Statement regarding the G8 meeting in Germany
“In the coming days, the G8 leaders are meeting in Germany. The German Presidency’s ambitious agenda aims to provide a framework for the solution of such global problems as energy efficiency, sustainable development, and global warming. Closer cooperation with Africa to boost development and tackle poverty is also on the agenda.
However, from the preliminary discussions at the official level, it is very unclear whether the G8 meeting will provide the necessary response for the resolution of these crucial global problems.
As President of the Socialist International, I urge the G8 leaders not only to make general statements, but also to take concrete and immediate actions. As the Group of the most powerful countries in the world, they hold the greatest responsibility to provide other countries with examples of democratic, transparent and sustainable governance.
The issues that the G8 is about to address are of the most urgent nature in today’s world. We cannot afford to wait any longer to take effective measures against climate change, against poverty, against hunger, against infectious diseases, against religious extremism, against undemocratic regimes and institutions. The world and its peoples need action. The G8 promised to make poverty history. And, indeed, the G8 leaders have the power to save millions of lives by fulfilling this promise.
Instead of shutting out protestors, the G8 should give a stronger voice to global civil society. The recent World Bank report confirms that the G8 did not deliver on its Gleneagles commitments. Financial aid towards Africa is decreasing, and developed countries have done little to improve infrastructure, education and the fight against HIV and malaria in Africa. it is progressive civil society that will remind governments of their responsibilities.
For us, socialist, social democratic and labour parties, there is only one way forward. A democratically managed, sustainable global society with the citizen as focal point. We want globalisation to adapt to the needs of the people, not the contrary. We want responsible policies to avert the consequences of climate change and promote renewable energies and energy efficiency. I do hope that this G8 meeting will take valuable steps in the right direction.”