Growth and responsibility will be central themes of next year's G8 presidency. Shaping globalization and helping Africa to develop will be key focuses of the summit when it is held in Heiligendamm from June 6 to 8.
Chancellor Angela Merkel submitted a tentative agenda to the cabinet for assessment. When it takes over on January 1 Germany will assume responsibility for defining the areas of discussion to be dealt with by the G8 leaders. The cabinet expressed strong approval of the agenda as presented.
It is aimed at living up to G8 responsibility to help create stable and reliable conditions for the global economy as well as at strengthening G8 commitment to assisting disadvantaged segments of the world population.
In its economic policy agenda the German government addresses issues of fundamental importance for stability in global trade and financial relations.
Attention will also be focused on urgent problems in Africa relating to economic development, poverty reduction, and the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Chancellor Merkel attaches importance to an expansion of G8 relations with Africa in the form of a partnership for reform. She feels a new policy approach is needed for Europe's neighboring continent and that it is not a "lost cause".
Economic growth and G8 responsibility are seen as key factors for development in Africa. Special importance attaches to the need to strengthen African health care systems, particularly in connection with the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The German presidency will seek to send a positive message expressing confidence in Africa's future. The African countries need to develop structures that will encourage private investment, i.e. more democracy, less corruption, more self-responsibility, and more resource sovereignty.
Representatives of African countries that pursue these goals will be invited to take part in the summit.
As at earlier G8 summits, there will be an outreach dialogue with emerging countries, without whose help it will not be possible to solve many of the problems being faced in the global economy. Germany will extend invitations to the five "outreach countries" (China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa) to attend the summit.
A dialogue is to be initiated with the emerging countries to address specific issues. The unity of the G8 as a group based on shared values is to be preserved in this context.
A series of G8 ministerial meetings will be held in Germany on a variety of subjects in preparation for the summit.
An initial discussion of the summit agenda by representatives of the G8 countries is scheduled for the end of this year. It is only then that the specific agenda items will be finalized.
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