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April 19, 2007
Presented by the G8 Research Group
in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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which we will do our best pass on to the sherpas.
John Kirton: Welcome. I'm John Kirton of the G8 Research Group [interruption].
David Mulroney: It's a pleasure to be here with Paul Hunt, who in addition to being the personal representative for Africa and the head of our work on Africa is someone with a deep reserve of experience on the continent and a valued colleague for all of us. [interruption]
I must give full disclosure I am yet to attend my first sherpa meeting. I have come over from the PCO, and it's a big part of my life. The other part of my life is working on Afghanistan, working with CIDA and other agencies. There are some connections ... [I do have experience with] other summits I spent five years as senior official for APEC and was at St. Petersburg last year, sitting in a different chair.
Paul will talk a bit about recent meetings, in particular with the development ministers, but I want to use the bulk of the time available today to get your views and [interruption].
Summits are an opportunity to lever advantage for Canada, to mobilize resources on issues we consider important. Support for multilateral institutions comes in handy as the G8 often uses them to [interruption].
We want to make progress on global issues, whether by setting direction by policy or by collective action. It would be helpful to get some feedback on progress you think we have made.
[Two issues are] significant under the German presidency: the theme of growth and responsibility, of individual nations as stakeholders in goals and prosperity. Growth and prosperity in the global economy and the other growth and responsibility on Africa. The key framework supporting prosperity that Germany wants to address includes global imbalances, combating investment protectionism, being aware of the social dimensions of globalization and increasing prosperity and development by facilitating private sector flows, enhanced by a legal regulatory framework.
David Mulroney : Plus encore que les années précédentes les G8 peux apprécier que vous et d'autre pays importants y compris les cinq pays invités au dialogue dans le soutien de la croissance. Il y a probable comment quand il insistera moins sur les paramètres financières que sur un modèle de collaboration a fit de porter prenant de la santé de la communauté mondiale. On s'entend également est-ce que les engagements précèdents soit soumis à un examen minitieux, notamment ceux que nous avons pris sur les questions de développement.
Before turning over to Paul Hunt, the other point that I'd like to make, in addition to stressing that today we do want to be in the listening mode we will certainly answer questions but it's a great opportunity for us to do the kind of outreach that inevitably underpins a successful engagement for Canada. But also to remind that this is, as I said earlier, a summit of individual leaders. So while officials and others can prepare groundwork and prepare an agenda, leaders lead. They take decisions, they shape outcomes, they expect a high level of ambition. But at the end of the day it is they who determine the outcome of the summit. So we're preparing. I think the term ÒsherpaÓ comes from one who perhaps carries some of the equipment partway up the mountain, but the Hillarys are the leaders, and we need to remember that this is all in preparation. This is prospective. But in the dynamic of leaders sitting down, decisions are made. Agendas are sometimes changed. Leaders respond to what's happening in the world around them, what's happening in their economies and their societies. And that's the beauty of a successful summit. If the conditions can be created for the leaders to engage at that level, good things happen, and we're certainly looking forward to that at Heiligendamm.
With that let me turn it over to Paul Hunt to talk about growth and responsibility in Africa.
Paul Hunt: Merci beaucoup, David. J'aimerais me rejoindre à vous en exprimant notre appréciation à John et son équipe mais aussi à vous dans la pièce et travers le pays pour cet occasion de dialoguer avec vous ce après-midi. Comme David a bien dit moi, j'ai assume les fonctions de la représentant personnel pour l'Afrique pour le début de ce cycle du sommet du G8 en Allemagne au début de l'année et j'avais eu l'occasion d'assister au dernier rencontre du Africa Partnership Forum à Moscou à l'automne passé et qui été débuté cette année en février à Berlin sous le leadership de la ministre allemand.
For those of us that work inside government and work on Africa it's a real treat to be here and also to have the chance to speak with you. For those of you that work on this file and bring the strength and commitment of your organizations and your constituencies to the work in Africa I'm very pleased to be with you.
I think it's fair to say that Canada welcomes the emphasis that the German G8 presidency has put on Africa this year, and I see that in the sessions that I go to and the support coming from other Africa personal representative colleagues that the German presidency has really committed to a broad and very aggressive discussion on Africa.
You'll remember that Africa launched the New Partnership for Africa Development in 2001, and the G8 responded enthusiastically to that. That took place in Kananaskis in 2002 and with the formulation of what was the called the G8 Africa Action Plan. This document set out a wide range of commitments by G8 leaders which represented a comprehensive response to the priorities we found in that document. G8 members and other development partners welcome NEPAD for a number of reasons. NEPAD was conceived by progressive African leaders and was clearly African owned. It recognized Africa must assume leadership for addressing the challenges facing the continent. It acknowledge that improving governance in Africa was key in overcoming these challenges and it called for a partnership with the broader international community and emphasized mutual accountability between African governments and development partners.
Africa has remained prominent on the G8 agenda since that time, and in subsequent summits G8 leaders have reiterated their commitments to the NEPAD partnership and pledged further undertakings in support of it. The Gleneagles Summit in 2005 particularly placed the African partnership at the centre of its agenda and pledged further summit, and at all G8 summits since 2000 all G8 leaders have been an important part of outreach events by the hosts.
The summit last year in St. Petersburg did not have a specific focus on Africa, However, the main themes of that summit education, infectious diseases and energy security all had strong relevance to Africa.
The Heiligendamm Summit will take place five years after the launch of the G8 Africa Action Plan. During this time significant progress has been made by Africans toward implementing the NEPAD principles and developing programs in priority areas. Successes include a reduction in the number of conflicts, in most cases with the African leaders and the AU playing a leadership role. These successes also include a broad trend toward free and fair elections, an increase in economic growth within the continent and often on average exceeding more than 5% per annum.
Another success has been the African peer review mechanism, which was launched with nearly half the countries on the countries signing on to this bold and innovative initiative. Three countries have completed their review and several more are under way. The implementation of the APRM, however, demonstrates the strong commitment of progressive African leaders and governments to address their countries' shortcomings in the area of governance. Partners including Canada and other G8 members have scaled up their support to the continent, and this is reflected for example in the increased level of development assistance, debt relief and extensive support for the African Union in the development of its capacity to prevent and resolve conflicts.
Despite these broadly positive trends, challenges remain. The ongoing tragedy in Darfur, the recent upheaval in Somalia exemplify that the continued challenges in achieving peace and security, improving governance and meeting the Millennium Development Goals need further hard work both by Africa and by being accompanied by the international community.
It's Canada's hope that the Heiligendamm Summit can provide renewed impetus to the NEPAD partnership. The overall theme of the Africa discussion at the Heiligendamm Summit will be growth and responsibility in Africa, in effect taking the chapeau themes for the G8 summit as a whole and discussing them in the context of the continent. Under this broad heading the summit will focus on four discussion areas: one, fostering investment and sustainable economic growth; the second, strengthening governance; the third, promoting peace and security; finally, improving health systems and combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
I expect the G8 leaders will very much seek to build on existing commitments and consider how they can inject some new momentum into the partnership, specifically in these four areas.
The summit's African focus will be informed by a progress report on the implementation of G8 commitments to Africa by the Africa personal representatives, which we will prepare for G8 leaders. I'm currently working with my counterparts in other G8 capitals along with our sherpas and our sous sherpas to prepare a balanced report that takes stock of how we are doing. The report will highlight both areas of progress and those where we collectively need to redouble our efforts to fulfil our commitments.
The G8 leaders consideration of the partnership with Africa will also be informed by a meeting of the African Partnership Forum, which will be held in Germany in Berlin on May 22 and 23, two weeks before the summit. The African Partnership Forum was a vehicle established in 2003 to monitor the NEPAD partnership. It includes 20 African countries, representative of NEPAD and G8 and other OECD and development partners. The timing of the African Partnership Forum meeting will allow senior representatives from Africa to feed into the summit process. I think this gesture on the part of the German presidency was extremely well received after the Moscow African Partnership Forum that I attended, in that it gave the opportunity to bring that conversation and dialogue on Africa into a pre-summit environment, and our African partners definitely saw that as something they saw as beneficial and wanted to engage in.
The summit will also be informed by the recent meeting of the G8 development ministers, which was held last month in Berlin, and which I attended on behalf of Minister Josée Werner, the minister of international co-operation. If I were to summarize the two main elements that came out of that meeting, where we discussed these four themes at a fairly high level, there were two innovative interventions. One was an effort to include in the conversation on Africa the Outreach Five countries that are being invited to participate in the overall conversations around this year's summit. That led to some very interesting dialogue with Brazil, India, China, Mexico and South Africa in the way that they not only have grown and developed and are starting to emerge as regional and global economies but also the role they're playing in terms of international development around the world, and particularly in Africa. It was an effort to have a constructive engagement with them around how they were working, the kinds of things they're attempting to work on and to encourage them to work in collaboration with not only the G8 but also other international partners as they worked on these international development initiatives.
The second dimension that was innovation was the German presidency invited a select group of African continental and sub-regional institutions. It was the first time in both cases that these constituencies were brought together into a room with G8 members around the table, where we actively talked about issues of concern for Africa, linked to NEPAD, progress on the continent, challenges that remain. For that for example we had the AU peace and security commissioner, who spoke to us about progress on peace and security from the African perspective. We had representatives of some of the sub-regional economic and co-operation organizations ECOWAS and SADAC. And it was a full and rich conversation and led to basically a commitment by everyone around the table that these things were worth repeating and holding on a regular basis and on some focused issues in order to try to create opportunity and momentum around key subjects.
So I every much see the next steps will be in addition to the African Partnership Forum, meeting of the Africa personal representatives on the margins of that in May as we head into the final days of preparation for the summit, and I look very much forward to the conversation today with you in terms of listening to the things that you're interested in, some of the points you might want see reflected or brought into the conversation in the coming weeks as we work to prepare to support the Canadian delegation at the summit.
John Kirton: Yes.
Madeline Koch [paraphrased]: Hi, I'm Madeline. I just want to welcome our audiences from the cities, and apologize for some of the technical difficulties that resulted in some of David's comments not being transmitted.
David Mulroney: I understand it's now available on YouTube.
Madeline Koch: And I'd like to remind those of us here in Ottawa to remember to press the “touch” button on their microphones. Sorry for the inconvenience, everyone.
John Kirton: Let's begin immediately. Do remember to identify yourself and your organization.
Ron Labonté, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa: Can people hear me as I sort of lean over and I hope this won't take from my one minute. Ron Labonté, I have a Canada Research Chair in globalization and health equity here at the University of Ottawa and recently just completed chairing the Globalization Knowledge Network for the World Health Organization on its Commission on Social Determinants of Health. The final report is now under review. I'm going to draw on that to basically pose a question that has mostly to do with redistribution issues at an international level. It was really nice in 2005 that all these promises about increased development assistance were made and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative but as we know OECD-DAC points out that in 2005 most of the increase went to debt cancellation, went to Iraq and to Nigeria, and in 2006 net ODA transfers decreased and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative is at the expense of new aid dollars so there's no conditionality. Now, taking that into account, plus the fact that most sub-Saharan Africa nations, even with the most optimistic growth figures, are 25 or 30 years away from creating a taxable revenue base for their own health or essential public services, what position will Canada take on the growing concern that there ahs to be multiyear, sustainable forms of transfers to these countries for essential health and public services, and that there is no short way around that way in terms of growth and trade, etc. etc., even in terms of direct investments. That's the first part. Second, is what's the position with respect to the outright cancellations of debts that would be considered odious under international law and the third is what is with respect to looking at trade and negotiations on non-agricultural market access recognizing that tariffs at this time remain one of the major sources of revenue and until the countries have alternative forms of taxable revenue, that tariff reduction comes at the cost of public revenue for investment in health and public services, and will Canada support a much looser form of tariff reduction in those particular talks and trade agreements.
John Kirton: Second one, yes.
Labib Ali: Labib Ali from Results Canada. First, a big thanks to Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Hunt for joining us and a big, big thanks for John and Madeline for hosting the session yet again and their team at the University of Toronto. I will try to make my comment relate to the three parties that Mr. Mulroney established in the beginning. I'd like to talk about the Global Fund very quickly. You had asked where progress has been made. We're happy to report today that after being launched by the G8 the Global Fund, despite some growing pains, has made some unparalleled progress in the fight against the three diseases, AIDS, TB and malaria, and is getting better at it by the day. Furthermore, this World TB Day that the WHO launched reports that we're seeing a levelling off of TB rates, which is the first time that's happened since it was declared a global emergency in 1993. Undoubtedly the Global Fund has something to do with that. Drug resistance to HIV/AIDS threatened our progress, but it's progress nonetheless. What is our priority, what's our concern? Our concern is an apparent contradiction between what we have seen arisen out of the ministers of development meeting, the statements of support for universal access and the MDGs, and what we're hearing that our representatives at the Global Fund board are voicing for a financing target for the future of the Global Fund. We're hearing that we are talking about as low as $3 billion when we know what's required is roughly in the neighbourhood of $8 billion. We know that we will not reach universal access or the MDGs without the Global Fund, so my comment is that we are surely looking for Canada to show some strong leadership and a strong voice in support of the Global Fund at this G8.
John Kirton: Thank you. Yes.
Karen Keenan: My name is Karen Keenan and I work for Halifax Initiative, which is a coalition of civil society organizations that works on public finance. We're particularly interested in how public finance is used to promote Canadian investment in developing countries. It's more comment than a question, I think. I'm sure you're aware of the unprecedented consultation process that has just finished, the final report was just released a few weeks ago, on Canada's extractive industries in developing countries, where we look at a number of issues that are on the G8 agenda governance, ensuring that foreign direct investment in developing countries generates benefits for developing countries, that it's sustainable in the long term, that there are positive social impacts, etc. I'd like to suggest that there's a unique opportunity here for Canada to highlight its work in this area, which, again, is unprecedented. There is no other country in the world that has taken on a consultation process like this. I'd also like to suggest that it's a great opportunity for Canada to make an announcement about which of the recommendations I hope it will be all of the recommendations that a multi-stakeholder advisory group has made to the government in this area.
John Kirton: And a fourth on this round from the very back please?
Patricia Marsden-Dole: [inaudible] at York University and I work for a mining consulting firm. My particular [question concerns the] ability of the G8 to influence the co-ordination between investment, donors and host governments in Africa for sustainable development at sub-national level. Is there some way that the G8 on African issues can bring these together as equal partners?
John Kirton: Good. I'll turn it over to David in the first instance for some responses.
David Mulroney: First, just on debt relief. I think Canada has been and continues to be a leader in terms of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. I think the list is now 22 countries that have benefited. Last year the list was expanded. I think a concern going into this year's summit is the fact that while that is going forward certain developing countries continue to take on debt, some in the form of the non-concessional loans that are problematic. The G8 is working with the lending community to see if we can arrive at guidelines for appropriate behaviour to ensure that while we're making progress in one respect we don't deepen the problem or enlarge the problem elsewhere.
On the Global Fund, just to say that Canada remains a major donor and our contributions exceed generally the 4% share we're allocated or taxed within the UN system. So this remains a Canadian priority for precisely the reasons that were mentioned in terms of our commitment to the global health agenda.
On Paddy's question about Africa and the private sector sorry, let me just go back to Canadian investment abroad. I think one of the initiatives has been particularly successful in Canada has been the series of roundtables we organized across the country on issues relating to corporate social responsibility. This is a Canadian this is an issue of real focus for us. We're also supportive of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and we would like to ensure that these concerns are married to the general look that the G8 will be having at the raw materials sector in general and the mining industry in particular.
On Paddy's question I think there will also be this will measure directly and Paul may want to come in with some more Africa commentary but there will be a focus on private sector development in Africa, particularly in areas relating to retaining and attracting investment and we'll be focusing on microfinance as well.
Paul Hunt: Thank you very much. A rich set of questions. Ron, I'm not quite sure how to tackle your multifaceted question. Let me just say first on overall resource availability, I think generally the G8 this year is trying to put an emphasis on meeting commitments -previous commitments certainly from Gleneagles and forward. Secondly, in conversation so far, both in the context of the work of the sherpas as well as in the context of the development ministers and personal representatives on Africa, an active conversation on the importance of watching the Doha round and seeing how these upcoming conversations later in the spring could lead to potentially some breakthrough that will have some beneficial effect for the developing countries generally, for Africa specifically. One aspect of that conversation that has emerged in the last number of months in the Africa track has been what Africa can do and/or could be doing to deal with a continent of 880 million people and trying to bring some improvements to its own overall trading environment through the relationships, through its sub-regional economic organizations, through customs and tariff barriers that exist on the continent as a complementary step to changing the overall trading regime as well. Linked to the sustainability of available resources another dimension of the conversation that has emerged, which has been quite interesting, has been how to harness domestic revenues better. Now, you put it in the context of a taxable base, but there actually are, if you look at them, a suite of revenue streams that are available at the national level that really are going untapped and are not necessarily being driven in at the national level. That includes domestic savings that go offshore. What about the resources that come from offshore at the national level through remittances as well as through FDI, and how do you bring those things into a more coherent national frame of national public policy and fiscal management? I think there's a neat conversation starting to evolve there to look at some of those threads that need to be there. Now, you linked them to health specifically and clearly the health sector is a sector that needs further investments at the national level. There have been commitments by African health ministers to raise the level of percentage of national budgets dedicated to the health sector, and some of those are actually starting to get traction and starting to see that. Complementary sources of international investment in health-related vehicles, be they through the Global Fund or through other international efforts, are there as well, and the challenge there is to make coherent some of those vertical points of investment and intervention both around a health-system based, nationally anchored, but that also allows those resources to flow in and be used in a coherent fashion. There have been some small breakthroughs on that, for example, the Global Fund in Mozambique last year was successful Mozambique was successful in getting the Global Fund for the first time to bring its resources on budget and inside the national health strategy to have a real direct impact on [inaudible]. So there are some encouraging openings that are taking place around a number of issues on the resource revenue stream and that link directly to health.
For the gentleman who spoke about the Global Fund generally, you'll know that Canada has been an important contributor to the Global Fund on AIDS, malaria and TB. I think the German presidency is putting an important emphasis on a successful replenishment round this year as well. As you probably know, the next replenishment meeting will take place in Germany in September 2007, and all I can say to you is that we have all collectively felt the heat, in all the conversations, that the Germans would like to make that replenishment meeting a success in addition to the success of the summit. So I think we're all trying to take a good and close look at how we can continue to meet our engagements and make that an effective tool and through that deal with some of the other issues the German presidency is challenging us on, and that is how to better link to engagement so some of these investment go to and directly benefit girls and women and that there are important benefits coming from those things. Part of that conversation is how do you make that better integrated, as opposed to having parallel tools and mechanisms again.
John Kirton: I think we have time for one or two more quickly before we move to Montreal.
Gord Steeves: [inaudible] I'm Gord Steeves and I'm the president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. We're an organization that represents all municipal governments in Canada. Our membership comprises about 90% of the population. We're pleased to have a chance to be here today. Our biggest partner is of course the federal government. I was saying that I think we're very heartened to hear ongoing, not just this year, how outward-looking the G8 has evolved in last several years. It has really become an organization that's not inward looking but looking towards developing a global economy and that's important as far as we're concerned. I know that's important to you. My question has to do with delivery mechanisms and some of the priorities that you seem to have set with respect to firstly strengthening governance and economic capacity. As you know we've been working with the federal government for several years in terms of building capacity at the local government level. My comment and question is a bit open-ended in terms of, on an ongoing basis, when, whether it's globally or specifically in Africa, which is where we work extensively with our member municipalities in African nations, in terms of on-the-ground delivery of the programs you're talking about, be it health, capacity building for local governments, those are often things obviously that are better delivered by local government. Do you see a role, an augmentation of the role perhaps how do we get our message through and what role do you think we could play, will play, ongoing, as an organization that is part of an international organization of local governments? When some of these programs come to the ground level to be delivered, is there an expansion that could happen? Do you see an advantage as things we're not doing or things we could be doing things better? Are there gaps we could fill? That's the general nature of the question that I have. Thank you for your indulgence.
John Kirton: One more before we get a response? A response please.
David Mulroney: Thank you. The FCM is a partner that is well known to us and whose own international reach is important. I think, as Paul was indicating in his report on what's happening under the general Africa agenda, one of the strengths of the G8 is its flexibility in terms of finding delivery mechanisms. I think the challenge and the reason why countries aspire to G8 membership is that it is something that then informs your international policy throughout the rest of the year. As you take commitments made at the level of leaders, by definition you look at the various means at your disposal to deliver on those commitments. The simplest and most traditional means is through your own foreign aid agency, your development agencies, your bilateral diplomacy, but increasingly the G8 is using networks and partnerships to deliver on its commitments. Paul spoke about the presence at the development ministers meeting of representatives of various aspects of African regional governance the AU and others. I remember in my days on APEC, the Asia Pacific region, the APEC year follows the G8 year. So as the G8 was introducing programs under the heading of secure transportation, i.e., securing the global transportation sector while allowing economic growth to happen, APEC economies then would take on G8 commitments and then deliver specifically in the APEC region. That might involve countries like Canada and Australia organizing seminars or capacity-building workshops in places like Indonesia or Papua New Guinea. There are a variety of ways of ensuring that what gets committed to by leaders gets delivered through the course of the year. I think the G8 is becoming more creative in ensuring that's done. Then, of course, the year comes round and the leaders want to hear whether those commitments are made. Paul said the Germans are doing a very good job, not just in terms of projecting, but in terms of building in a mechanism for reporting. The Germans are also I think being very creative in terms of their use of the outreach countries. I'll be going I've got my first sherpa meeting next week; the week after that there's a special meeting with the Outreach Five countries on climate change and the environment. It will be a meeting at the levels of sherpas and officials, but again building that kind of dialogue and connection.
Paul Hunt: I would add very briefly I know the work of FCM in Africa very well and it's representative of a broad Canadian capacity and expertise that's world class and is sought after in a demand-driven environment. David said the entry point that I would use: it's to follow how the Germans are trying to engage the African institutional framework here as a strong signal to African ownership and leadership, the importance of reinforcing and strengthening African institutions and developing their capacity and allowing them to play the leadership role that they need and should be playing in their various spheres of influence, including in the area of governance and local governance specifically. I can say that in the conversations that I've been involved in we haven't gotten down into the local governance dimension specifically in the context of the G8 conversation. But from our own work together I know and understand the importance of that and I do see both points of leadership in Africa and I see how the international community and the Canadian capacity has been accompanying the growth and development of that, so I would just encourage us to continue to look in proactive ways for ways to accompany that African ownership and leadership on key points, be it on local governance or on others. We could have the same conversation on how do you strengthen parliaments, how do you strengthen the role of oversight institutions like offices of auditors general, how do you reinforce the capacity of finance ministries and other government departments to effectively plan public policy. Unless it's happening locally, on the ground, by our African partners first, and then properly accompanied by international capacity where we bring value added and have some niche expertise to contribute, it won't happen and it won't serve the long-term needs of citizens on the continent. So a very encouraging picture, and I think on the issue of local governance Africa is definitely on the right track, certainly in sub-Saharan Africa in some ways and that announces well for the future.
John Kirton: Okay, we now move to Montreal. Bonjour, Amandine.
Amandine Scherrer: Bonjour, je suis Amandine Scherrer du Groupe de recherche sur le G8 et du Sciences Po. Je me tourne directement vers Monsieur Noel Okorougo, qui a une question à vous poser.
Noel Okorougo: Good afternoon. My name is Noel Okorougo. I'm from Enablis, and my question relates directly to Africa. We are a Canadian organization focused primarily on entrepreneurship in Africa. It is known that the private sector and enterpreneurship plays vitals roles in the development path of most developed nations, of course supported by the public sector. The conditions are not the same in Africa for the most part. But we know that in Africa, depending on who's giving the numbers, 90% of private business in Africa is within the SME sector and entrepreneurship of small and medium enterprise sector and that practically 50% of employment and GDP is coming from this sector, making that particular sector a very important area to focus on if we're looking at sustainable economic development, human development and poverty reduction. My question is what plans are there concrete plans from Canada and the G8 to engage and truly support entrepreneurship development in the SME sector and the private-sector-led development in Africa?
Amandine Scherrer: Jean-Louis Roy, si vous avez une question à poser?
Jean-Louis Roy: Oui, Jean-Louis Roy, Droits et Démocratie. D'abord je voudrai remercier Monsieur Mulroney et Monsieur Hunt pour cette consultation. Je crois que c'est très utile, très important que nous puissions entendre ce qui se prépare et de poser quelques questions. Ceux qui me connaissent ne seront pas surpris de me voir tourner vers l'Afrique et de poser une ou deux questions concernant le G8 et l'Afrique. Je crois qu'il faut être [préné] très optimisme pour garder sur l'Afrique aujourd'hui un regard favorable par rapport au développement et j'étai content toute à l'heure d'entendre l'un ou deux des intervenants à dire que le sommet du G8 about evaluating or meeting commitments.
If you look at what is going on on the continent today, first I think we have to be frank among ourselves. I'm surprised to see Canada disengaging itself, closing embassies, closing CIDA offices all over the place. I think it's a sign that it's more than just closing in Gabon or closing this CIDA shop in the other countries.
My question really is about China. I know this continent since 30 years. I have been living in Africa for 10 years, half of my time at least for 10 years. I am there many times a year now. I'm surprised to see that the Africans, even the younger generation, are greatly interested by the fact that the Chinese are there, are there substantially, investing in infrastructures, in roads, in bridges, renovating ports, renovating the airport, changing the interested also by natural resources as the west has been in the last years, interested also in education. I was recently in China in Tsian and I had the changes in the xxx university with two groups of students. I was really impressed by the number of African students there. I talked with them and was surprised to see that a lot of them many of them, the majority were in China because the Chinese government was providing for financial assistance. I was surprised to see how the Chinese are investing in culture in Africa. They are opening all over the continent what they call Confucius Centres. I visited three of those centres in Africa and I was impressed by the library, by the facilities, by the system to teach the languages, and there is something going on there. I want to know if the G8 is taking into account this new, significant presence of China on the continent.
I'm also a little surprised by the absence of reference in what I have read and lately what I have just listened to today about education, about the substantial investment that has to made in education.
Lastly, I am now an old man and I think that we will spend billions in Africa with little result in this country of one billion people in twenty years, this urban continent, this uneducated continent, this [inaudible] continent also, if we do not invest massively, massively in the private sector. I just [inaudible] from China to have a six stay of between 50 and 60 billion a year for 15 years has changed China, plus what they have done by themselves. I am not sure I hope that the trend the G8 has created maintaining the interest of the continent, taking commitments, will be maintained but the content of it I have great, great doubt. We should spend a lot of money in the private sector, to invest in infrastructure, to invest in education, and I don't see that. I'm sorry not seeing that. I hope that I'm wrong and that you will convince me that I'm wrong.
Amandine Scherrer: Merci. J'ai une question à vous poser. Les deux priorités annoncés pour le sommet de Heiligendamm sont donc la croissance et la responsabilité et concernant l'Afrique l'agenda du sommet porte plus spécifiquement sur le développement durable et une responsabilisation de l'utilisation des matières premières et des ressources naturelles. Donc ma question est la suivante : Comment le G8 entent-il promouvoir en Afrique une responsabilisation de l'utilisation de ressources naturelles et une plus grande transparence dans la vie économique et politique? On sait en effet que l'utilisation des ressources naturelles en Afrique est l'enjeu de conflits. Elle est aussi trop fréquemment détournée de sa vocation première, c'est-à-dire rend possible le développement de ces pays là par des régimes qui sont politiques corrompus. Donc ma question est comment les pays du G8 comptent-t-ils aider les pays africains afin de concilier un responsabilisation des ressources naturelles et lutter contre la corruption. Voilà.
Et vous? Pas de question? Voila.
David Mulroney: Je peux commencer peut-être avec la question de la Chine et puis je vais inviter Paul de répondre au questions sur l'Afrique comme région.
I was struck by your focus on China as an issue because that is an issue and has been an issue more of an issue of discussion within the sherpa community as I've had in my reports than in previous years. It mirrors the fact that our own bilateral conversation with China is changing. As China reengages with the world and don't forget that as you know China has been an actor in Africa before and is returning to a more confident global role the nature of our relationship with China becomes global. So when we sit down, as I recently sat down in my old job to meet with an incoming Chinese diplomat we talked about the Caribbean, we talked about other parts Latin America and we talked about Africa as much as we talked about some predictable issues in East Asia. The challenge for us is first to look coolly at China's engagement to try to understand the facts on the ground and what's happening. The fact that here is a new source of investment capital on the surface is not a bad thing. The fact that there are new players and India is becoming more active globally as well, Brazil, etc. This is a natural thing and a good thing and to be commended. I think the challenge, and the challenge for the G8 and that's why the outreach is important is to ensure that we're encouraging all players to play by the rules, to look for the long term, to ensure that our presence as investors, our presence as partners in Africa, represents a move forward for Africa and realizes a sustainable benefit for Africa over time. There are also specific instances where we want to be sure that we as an international community play by specific rules in terms of not supporting particular regimes or avoiding the proliferation of problems of weapons for example, such as small arms. So our engagement of China and other players has to increasingly involve a very frank dialogue, first welcoming their global participation but second finding the mechanisms and the means to encourage the kind of national behaviour, corporate behaviour that is increasingly expected of all of us. That informs our bilateral diplomacy and I think it will also inform our dialogue with China as they represent a part of the Outreach Five.
I think it's also important that we listen to African voices as we're making our critique and making our observations because we need to understand, as I say, what's happening on the ground and we need to understand how this is being perceived and the results for Africa. This is an important dimension of the agenda going forward.
Just a comment in terms of Canada's international presence. I think what we want to and what we need to get to in terms of our national debate is a level of comfort about the fact that foreign ministries, international presence is going to have to be increasingly nimble and flexible. The era of bricks and mortar presence is still with us. It's still inevitable in many places but we need to develop a culture of reallocation and flexibility that allows us to be present in different places, to open as well as close missions, and perhaps to be present in different ways. If you look at what's happening with the State Department, the Foreign Office, Quai d'Orsay, others they're facing exactly the same kinds of challenges. When we move and relocate it's not at all a reflection of a lack of interest but it is a grappling with the challenges we face of trying to be in even more places than we've been before and trying to move resources, cover files and programs in different ways.
Paul Hunt: Oui, merci beacoup, David. J'aimerai juste pour commencer et lier la façon que Jean-Louis et Noel ont posé leurs deux questions au sujet du secteur privé et le développement général et surtout le côté de développement économique. Moi, je vois l'orientation de l'Allemagne de cette année de lier un certain nombre de choses autour de développement économique et le secteur privé. Donc un c'est de comment voir un environnement plus robuste en termes de commerce internationale. J'ai déjà parlé un peu de ça. Deuxième, comment créer un environnement profit sur le niveau de la formation et la bonne développement des politiques, au niveau des gouvernements et aussi de créer un gouvernement saine pour permettre [l'Afrique de s'accorder de se développer]. Troisième, c'est quelles sont les mécanismes qui vont aller chercher et les acteurs du privées et les gouvernements et les partenaires internationaux pour se mettre d'accord sur les principes et les approches pour délivrer les marchandises. La chose qui est sur la table dans la conversation cette année c'est l'importance du EITI, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Moi, je veux lié ça de la dernière question de madame en termes de quel est l'approche ou c'est quoi la discussion autour des ressources et la corruption. C'est vraiment de mettre un accent sur la [préference?] de ce régime là pour encadrer la conversation et d'influencer le comportement des acteurs. Et finalement vous avez tous les deux faire [connaissance?] de l'importance de l'infrastructure, et moi je vois ça aussi le dialogue avec comment l'Allemagne anime le dialogue. C'est surtout en termes du rôle et du leadership des institutions africaines. La Banque de développement africain par exemple a un rôle à jouer pour encadrer l'approche vis-à-vis l'infrastructure. La rôle des commissions économiques régionales qui ont un rôle à jouer dans les sous-regions pour s'assurer qu'il y a de la cohérence en terme de la commerce sous-régionale. C'est l'ensemble de ces éléments là qui se retrouvent dans la conversation et dans les papiers et dans les échanges autour la table du G8, mais aussi c'est une dimension importante dans la conversation comme David a bien souligné avec non seulement Outreach Five mais surtout avec les institutions de l'Afrique qui étaient à la table lorsque la conversation avec les ministres de développement. Moi, je suis très encouragé que cette conversation est robuste et je vois que tout le monde est engagé dedans et je pense on essaie nous, de notre partie canadien, d'engager et faire avancer ces conversations.
Juste un petit point sur la Chine. Je pense que tout le monde parle de ça. Tout le monde parle du rôle de la Chine en Afrique. Il y a certaines jeux très critique du rôle de la Chine dans l'Afrique, soit vis-à-vis la gouvernance soit la façon qu'ils sont en traîne de mettre en oeuvre les propre agenda économique et à moyen et à longue terme. La façon que nous avons discuté ça est au scène des APRs et dans la conversation des ministres de développement c'est d'avoir un « constructive engagement » et non seulement avec la Chine mais aussi avec les autres pays émergents qui ont une présence aussi en Afrique, peut-être pas au niveau de la Chine mais qui vont avoir de plus en plus des liens, des partenariats et des raisons pour avoir des relations avec ce continent là et d'entrer dans un dialogue plus ouvert, plus direct et de parler des choses comme la transparence, la corruption, comment se mettre ensemble et partager l'effort et cetera. Moi je suis encourager par cette dimension de la dialogue.
On education specifically, not to let it go it is inside the conversation Africa for sure. Yes, in terms of meeting commitments, and you'll remember that Canada has since Kananaskis a strong commitment both to basic education in Africa and Prime Minister Harper at last year's summit also deepened that engagement by asking [CIDA?] to go from $100 million a year to $150 million a year between now and 2010 in terms of driving that very important development of the basic education sector. I think that Canada is doing a credible job of working towards that objective that he set for us.
John Kirton: Thank you. Amandine will now send us to Calgary. Hello, Calgary?
Catherine Little: Hello, bonjour tout le monde. Greetings everyone. Thank you very much for this opportunity. My name is Catherine Little, with Results Canada. I have Jennilee Guebert here as well. I'll start off with a couple of questions.
Thank you very much. You've been referencing the Millennium Development Goals and we've been talking about health and education and as our friend Jeffrey Sachs always says that without health and education there will be no financial economic growth in some of the African countries. So there's 2.6 billion people on this planet that lack access to basic sanitation. The UN Human Development Report put out in November 2006 made a statement that this is a crisis and really asked for leadership from the G8 to start addressing and putting together a global action plan. They gave some suggestions. So I'm just wanting to know at Evian the G8 did mention in 2003 a water action plan and we want to see there hasn't been a lot of progress and for sure among the MDGs sanitation is the most laggard MDG. So we're just looking to see what the G8 is going to do this time.
Mr. Mulroney, you mentioned microfinance. I'm very thrilled to hear that Germany is putting forward this microfinance, microcredit fund for Africa. I'm wanting to make sure that Canada is going to push for putting some money into this but we also want to push for we're looking to see if there has been some agreement that there will be some funding that goes to those living on less than a dollar a day. Of course, the first MDG is to halve those people living on less than a dollar a day, so without microcredit going to those people we're not going to reach that MDG.
Finally, we're very proud that Canada led funding for the global drug facility for tuberculosis drugs and now there's this new malaria drug facility. I'm wondering if Canada is going to put some money into that as well. Thank you very much.
John Kirton: David, why don't you start off with that.
David Mulroney: Okay, on access to water and sanitation, that has been part of the agenda since 2002 and thereafter. The G8 is continuing to focus on meeting those commitments. I don't expect that it will be explicitly surfaced as a major item at the summit but it is part of the ongoing work plan of G8 countries. I'm going to turn just to Paul on the question re microcredit funding because I don't have an update right in front of me. I'm sort of putting you on the spot just to see if you can answer that.
Paul Hunt: I didn't mention microcredit in my list of elements that are coming together around economic growth and development. It is one of the elements that is under discussion. As you know Canada has traditionally invested fairly significantly in the microcredit sector but the key here is how to unlock the domestic environment, how to bring those domestic resources to play, and yes microcredit has a role there as well. But one of the key issues here is the how, and one of the ideas that is currently under discussion is to use an international financial tool to do that as opposed to looking at an African institutional anchor point to continue to work on microcredit and microfinance. One of the elements that we got to in the environment ministers conversation was the continuing challenge to bring the informal sector including microfinance, microcredit, into and linked to the formal sector formal finance, formal banking not to impose on it the formality of the banking and finance sector but rather to make sure that there is coherence in terms of how you manage national revenues and national sources of finance so that you can have a broad reach to a broad population and sustainable sources of finance as well. So I think that conversation is continuing and we're all trying to look at what might be the best next steps to try and follow what is clearly a very valuable tool through microfinancing pools that show positive success rates in building on the successes and the bases there already.
John Kirton: If we have no more questions from Calgary, given the time we'll turn directly to Toronto. Toronto, are you there?
Laura Sunderland: Yes, good afternoon. Thank you, Calgary. Welcome to Simcoe Hall at the University of Toronto. I am Laura Sunderland from the G8 Research Group. I will start with three questions from our civil society representatives, reminding everyone to please be very brief and turn on your microphone before speaking and then I will turn it over to Ottawa for responses. I will start with Ravi Seethapathy from the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.
Ravi Seethapathy: Thank you. Hello, David, nice to hear your voice again. I have three themes for the panel there. The first is we speak of economic growth as being one of the levers to give the growth of the world economy for poverty reduction and so on. I would like to introduce the subject of responsible growth. In other words, what are the sustainable use of resources, how would we collectively take action for climate change? On the disposal of waste typically e-waste 150 million cellphones are being disposed of in each of the BRIC countries on a biannual basis. The energy efficiency issue. So I was wondering if the G8 had any thoughts at all on responsible growth as opposed to just economic growth. That's number one.
Number two, on climate change I think clearly a time has come when we should probably end our sterile debate and talk about a joint action. What is the G8's position on a joint action plan for climate change? It's not at all clear whether there is an agreement even within the G8 what the plan should be.
And last I would like to hear your views on what should be the mechanism for large democracies I'm not using autocracies, but democracies like India and Brazil to be invited on a permanent basis. That's where the change will be effected, because democracies have one more lever of difficulty and that is because they are not ... autocracies, I guess, the changes to be enacted through their processes are much slower, much more difficult up and down. I was wondering what your views are with respect to the inclusion of India and Brazil specifically within the G8 deliberations. Thank you.
Laura Sunderland: Thank you. Next we have Adele Buckley from the Canadian Pugwash Group.
Adele Buckley: Yes, I'm from the Canadian Pugwash Group. I'm the chair of the group. As many know, the Pugwash movement for peace and security -
David Mulroney: Adele, can you pull the microphone closer to you please?
Adele Buckley: began in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. It started 50 years ago in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, and that's why it has that name. We have concerns about the issues of peace and security but we also have concern about issues of sustainability and resource use. As we probably all are agreed there is interconnectivity among all of these world issues. So to survive in our planet we need a sustainable use of resources and we also need to achieve reductions of usage of fossil fuel so the worst effects of climate change can be prevented. As the global community attempts to make these changes, there's a very high probability of extreme stress on global stability, so at the same time as we are experiencing a renewed emphasis on retention and renewal of nuclear weapons we're doing that in the nuclear weapons states in total disregard many of those states have for their commitments under the Non Proliferation Treaty, then this does it not seem appropriate that the G8 nations recognize that the global instability arising from climate change and pressure on resources will increase the probability and possibly even the inevitability of that nuclear weapons will be used, and is it not therefore a necessity that negotiations to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons go in parallel with efforts to reduce the threat of climate change? Second question related also: we need a maximum effort in innovation, an area I have been involved in many years in environmental technologies, and will be required to combat climate change. It must then take a significant proportion of our technical and scientific personnel and devote their efforts tot his job. It is actually true that decreasing enrolment in scientific education is occurring for various reasons in society, and yet there's renewal of nuclear weapons. Scientific personnel are being devoted to this. Scientific groups involved with nuclear weapons are now at a retirement age and so we're extracting good people who may work on innovation in climate change and putting them on totally the wrong thing. So that's my question.
Laura Sunderland: Thank you. Next we have Lindsay Glassco from Right to Play.
Lindsay Glassco: Hi, my name is Lindsay Glassco and I'm the director of policy at Right to Play. Right to Play is an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play as the tool for the development of children and youth in the most disadvantaged areas of the world. I'd first like to take this opportunity to thank you, Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Hunt as well as the University of Toronto, for the opportunity to engage in this outreach session on the G8 process.
We at Right to Play are pleased with this year's focus on growth and responsibility in Africa and in particular the priorities of HIV/AIDS prevention and peace-building and security. As you may know, there's a growing recognition that well-designed sport-based initiatives that incorporate the best values of sport can valuable, practical and cost-effective tools for development and peace objectives in Africa, including the Millennium Development Goals. Among other things, sport and play can be effective in promoting health and contributing to disease prevention, in particular HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, especially among vulnerable populations. It can also be a very effective tool in empowering girls and women to achieve gender equity goals, and it's also very effective in facilitating social cohesion, conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Canada is currently emerging as a global leader in support for development and peace, thanks in large parts to Canadian Heritage, CIDA and the efforts of DFAIT, and as such we would encourage the government of Canada to use the G8 process to promote the use of sport and play as key instruments to achieve health and peace objectives in Africa. In summary we would like to see some of the G8 text reflect sport and play as a key tool or instrument in the development of peace.
Laura Sunderland: Thank you. Now we'll turn back to Ottawa for responses please.
John Kirton: David.
David Mulroney: Thank you, and thank you Toronto. [interference] That wasn't my answer. Under the heading of responsible growth, a couple of things. First of all, the presence of countries like the United States, China and India in the G8 plus Outreach Five discussions I think is tremendously important because they represent a large part of the global answer. If we could look to an outcome for the G8 that would be probably most realistic and most productive, it would be a common commitment to work forward in the same direction and to support the relevant international instruments while recognizing that national circumstances differ and to have a realistic dialogue that would bring people with different national circumstances together in the same general direction. I think that is the German objective. If we look at various parts of the agenda this year, whether it's under the heading of raw materials and the mining sector, whether it's aspects of the Africa agenda, many things point to transparency, anti-corruption, good governance, consultation with civil society, common elements that lead to among other things the sustainable development of resources. We will be trying to tell the Canadian story in that context.
As far as the question of having large democracies invited on a permanent basis, I don't think there is a final determination as to the permanent nature of outreach. It is very valuable to have large democracies present. I think an argument can also be made to be consulting with large economies that are not yet democracies. That discussion will continue but I think right now with China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico, we've got a good cross-section of highly deserving candidates.
On the question of education in the sciences, I think you will find that the agenda this year continues to be supportive of Paul talked about the promotion of education in general in places like sub-Saharan Africa but under the innovation part of the agenda there will be specific references and specific initiatives to encourage best practices in terms of development, encouragement of education in the sciences.
Finally, on right to play, Lindsay, let me just say that your initiative has a very committed champion in the person of Minister MacKay, who mentions it to us frequently and I think has ensured that we understand the important role that plays in a well-rounded development program.
I'll turn things over to Paul.
Paul Hunt: Great, thank you. I just want to add a couple of things. To Ravi's questions about large democracies, I don't have an answer to that but I want to just repeat for you I don't know if Toronto heard this beginning: One of the interesting features of the development ministers meeting that I was participating in last month was the Outreach Five. Part of that was constructive engagement, including China. We already referred to that. But what the Outreach Five countries also did at the table for the G8 members was to describe for us how they were trying to engage sub-regionally and globally with various partners around the world. It was very instructive to listen to that. Each of us, I think, was very impressed by clear objectives, clear strategies, a desire to make a difference and bring value-added in partnership with countries in Africa and in other parts of the world. One example is the work that Brazil does with Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa and the partnership that they have formed up over the last number of years to talk about common global issues and issues relative to how Brazil can accompany some of the development needs of those countries specifically in Africa over the coming period. I currently chair the board of governors of the Africa Capacity Building Foundation and I'm very pleased to say that India is a full-fledged member of the board of governors and has been for a number of years, and is making an effort to engage in some of that institutional leadership and ownership anchor points that I referred to earlier. That's an encouraging thing. In fact, India was represented at this meeting by its minister of finance, so it was a very positive signal on the part of India about the seriousness with which they wanted to take this opportunity to engage the G8 and participate in this more general discussion around development, specifically development in Africa.
I would just say to Right to Play we have a close relationship through CIDA with you and I think we all appreciate the value added of sport and play relative to development and peace, and I'm a proud owner of a red soccer ball on the corner of my desk.
John Kirton: Back to Toronto for one or two very quick additional interventions?
Laura Sunderland: Okay, could we start with Allan Sauder from MEDA?
Allan Sauder: Thank you very much. I hope you can hear me. I'm pleased to see the G8's ongoing emphasis on strengthening the African health sector. In our experience, the key to doing this effectively is public-private collaboration and public-private collaboration is one of the key ways to build sustainable long-term market-driven delivery channels into rural areas. However, we find that public-private collaboration does not happen automatically. It depends on measures that share risk, whether they be vouchers, investments, market support. My question is does the G8 support risk-sharing mecahinsms, and if so what are they?
My second comment, really, is concerning pools or basket-funding mechanism around various themes, in the financial sector, the health sector and so on. I think these are excellent in principle. However in practice they've often been weak and slow. I would certainly encourage the G8 to look at efficient mechanisms to make sure that they have transparent goals and quick delivery. Thank you.
Laura Sunderland: And if we have time for one final question, it will be from Christine Lucyk from the World Wildlife Fund.
Christine Lucyk: My name is Christine Lucyk and I've been affiliated with the G8 Research Group for several years [inaudible] in the environmental erea and I'm very pleased to hear that the focus is on looking back on the commitments made and real progress on moving ahead with respect to Africa. But I wanted to follow up on Ravi's point on the role of China in Africa, because I think it's really important. China does not have a stellar reference when it comes to two issues on the agenda about sustainable use of resources internally to their country or with regard to the protection of intellectual property rights. I'm wondering what the G8 response will be and Canada's stature and credibility specifically when dealing with these two issues on sustainable use of resources and protection of intellectual property rights, given that our own G8 Research Group compliance report indicated that Canada did not exactly have a stellar performance in terms of compliance subsequent to Gleneagles and St. Petersburg. Thank you.
John Kirton: Thank you. David.
David Mulroney: Okay. Maybe I'll start with Christine's question and perhaps ask if Paul can answer Allan's in particular. We take our commitments in the G8 seriously and the annual process is useful too in taking a very hard look at the Canadian record. Some times we want to be sure we're not confusing different regimes or different means of treating the issues, whether we treat them under civil law or under criminal law, but there are issues on IP that we as Canada need to work on. There's no doubt about it and that is on the agenda. It's something in fact, my next meeting is an interdepartmental meeting where we will be talking to some of those very issues. So it's a useful discipline for all of us, Canada included.
In terms of our dialogue bilaterally and multilaterally with China, I think as Paul said it has to be constructive but the government of China has some very capable diplomats so it's constructive up to a point but tit also has to be frank and engaging. I think the challenge for the G8 this year will be to ensure we're doing more than welcoming the outreach countries in that's been done but explaining some of the responsibilities that go along with that level of engagement. We too will pick up on some of the issues where China among others is deficient. That's very much on the agenda, and as I say it also informs our bilateral diplomacy with China in a number of areas, Africa included.
Just in terms of Allan's comment on the pool or basket-funding mechanism, that's a good observation and it's one that we'll keep in mind as we get into the run-up to Heiligendamm. Paul?
Paul Hunt: Thanks, David. Allan, thank you for your question. Good to hear your voice. I'm personally aware of the work of MEDA and the innovation public-private partnership work that you do, particularly in the area of malaria and bed nets. Your question was about the risk-sharing attitude of the G8 and public-private partnerships. My own view on this is that there is a real openness to innovative approaches, innovative partnerships. I would just go to the nature of the conversation that happens in the Africa Partnership Forum, which is as I mentioned in my opening remarks one of mutual accountability, where our African partners are asking all of us G8 and OECD partners sitting around the table to be engaged, to be open and inventive, but to follow their lead, to work on their priorities, to help them build their capacity and deliver those services to citizens that are so important. So I would say as a general posture there's a very open attitude on the part of the G8 colleagues that I interact with around innovative partnerships and ones that do favour public-private partnership and where you do have the conditions in a given domestic context in a country in Africa for leadership on the part of the government and potentially of its private sector to join up with international capacity to do these types of things, as you have piloted and are demonstrated results on. I think there's a willingness to be supportive of those.
On the pool-basket funding and other approaches to investing ODA resources in an efficient and effective way. This is a constant challenge. Clearly the Canadian government has challenged Canadian ODA to be results-oriented, to be fully accountable for the resources the spend and to do it in a open and transparent way but also to ensure that we're working in effective partnerships with our developing country partners around the world including in Africa. So I see nothing but a door wide open to continue the dialogue on innovative partnerships including public-private.
John Kirton: It remains for me to on all our behalf to thank you, David, for choosing to come and meet with members of Canadian civil society before you attended your first international G8 meeting so you could go to it with a richer sense of what your people and your prime minister's people want you and he to do, and to thank Paul for coming and establishing what I hope will be a new tradition in Canadian civil society consultations in the G8 context. Next week, when David is off at his first sherpa meeting, the sherpas will be continuing a recent tradition of meeting collectively with global civil society for a direct face-to-face encounter, and David we'd be grateful if you could carry the commendations of Canadian civil society to your colleague Bernd Pfaffenbach for continuing that and institutionalizing it, and all of us in civil society I would invite to email in further thoughts you've had from whatever municipality or other areas across the dominion so that we could get those to Canadian representatives at that collective dialogue with the sherpas next week, so there could be an even stronger Canadian voice. The email address for sending in those comments is email@example.com. And with that, merci, thank you, adieu, we are adjourned.
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