniors in society. According to the communiqué, a study called “Initiative for a Caring World” was put forward by the Japanese which focuses on the implications of the changing demographics. The leaders also considered ways to remove impediments to employment for seniors in some countries.

Global issues outlined in the document include the environment, infectious diseases, nuclear safety, crime, drugs and terrorism. Two new subjects in the communiqué discuss the development of an international space station and a moratorium on human cloning. The leaders agreed that there are benefits for research, agriculture and human health from cloning. However, “…we agree on the need for appropriate domestic legislation and close international cooperation to prohibit the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer to create a child, while countries explore ethical and scientific implications in greater depth.”

In the section on UN reform, the leaders support the current direction of Secretary General Kofi Annan and recommend the UN evaluate performance of its development activities in a range of “representative countries.” In the area of peacekeeping, the communiqué supports the maintenance of a rapid reaction force.

The document also includes the most substantive treatment of Africa ever seen from previous G7 Summits. The message is to promote private investment, trade market access, flows of public aid – albeit with linkage to policy choices by the Africans. “We will work with African countries to ensure adequate and well-targeted assistance for those countries which have the greatest need and carry out the necessary broad-based reforms. This assistance includes support for democratic governance and respect for human rights.

Another section of the document deals general political issues in the areas of democracy and human rights with an agreement for further work on ministerial meetings. Following up these topics are sections on the elimination of corruption, non-proliferation treaty and arms control. Referring to the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1998 the communiqué states that, “we will work together in the coming year to build on our governments' most effective democratic development, peacebuilding and human rights programs.”

In the section of land mines the leaders agreed that: “All States should adhere to the strengthened Protocol on Mines, Booby Traps and Other Devices. We encourage the international community to develop technological solutions to mine detection and clearance and to strengthen its support for humanitarian demining and assistance to mine victims.” The section also supports complementary efforts in international fora and in the formal negotiations to take place in Oslo in September through the Ottawa Process.

In the section on regional issues, Russian influences are evident with the inclusion of regional issues Iran, Iraq and Libya. “…we call on the government of Iran to desist from material and political support for extremist groups that are seeking to destroy the Middle East peace process and to destabilize the region.” The statement also calls for a rejection of terrorism and for Iran to stop endorsing the continued threat to the life of Salman Rushdie. All states are also called upon to avoid co-operating with Iran to acquire nuclear, chemical or biological weapons that violate international conventions. The group states that sanctions against Iraq and Libya will not be lifted without compliance with UN Security Council Resolutions. Afghanistan was called upon to stop its current fighting and the leaders stated that peace and stability can best be attained under UN auspices.

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