African leaders have urged the G8 nations to put their money where their mouth is – and deliver on past promises made to Africa. The leaders also spoke of action against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe – without agreeing on what to do.
Watch our Top Story: 'Can the G8 make a difference?'
"Some African leaders just wanted to emphasise that while appreciating G8 leaders' commitment to help Africa in past G8 summits, they just wanted to point that they would like to see these commitments fully implemented," said Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kazuo Kodama outside the closed-door session, being held on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
At the G8’s 2005 summit in
At a press conference on the sidelines of the summit, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged member nations to "implement what they have committed to in Gleneagles by providing necessary funds."
"The world faces three simultaneous crises,” Ban said, “a food crisis, a climate crisis and a development crisis. The three crises are deeply interconnected and need to be addressed as such."
Leaders of the G8 nations –
Also in attendance is European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who announced before the G8 Monday that the European Union will channel 1 billion euros in unused European farm subsidies to African farmers.
G8 leaders also pushed for action on
"I care deeply about the people of
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told reporters there is “growing support” for stronger sanctions against Mugabe’s government. But Dan Price, Bush’s assistant for international economic
affairs, said the leaders at the summit had not reached an agreement on sanctions. “Not all leaders are there yet," Price said. “It is fair to say that not all African leaders are in a position to support sanctions at this time."
G8: Do we need it?
The summit has been precipitated by sharp criticism from analysts and activists alike, who question the G8’s effectiveness in tackling global issues.
Even entertainers are trying to raise public awareness of their criticisms aimed at the G8. In an interview with
This skepticism gives rise to the question as to whether G8 summits are all talk, or whether they lead to the implementation of policy changes.
Yale political science professor Jolyon Holworth says the group’s effectiveness differs for each issue. For example, he does not see the G8 as resolving the problem of escalating petrol prices. “The markets determine the price of oil,” he said on
Holworth also believes that nations’ individual concerns can overshadow their G8 promises, such as those regarding aid to
So what good is the G8 if nations are delinquent? For Holworth, “One of the benefits is that it creates peer pressure for member nations to keep their promises.”
Date created : 2008-07-07