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Kyushu-Okinawa Summit from Balance of Power to Balance of Development

Paper by
His Excellency Mr. Salah Hannachi
Ambassador of The Republic of Tunisia to Japan
for the 2000 G8 Pre-Summit Public Policy Conference, The Kyushu-Okinawa Summit: A G8-Developing Country Dialogue, July 17, 2000, United Nations University, Tokyo


Messages to The Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit.

1 - Globalization:

2 - Global governance and leadership :

3 - Debt relief :

4 - Information Technology :

5 - Methodology:

6 - The Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit:

The G8 summits have evolved over the years in composition and purpose:

  1. Vision: Balance of Development:
    1. prosperity,
    2. Peace of mind,
    3. peace and stability.
  2. Principles: Ownership, partnership and embedded solidarity (regional within international).
  3. Methodology:
    • international brainstorming,
    • dialogue and concertation with non G8 countries and regional and sub-regional organizations.
    • dialogue with and presence of civil society at Okinawa.

7 - Message to Japan:

Tokyo, July 21st, 000.


In this short presentation I will try to raise five points:

  1. The impact of globalisation on global governance and interest of Developing Countries in the G8 summits.
  2. The distinctive characteristics of the Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit.
  3. Developing Countries expectations from the Kyushu-Okinawa G8 Summit.
  4. Expectations from Japan.
  5. 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:

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.

D. Participation:

The Japanese chair associated heads of States, Ministers and high level officials from regional and sub-regional organizations (G7, NAM, OAU, UNCTAD, ASEAN, UNCTAD, …).

E. Transparency:

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

Message 2: debt relief.

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.

Message 4: Information Technology.

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.

Message 6: Ownership and Partnership.

Message 7: 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.

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.

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.

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