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Data Sets

G8 Foreign Ministers Commitments, 2001-02
John Kirton and Michael M. Malleson
G8 Research Group
University of Toronto
May 14, 2003

G8 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Afghanistan
(November 26, 2001)
G8 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Whistler, Canada
(June 12-13, 2002)
G8 Foreign Ministers Statement on Terrorist Hostage Taking in Moscow
(October 25, 2002)

In its ongoing effort to assess the performance of the G8 system of global governance reliably, the G8 Research Group has produced the following data set. It identifies the decisional commitments made by the G8 Foreign Ministers at their most recent meetings and in their most recent statements, back to the autumn of 2001. The concept of commitments employed here was inspired by the seminal work of George von Furstenberg and Joseph Daniels (Daniels 1993), systematized and codified by Ella Kokotsis (Kokotsis 1999, Kokotsis and Daniels 1999), and applied here by Michael Malleson. Commitments are measurable, discrete, future-oriented collective expressions of intended action that bind or constrain their signatories in regard to the course of action they might otherwise independently take. Individual commitments may, but do not have to, contain specified implementing measures, targeted welfare outcomes or temporal timetables for partial and full compliance.

An application of this concept and method of commitment analysis to the communiqués of the recent G8 Foreign Ministers meetings and statements indicates that this G8 ministerial-level institution, created as a summit-associated body since the G7’s start in 1975, as a stand-alone body in 1986, and as a summit-associated but separated body in 1998, has been a robustly decisional one in its most recent recent years. Its Canadian-hosted pre-summit meeting at Whistler, B.C., in June 2002 generated 53 commitments. The body also issued non-meeting statements with three commitment in the autumn of 2001 and with one commitment in the autumn of 2002. The G8 Foreign Ministers’ annual dinner meeting, taking place on the eve of the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York at the end of September, does not issue a statement or communiqué.

This data set is offered in this initial form for comment and critique and as a foundation for further analysis. In particular, it can serve as a referent against which the decisional productivity of previous and subsequent pre-summits meetings of G8 foreign ministers can be judged. Comments are most welcome; please send them to g8@utoronto.ca.


Daniels, Joseph (1993), The Meaning and Reliability of Economic Summit Undertakings, 1975–1989 (Garland Publishing, New York).

Kokotsis, Ella (1999), Keeping International Commitments: Compliance, Credibility and the G7, 1988–1995 (Garland: New York).

Kokotsis, Ella and Joseph Daniels (1999), "G8 Summits and Compliance," in Michael Hodges, John Kirton and Joseph Daniels, eds., The G8’s Role in the New Millennium (Ashgate: Aldershot), pp. 75–94.

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Commitments for
G8 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Afghanistan
November 26, 2001

Commitments identified by Michael M. Malleson
using Kokotsis Commitment Counting Method
May 12, 2003

1. We stress that the aim of this process should be to install in Afghanistan a broad-based and multi-ethnic government of national unity, ensuring the full independence and territorial integrity of the country and committed to peace with Afghanistan’s neighbours.

2. We emphasise that respect by a new Afghan leadership of human rights, regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion, and of international humanitarian law will be a decisive factor to implement programmes of international assistance to the country’s reconstruction.

3. We stress the urgency and gravity of the humanitarian situation and stress the necessity to continue to facilitate the urgent delivery of humanitarian assistance, particularly to refugees and displaced persons. We call for continued close coordination among governments, international institutions, and non-governmental organisations to mobilise resources and to provide humanitarian aid.

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Commitments for
G8 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
Whistler, Canada, June 12-13, 2002

Commitments identified by Michael M. Malleson
using Kokotsis Commitment Counting Method
May 12, 2003.

Development (Water)

The G8

1. …draws attention to the conflict potential of an inadequate supply and distribution of water from shared water systems, and acknowledges the need to reinforce efforts aimed at preventing water shortages;

2. …encourages the international community to cooperate more closely and effectively to this end on a bi- and multilateral basis, and as appropriate with international and regional organizations such as UNDP, UN regional economic commissions and takes note of activities of such fora as the Global Water Partnership and the former World Commission on Dams.

3. …encourages riparian states to use water and all its uses as a catalyst for peace and to develop a common vision for the sustainable use and protection of shared water resources, including mechanisms for fair and effective dispute settlement;

4. …welcomes the decision 6/1 "Strategic approaches to freshwater management" agreed at CSD6 and the Ministerial Declaration of The Hague on Water Security in the 21st Century embraces on 22 March 2000 in the framework of the Second World Water Forum and recognizes especially the results of the International Conference on Freshwater hosted by the Federal German Government from 3 to 7 December 2001 in Bonn, notably the Bonn Recommendations for Action, which provide an important input in all aspects of the sectoral theme of water.

5. …supports activities leading to the International Year of Fresh Water (2003), and expects the Third World Water Forum to be hosted by Japan in March 2003 to be a good opportunity for further discussion on the possible actions for the sustainable development of water;

6. …values the utility of transboundary river commissions and will continue to support states in making full use of existing and creating new commissions;

7. …stresses the importance of partnership (including public-private partnerships) that involve local and regional stakeholders in water management schemes;

8. …will use development assistance to promote integrated water resources management and good governance in the field of shared water resources development, management, protection and use within states and between states.

Conflict Prevention / DDR

9. The G8 strongly supports the Programme of Action adopted by the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects held in July 2001 in New York. The G8 supports efforts to ensure strong commitments and concrete initiatives framed in a comprehensive approach when implementing the commitments entered into under the Programme of Action.

10. The G8 recognises the need to support initiatives that are designed to improve the organisational and operational aspects of DDR programmes and to ensure that such initiatives contribute to sustainable peace, security and development.

11. The G8 recognises the pre-conditions for successful DDR and support the need for better co-ordination. A comprehensive plan of action should be drawn up covering the political framework, military operations, economic re-building, public and media services, and funding, as part of the process of improving co-ordination.

12. The G8 acknowledges that peacekeeping missions, where appropriate, should include a post-conflict small arms and light weapons disarmament and destruction component.

13. The G8 accepts that peace-building activities such as DDR require skilled personnel to work on the ground for long periods of time and supports capacity building within both international institutions and non-governmental organisations in order to achieve this.

14. The G8 undertakes to support DDR programmes, through, inter alia, calling upon international institutions involved in DDR to ensure that a coherent and comprehensive plan for any DDR exercise is mandated and developed drawing on the above lessons.

15. The G8 undertakes to offer national expertise as required to strengthen the planning and implementation of activities as part of a coherent and comprehensive DDR plan.

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16. Take actions to ensure, as rapidly as possible, full adherence to the following instruments relating to the prevention and suppression of terrorism: a) the twelve United Nations conventions and protocols addressing counter-terrorism issues listed in the annex; b) all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, in particular, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001);

17. Become a party, if entitled, to the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime (2001), ensuring full and rapid implementation of its terms, or, ensure the availability of a legal framework approximating the measures called for in the Convention, as it provides useful measures to combat attacks by terrorists and other criminals on computer systems, as well as to gather electronic evidence of terrorism and other crimes.

18. [We will] Work within the United Nations system to complete the draft UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, and coordinate our efforts in this regard.

19. [We will] Promote appropriate action in multilateral organizations of which we are members, including at the regional level, in order to usefully supplement counter-terrorism measures already taken or under development at the global level.

20. With respect to ensuring effective action against the use of biological weapons by terrorists, make crimes the offences established in the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (1972), prosecute such crimes or, where appropriate, extradite individuals, in accordance with national law and bilateral extradition agreements, and work cooperatively to develop best practices to deter and detect such offences.

21. Take measures to work cooperatively to develop effective mechanisms to track and curb the illicit possession and transfer of selected biological agents both domestically and internationally, and to explore additional measures to prevent biological agents from being used to commit terrorist attacks.

22. Work within the United Nations system to complete work on the draft International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and strengthen our cooperative efforts to this end.

23. Support ongoing negotiations to strengthen the 1980 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and explore together potential additional international measures to advance its ends and investigate enhanced measures aimed at the problem of nuclear smuggling.

24. Work cooperatively to develop, in appropriate international fora, best practices to ensure the protection of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and related infrastructures against terrorist actions, and explore means to prevent sensitive information pertaining to these infrastructures from being used by terrorists for targeting purposes.

25. Coordinate efforts and encourage support in other fora where concerted CBRN prevention programs are underway, such as at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

26. Develop best practice guidelines for contingency planning at national levels and strengthen existing arrangements for crisis response.

27. Accelerate research and development of methods of detection of explosives and weapons and other harmful substances that cause death or injury, and undertake consultations on the development of standards for marking explosives in order to identify their origin in post-blast investigations, and to promote cooperation, where appropriate.

28. Adopt effective domestic laws and regulations including export controls to govern manufacture, trading, transport, and export of firearms, explosives, or any device designed to cause violent injury, damage, or destruction, in order to prevent their use for terrorists’ acts.

29. As rapidly as possible, ensure full implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing (2001), and participate in the fulfilment of the FATF global action plans.

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30. Adopt the steps to remove obstacles to effective common action to combat terrorist financing contained in the Report of the G8 Meeting on Legal Measures to Combat Terrorist Financing (2002), endorsed by G8 Justice and Interior Ministers (2002), and move beyond freezing to also forfeit terrorist assets in order to permanently deprive terrorists of their funds.

31. Implement the recommendations on "Money Laundering, Related Terrorist Financing and Asset Forfeiture" contained in the G8 Recommendations on Transnational Crime (2002).

32. Facilitate, through appropriate domestic measures, the traceability of terrorist funds and ensure that mutual legal assistance is not refused on the grounds of bank secrecy or that the request involves a fiscal offence.

33. Maintain strong financial support through voluntary contributions for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation security activities to fulfil its standards and recommended practices with a view to deterring and detecting terrorism.

34. Cooperate in conducting an expeditious review of aviation security conventions, international standards and recommended practices in the ICAO, with a view to updating such standards in order to deter and detect terrorism, including by applying mechanisms referred to the G8 Recommendations on Transnational Crime.

35. Work as expeditiously as possible towards implementation of a common global standard for the collection and transmission of advance passenger information (API).

36. Enhance their abilities to share timely information internationally with law enforcement and other appropriate counterparts, in accordance with applicable laws, with respect to passengers concerning whom there are specific and serious reasons to consider they may engage in a terrorist act.

37. Work closely with each other and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in order to improve the capability of governments to deter and prosecute terrorist attacks on maritime vessels or the use of such vessels to further terrorist activities.

38. Cooperate in conducting an expeditious review of maritime safety conventions, international standards and recommended practices in the IMO, with a view to updating such standards in order to deter and detect terrorism.

39. Work with relevant international organizations to develop and implement an improved global container security regime to identify and examine high-risk containers, their in-transit integrity, implement the global common standards for electronic customs reporting, and work within the World Customs Organization (WCO) on advance information pertaining to containers as early as possible in the trade chain.

40. Urgently intensify consultations among transport security and other relevant officials to improve the capability of governments to prevent, investigate, and respond to terrorist attacks on modes of mass ground transportation, such as railway, underground and bus transport systems, and to cooperate with other governments in this regard.

41. Take all possible measures to deny safe havens to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens.

42. Ensure, in conformity with international law and, in particular, the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, that refugee status is not abused by the perpetrators, organizers or facilitators of terrorist acts.

43. Identify and eliminate obstacles to extradition to the greatest extent possible, including those referred to in "Part II: Enhancing International Cooperation" of the G8 Recommendations on Transnational Crime (2002).

44. Take strong measures, including relevant legislative measures if necessary, in cooperation with other countries, to prevent terrorist acts and the international movement of terrorists by strengthening, inter alia, border, immigration, and travel document control and information sharing.

45. Attach special priority to mutual legal assistance and law enforcement cooperation with respect to terrorism offences in order to ensure a quick and effective response, including those referred to in the recommendations on "Mutual Legal Assistance and Law Enforcement Channels" of the G8 Recommendations on Transnational Crime (2002).

46. Develop effective measures for obtaining the rapid freezing, seizing and confiscation of assets related to terrorist activities.

47. Ensure that claims of political motivation are not recognized as grounds for refusing requests for the extradition of alleged terrorists and, exclude or reduce to the greatest possible extent any application of the political offence exception in responding to a request for mutual legal assistance concerning terrorist offences.

48. Ensure that an effective framework is in place to fight against transnational crimes that can support or facilitate terrorist activity, such as that provided by the G8 Recommendations on Transnational Crime (2002).

49. Examine and exchange information to determine the nature of links between terrorism and transnational crime, in particular, of the manner in which terrorist organizations can support their activities through the commission of other crimes, and develop strategies, as required, to enable concerted effort to disrupt and disable such activities.

50. Support the efforts of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and its donors to coordinate counter-narcotics assistance in combating the drug trade in and emanating from Afghanistan, to strengthen the "security belts" around it and to maximize the effectiveness of UNDCP programmes in the region.

51. Conduct outreach, including technical assistance, to other countries, in coordination with each other and with other parts of the G8 structure as well as regional organizations, with a view to building capacity to implement UNSCR 1373, the twelve United Nations counter-terrorism conventions and protocols listed in the annex, the Roma Group counter-terrorism recommendations, and the G8 Recommendations on Transnational Crime (2002), for the purpose of combating terrorism-related activities.

52. As appropriate, develop best practices to facilitate such outreach and cooperate closely on capacity building and outreach with the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (UNSC CTC).

53. Develop additional measures, in cooperation with international organizations and civil society, to increase the awareness of all individuals that any act or threat of terrorism represents a serious crime with appropriate penalties.

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Commitments for
G8 Foreign Ministers in Connection with Terrorist Hostage Taking in Moscow
October 25, 2002

Commitments identified by Michael M. Malleson
using Kokotsis Commitment Counting Method
May 12, 2003

1. As it was decided at the G8 Kananaskis Summit, we will step up our cooperation in the fight against international terrorism and will accelerate implementation of the initiatives upon which we have agreed. We stand ready to cooperate with other nations in strengthening their anti-terrorist capabilities.

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