Messages to The Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit.
1 - Globalization:
- Globalization is a movement of history. It cannot be reversed, not even halted. The G8 countries and all other countries must surf on this wave and make it work for the global community.
2 - Global governance and leadership :
- The G8 exercises de facto global governance and leadership. It must do so responsibly.
- The G8 would do well to coordinate with the representative institutions and mechanisms of global governance and leadership, especially the UN and UN-related agencies, such the UNDP and the Security Council. It is hoped that the G8 meetings prepare and not preempt the meetings of these institutions.
- The G8 would do well to implement its resolutions and action plans in coordination and partnership with other international, regional and sub regional institutions and mechanisms.
3 - Debt relief :
- The debt issue must be analyzed carefully.
- The responsibilities must be assessed and the weight and contribution of each factor to the debt situation of developing countries carefully assigned.
- Resolutions and actions plans pertaining to debt relief must make such relief lasting and sustainable.
4 - Information Technology :
- The relevance of I.T to developing countries should not be underestimated.Its contribution to the resolution of development issues and challenges must not be overlooked.
- Debate on I.T at the G8 summit should not be limited to issues of concern to the G8 mainly, such as deregulation of the IT sectors.
- Nor should the debate be limited to I.T as an instrument of economic efficiency and democratic governance.
5 - Methodology:
- The pre summit global brainstorming, think tanking process for
establishing the agenda, analyzing the issues and designing the action plans are a welcome approach.
- The consultation, concertation and dialogue with non-G8 countries, the representatives of national and international civil society is a consensus building mechanism.
- The Presence, association and participation of representatives of non - G8 countries and regions is a confidence - building mechanism.
- The participative associative approach endows the G8 meetings with international support and legitimacy.
6 - The Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit:
The G8 summits have evolved over the years in composition and purpose:
- 1970's: Oil Crisis Summits, first G6 Summit at Rambouillet in France in 1975, narrow footprint of interest, zero-sum games (G7 versus OPEC).
- 1980's: Cold war Summits, zero-sum games geopolitical balance of power games (48 versus the former Soviet Union).
- 1990's: Post fall of Berlin Wall Summits, evolution towards positive sum games. Russia joins the group which becomes G8 (1998, Birmingham in the UK).
- 2000: Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit, from Balance of Power to Balance of development.
- Vision: Balance of Development:
- Peace of mind,
- peace and stability.
- Principles: Ownership, partnership and embedded
solidarity (regional within international).
- international brainstorming,
- dialogue and concertation with non G8
countries and regional and sub-regional
- dialogue with and presence of civil society
7 - Message to Japan:
- Japan, the only Asian, non-western full member of the G8, should speak and not only listen.
- Japan should speak not only for itself and Asia, but also for Africa, the Middle East and other developing countries.
- Japan should advocate the shift to a new generation of summits based on participation and transparency and concerned with geoeconomics and balance of development rather than geopolitics and balance of power.
Tokyo, July 21st, 000.
In this short presentation I will try to raise five points:
- The impact of globalisation on global governance and interest of
Developing Countries in the G8 summits.
- The distinctive characteristics of the Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit.
- Developing Countries expectations from the Kyushu-Okinawa G8
- Expectations from Japan.
- General message.
I . The impact of globalisation on global governance and interest of Developing Countries in the G8 summits:
Today we witness the emergence of an increasing number of global transnational issues and challenges. Environmental issues are such issues. These issues create a rising need for global governance.
However the governance mechanisms and institutions which have been established officially by the international community to deal with these issues are often insufficiently invested with the necessary authority or endowed with adequate resources. They are also often not conceived or organized or able to respond quickly and effectively to crises and emergencies.
In response to this situation, de facto global governance and/or leadership has been established. The G8, G77, G15, G20, INGO (International NGO such as Green Peace, etc…) has been formed.
The G8 countries account for the bulk of international trade, services, industrial production, Foreign Direct Investment, financial flows, information and technology flows, and ODA efforts in the world.
The G8 countries determine to a great extent the general orientations and dynamics of international affairs. As such their summit matters, even as they meet privately, to developing countries, to Africa, the Middle East and to the entire world.
The Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit will be the 26th anniversary of these summits. These summits have evolved over the years both in composition and in purpose.
The first summit was the 1975 Rambouillet in France held 2 years after the 1973 Oil Crisis (created by the October 1973 war between Egypt and Israel) with six countries - The United States, Japan, Germany, France and Italy, in order of economic size. Canada soon joined and Russia started participating in 1998, at the Birmingham Summit in the United Kingdom. The 25 past summits can be roughly described as follows:
1970's: Oil crisis and currency summits with a narrow footprint of interests and zero-sum game features between the G7 and other countries (mainly OPEC).
1980's: Cold War summits with the former Soviet Union, a narrow footprint zero-sum geopolitical game of balance of power between the G7 and the former Soviet Union.
1990's: Post fall of the Berlin Wall summits concerned with newly born states (the Community of Independent States), Central and Eastern Europe, Warsaw Pact, ethnicities, nationalities, and more generally the establishment of a new international order.
2000: The Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, wide foot print of interests, watershed shift in philosophy, from zero sum games to positive sum games, and from concern with balance of power to concern with balance of development, transparency and innovative participative approach to the design of the agenda and the preparation of the Summit.
II . Distinctive characteristics of the Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit:
Compared with previous G8 Summits The Kyushu-Okinawa Summit has
distinctive characteristics with regards to its agenda, its preparation, its consultation process, its participatory character, its transparency, its action orientation.
A. Its agenda: a pioneering agenda, from balance of power to balance of development:
- Development in its fullest sense is at the center of the agenda: prosperity, peace of mind, peace and stability. No G8 Summit before has focused its agendas on international development as much as the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit has.
- Original and pragmatic themes such as Information Technology and infections diseases are included in the agenda.
- The agenda is relevant to and of concern to both developed and developing countries.
B. Preparation: unprecedented advance preparation.
The Kyushu-Okinawa Summit was preceded by an advance process of fora and symposia to brain-storm and think-tank the issues, their possible solutions and all aspects of the Summit with experts from all fields and from all over the world.
C. Consultation process: a genuine participative approach.
The Japanese chair took care to generate a wide dialogue and a concertation process with both developed and developing countries from all regions of the world, directly or indirectly concerned with the summit.
No other G8 Summit in the past was preceded with as much consultation with non G8 countries or parties as the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit was.
The Japanese chair associated heads of States, Ministers and high level officials from regional and sub-regional organizations (G7, NAM, OAU, UNCTAD, ASEAN, UNCTAD, …).
The Kyushu-Okinawa Summit was from the beginning characterized by its transparency with regards to both content and procedure.
F. Action Oriented
The Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit is not over yet but from what has been done and said it is a pragmatic action-oriented summit which will come up with a clear and realistic action agenda.
G. Civil Society-Oriented.
The Japanese chair has taken great care in giving a prominent role to civil society. Representatives of national and international civil society were systematically consulted both here in Japan and abroad. They will be present at Okinawa and there will be a Japanese official especially in charge of interfacing with representatives of civil society. This may be a lesson from Seattle. However let us remember that NGO's and other representatives of civil society were also very prominent at COP III, the Kyoto Conference of the Parties on climate change in December 1997.
III . Expectations of Developing Countries from and Messages to the
Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit:
It may be too long to go into detail concerning whether and what developing countries should specifically expect from the Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit. However some issues are of clear concern to developing countries and it is hoped that the coming Summit will take these concerns into consideration. They can be summarized in telegraphic style messages as follows:
Message one: global governance and leadership
- As for individuals, freedom of expression and of association of
nations is a basic right. Countries are free to gather and consult. So
are the G8 countries. There is no real issue of legitimacy here. However whether internationally or not, the G8 countries exercise when they meet de facto governance and leadership.
- It is hoped that they do so with a sense of great responsibility.
- It is hoped that their resolutions and action plans will be drafted and designed with due regard to existing international rules and representative institutions of the global community.
- It is hoped that they will implement whatever resolutions and actions plans are adopted in partnership with the legitimate, accountable representatives of the global community at the UN and other institutions and mechanisms of representative global governance and leadership.
- It is hoped that G8 meetings resolutions and action plans prepare and consolidate and not pre-empt and contradict the meetings and action plans of the accountable representatives of the global community.
- If they do so their leadership will be enhanced.
Message 2: debt relief.
- It is hoped that G8 countries will analyse carefully the determinants of the debt situations of developing countries. They
are not all, entirely and solely due to bad debt management. They involve a grave problem of global governance. It is hoped that the responsibilities, the factors and weights of each factor will be clearly analysed and assigned. Some of the root causes and the responsibilities of the debt situations in developing countries relate to bad debt management by borrowing sovereign states. Others, relate to the deterioration of the terms of trade, extreme volatility of financial and money markets, narrow-foot printed interest and exchange rate policies by G8 countries, excessive dependence on debt financing of development (rather than foreign direct investment financing), inadequate feasibility studies, design and implementation and management of ODA financed investment projects.
Unless these issues of sovereign debt management and of global governance are addressed, there is no guaranty that debt relief will be sustainable.
Message 3: Constructive Engagement in Trade and Investment.
Developing countries in Africa and other parts of the world have often been engaged solely on the basis of their markets or their endowment in natural and mineral resources.
- It is hoped that they will also constructively be engaged on the basis of their human resources, their creative and entrepreneurship potential, and their capacities to participate and share in the opportunities offered by globalisation and by international trade and investment.
Message 4: Information Technology.
- It is hoped that the G8 will not underestimate the relevance of I.T and its potential to issues and challenges of development and to developing countries.
- It is hoped that the G8 will not be concerned only with I.T. issues relevant to G8 countries such the deregulation of the I.T sector telecommunications sector or issues of efficiency and governance
- It is hoped that the G8 will come up with a pragmatic feasible action plan for the constructive engagement of developing countries in I.T.
Message 5: Conflict resolution
Toyotomi HIDEYOSHI in 16th century Japan was able to put an end to civil strife in Japan by (1)Katana gari (control of arms), (2)Kenchi (monitoring land ownership and financial resources of warring sengoku daimyos), and (3)goshuin sen (trading ships) for international trade with Korea, China, The Philippines and South East Asia through the port of Sakai near Osaka.
- It is hoped that control of arms and illegal traffic in diamonds and other resources will be vigorously pursued and implemented.
- However there is no better cure to conflicts than a positive environment of opportunity, hope, prosperity, peace of mind and
stability. This gives people a stake in the future and the social order and in wanting to preserve them.
- It is also important to remember that when arbitraging conflicts, and playing the role of an honest broker, it is impossible to have
credibility with, authority and influence on conflicting parties when the same honest broker and arbitrageur is or is perceived to be
biased. Nor is it possible to invoke international legitimacy and the determination of upholding international will when we keep silent or even directly or indirectly condone flagrant ignorance of international will and violation of international rule of law.
Message 6: Ownership and Partnership.
- It is hoped that in drafting the resolutions and designing action plans as well as in implementing them the G8 countries will follow the principles of ownership and partnership first advocated by TICAD I in 1998.
Message 7: World Solidarity.
- Excessive imbalances and disparities in the fulfilment of basic needs and in economic development between countries and regions at the international level are detrimental to the viability and stability of the system of international affairs. With globalisation they become as unsustainable as excessive imbalances of development at the national or local levels between regions, communities or neighbourhoods. Solidarity should be a guiding value for all international initiatives, especially those concerning poverty and infectious disease eradication, natural disaster and other humanitarian relief.
- It is hoped therefore, that the G8 will advocate and promote regional solidarity imbedded in the higher principle of World Solidarity.
IV . Expectations from and messages to Japan.
Message 1: advocacy
Japan will be the only Asian, non-western full member of the G8. It is hoped that Japan will not listen only but also talk. It is hoped that Japan will talk not only for itself and for Asia, but also for Africa, the Middle East and the other developing countries.
- It is hoped that the principle and methodology of international cooperation, advance brain-storming, wide consultation, participatory association trail-blazed by the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit will be advocated as a guiding principle and methodology for all future summits.
Message 2: Cooperation of the G8 for TICAD.
Africa and African issues were marginalized by the fall of the Berlin wall and the demise of the former Soviet Union. Japan has greatly contributed by the TICAD initiative to putting Africa and African issues back on the agenda of the international community and many G7 countries. It is hoped that the G8 will decide to participate fully in the TICAD process.
Message 3: From Balance of Power to Balance of Development.
Japan has greatly contributed to putting the issue of international development, and the issues of globalisation, I.T, Education, Human Security at the center of the agenda of the Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit. No other summit before has focused on issues of international development both for G8 countries, OECD and developing countries, as the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit. The Kyushu-Okinawa Summit is the first of a new generation of Summits, after the oil crisis summits of 1970's, the Cold war Summit of the 1980's and the post fall of the Berlin Wall Summits of the 1990's: With the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, Japan has moved the G8 and possibly the international community from concern with Balance of Power to concern with Balance of Development.
- It is hoped that the new concern with Balance of Development will in turn change non-cooperative zero-sum (win-lose), geopolitical
engagements into cooperative constructive (win-win), geodevelopment engagements.
The Kyushu-Okinawa Summit is in this sense more the first Summit of the 21st century than the last Summit of the 20th century.
- It is hoped that this concern and this vision will be the underlying concern and guiding vision for all future Summits.
V . General message:
Globalisation is a movement of history. It may be slowed down or accelerated by national or international choices. It may not be reversed or even halted. The sooner we learn to live with it, the better. We may even surf on it and make it work for us all. In the
united destiny of the global village we already live in, and the crowded neighbourhood where we will live in the future, national boundaries are no longer an adequate paradigm or framework for development action. The modern and future means of transportation and communications have rendered them obsolete, just as the tall ships and the printing press have produced the commercial revolution and rendered obsolete and inadequate the walls of the 16th century city states as an economic paradigm and a governance framework. In the 16th century, intense violence and long civil strife between "Sengoku Jidai" and "Sengoku Daimyo" whether in Europe or Japan accompanied the birth of nations and of the nation-state as a substitute paradigm and framework necessary for the international environment created by the Commercial Revolution.
No such violent means are necessary to put into place the global governance paradigm to address the global issues and challenges in the new international environment created by globalisation. The example of Europe shows the way.
Geoeconomics and Balance of Development have achieved for Europe in 50 years what geopolitics and Balance of Power failed to achieve in more than 1000 years of wars which have brought Europe and the World to the brink of annihilation.
- It is hoped that the Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit and future G8 Summits will contribute and help the global community shift from zero-sum game, win-lose, destructive engagements of Balance of Power to positive-sum, win-win, constructive engagements of Balance of Development.