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Remarks by President Clinton in Presentation of the Final Communiqué of the Denver Summit of the Eight
Denver Public Library, Denver, June 22, 1997
PRESIDENT CLINTON: As I begin, I would like to thank the city of Denver and the people of Colorado for the wonderful work they did to make us feel welcome here. I thank the people who worked on behalf of the United States to put this together -- Harold Ickes, Deb Willhite and our whole team. And, most of all, I want to thank my colleagues for their hard work and for the spirit of cooperation that prevailed here in Denver.
We've agreed on new steps to organize our nations to lay a strong foundation in the 21st century, to prepare our people and our economies for the global marketplace, to meet new transnational threats to our security, to integrate new partners into the community of free market democracies.
Russia's role here at the summit reflects the great strides that Russia has made in its historic transformation. We look forward to Russia's continued leadership and participation and we thank President Yeltsin for all he has done.
On behalf of my colleagues, I'd like to summarize several key points in our communique. First, as leaders of the world's major industrial democracies, we feel a special responsibility to work together, to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges of the global economy, and to ensure opportunity for all segments of our societies.
We explored what we can do to create more jobs for our people, and we look forward to the conferences on employment in Japan this fall and the United Kingdom early next year. We believe we have much to learn from each other. We also discussed the challenges our nations face as our populations grow older, and how we can keep our senior citizens living productive lives well into their later years.
Globalization brings with it problems none of us can conquer alone. This year we intensified our common efforts to meet new transnational threats, like environmental degradation, terrorism, drugs, crime, and infectious disease.
We are also determined to do our part to protect our environment for future generations. Among other measures, we recommitted ourselves to the principles of the Rio Summit. We intend to reach an agreement in Kyoto to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to respond to the problem of global warming. We discussed how best to protect the Earth's forests and oceans, and we are clearly committed to doing that together as well.
Last year, we adopted an ambitious agenda to fight crime and terrorism. Since then, we have taken concrete steps from improving airline security to denying safe haven for criminals. This year, we'll make special effort to fight high-tech crimes such as those involving computer and telecommunications technology.
We've also made important progress in promoting nuclear safety and security, particularly in combatting nuclear smuggling and in managing the growing stockpiles of plutonium from dismantled nuclear warheads.
We launched a new effort to stem the spread of infectious diseases. In the coming year, we'll be working together to improve global surveillance to provide early warning, to better coordinate our response and to strengthen public health systems, especially in the developing world. We've also pledged to accelerate our efforts to develop an HIV/AIDS vaccine.
As we move forward with the integration of new democracies and market economics, we're determined that no part of the world will be left behind. We agreed upon a package of political and economic measures to ensure that African nations share with us the benefits of globalization. We've also continued our efforts to strengthen and spread democracy and freedom around the world.
Finally, we discussed a number of political issues of critical importance to our nations, including Bosnia, the Middle East and Hong Kong. Next week will represent an historic moment as Hong Kong returns to Chinese sovereignty. We reaffirmed our strong interest in Hong Kong's future and our shared conviction on the importance of China's adherence to its commitments under the 1984 agreement. We appreciate in particular the devotion that Prime Minister Blair and his government attach to this endeavor.
As we worked together to promote the progress of market democracies, we reaffirmed our intention to ensure that those states that stand outside our community, such as Iran, Iraq and Libya, fully adhere to the fundamental norms we all agree should guide us into the next century.
We leave Denver renewed by our strength -- the strength of our common efforts to prepare our people to succeed in the global economy and the global society of the 21st century. Again, let me thank my fellow leaders for their extraordinary work. I think it's been a very good summit. And again I thank the people of Denver and Colorado for their hospitality.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
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Source: Released by the White House Press Office, June 22, 1997
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