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Defining and Identifying Collective Commitments

1998 G7 Compliance Report

What Constitutes Compliance

Compliance Studies are designed to ascertain the credibility of the Summit process based on the ability of the Summit members to implement their communiqué commitments in the post-Summit period. Based on the six most significant commitments emerging from the 1997 Denver communiqué, compliance studies have been conducted by the University of Toronto G8 Research Group in the areas of Russia, Employment, Climate Change, Transnational Organized Crime, Development and Anti-Personnel Landmines.

Having identified the major commitments in the communiqué, defining compliance becomes the next central task. First Order Compliance is defined to mean national government action geared towards the domestic implementation of legislative and administrative regulations designed to execute summit commitments. As such, compliance is measured according to governmental actions designed to modify existing instruments within the executive and legislative branch to accommodate the commitments reached. By identifying the introduction of new executive actions, we are then able to assess whether or not the domestic political processes within the seven countries are in conformance with the direction of the target as specified in the summit commence.

Beyond the enactment of legislation, first order compliance also includes other executive actions such as the initiation of specific programs, the appointment of special representatives, budgetary allocations, resource distributions, proposals for national action plans, recommendations for increased R&D spending, and the establishment of new positions, posts, task forces and working groups. Any executive initiatives are included if they aim to reach the welfare target as specified in the communiqué.

The Scoring Method

A three-level measurement process is used to categorize the commitments:
  1. full conformance with a commitment is measured by +1
  2. complete failure to implement a commitment is measured by -1
  3. a "work in progress" is measured by "0" and means that a resolution has been initiated, but not completed, within the one year time frame (i.e., from the time of the last summit to the time of the forthcoming summit)

Defining Commitments

The commitments selected for the 1997 compliance study are as follows:

  1. Russia - "We support the goal of early Russian accession to the WTO on the basis of conditions generally applicable to newly acceding members".
  2. Employment - "Measures that expand the availability of high quality education and training and increase the responsiveness of labor markets to economic conditions will aid the ability of our people to adjust to all types of structural changes".
  3. Climate Change - "At the Third Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto, we must forge a strong assessment that is consistent with the Berlin Mandate and that contains quantified and legally-binding emission targets that will result in reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by 2010".
  4. Transnational Organized Crime - "We will combat illegal firearms trafficking, by considering a new international instrument. We will seek to adopt standard systems for firearms identification and a stronger international regime for import and export licensing of firearms".
  5. Development - "We will work with African countries to ensure adequate and well-targeted assistance for those countries which have the greatest need and carry out the necessary broad-based reforms. This assistance will include support for democratic governance, respect for human rights, sound public administration, efficient legal and judicial systems, infrastructure development, rural development, food security, environmental protection, and human resource development including health and education of their people".
  6. Anti-Personnel Landmines - "We reaffirm the UN General Assembly resolution approved overwhelmingly, calling for concluding and effective, legally-binding international agreement to ban anti-personnel landmines as soon as possible".

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