The UK today launched www.g8.gov.uk, the website for the UK presidency of the G8. The UK will assume the year-long presidency on 1 January 2005.
The Prime Minister, in his welcome address to users of the G8 website, writes:
'I really want to focus on the challenges of Africa and climate change during our Presidency.
'Africa is a wonderful, diverse continent with an extraordinary, energetic and resilient people. But it is also plagued with problems so serious that no continent could tackle them on its own. The world, rightly, looks to the G8 to agree on ways to take this forward. 'Climate change is a global problem that needs addressing now for the sake of future generations. The science is well established and the dangers clear. It is crucial to every country in the world that we establish a consensus now on the nature of the problem and what actions we can take. Again it is the world's richer, industrialised countries - the G8 - that have to take the lead.'
The website features a variety of information on the G8: from what it is and what the priorities for the UK presidency will be, to the Summit which will be held at Gleneagles Hotel in July.
The UK has also launched J8, the first global citizenship initiative of its kind to be launched in secondary schools across the UK. It gives young people the chance to address the most important issues facing the world. A website aimed at teachers and schoolchildren wanting to learn about global issues and take part in the J8 Youth Summit is available at www.j8changetheworld.com
Notes for Editors
1. The two key themes for the Presidency are Africa and climate change. In February 2004, the Prime Minister launched the Commission for Africa to find new ways of supporting Africa's development. At its second meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 7 October 2004 the Prime Minister set out what he hoped to see achieved in Africa. The Commission will produce a report, which will be presented to the Summit. The Commission is now in a period of consultation with governments, NGOs, business, academics, and African communities worldwide. For more details on this process and to read the Commission's consultation document visit www.commissionforafrica.org
2. In addition there will be continuing work on other important G8 issues, such as counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation and the Broader Middle East initiative, launched at the Sea Island Summit in 2004. As part of this, Morocco will host the first 'Forum for the Future', a meeting of foreign and economic ministers from G8 and Middle East countries, on 11 December.
Source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office
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