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Country Performance Assessments for the
1999 Köln G8 Summit

(including justification of scores)


Overall country grade: A

1) International Financial Architecture: A-

Canada was quite successful in achieving its goals for reform to the international financial architecture (IFA). Canada had sought reforms to mandate of the International Monetary Fund's Interim Committee so that it would better reflect a broader IMF role in international financial and monetary issues. In fact, the G8 leaders agreed to transform the Interim Committee into a permanent International Financial and Monetary Committee. The committee will undertake discussions with a broader array of countries and officials to make it more responsive to potentially harmful international financial developments. Next, Canada's proposal for a 'standstill provision' that would allow governments to restrict capital flows in times of crisis was partially accepted when G8 leaders agreed that 'countries may impose capital or exchange controls" in exceptional circumstances. There was also limited acceptance of Canada's desire to see emerging markets more involved in discussions of international financial issues, but this was only in the form of recognizing the importance of past efforts in this regard.

2) Debt of the Poorest: A

Canada had an ambitious agenda in G8 terms for debt relief. Going into the summit Canada wanted the timeframe for receiving debt relief under the HIPC program to be shortened from six years to three years. A country will still be required to demonstrate at least three years of responsible economic policy performance to become eligible for being given debt relief, but the second three year policy performance period can be reduced if a displays its commitment to economic reform programs. Canada also wanted to broaden the number of countries that could be made eligible for HIPC relief. This was achieved by changing the criteria that is used to define a HIPC by lowering the debt-to-revenue ratio from 280% to 250%, and by reducing the debt-to-export ratio from 200-250% to 150%. Leaders also agreed to increase their contributions to the HIPC Trust Fund thereby meeting another of Canada's objectives in debt relief. The sale of IMF gold to finance deeper debt relief was an important objective for Canada's agenda. This was successfully achieved when the leader's agreed to the sale of 10 million ounces of IMF gold. Canada also wanted to have 100 percent of all Paris Club commercial debt forgiven. Although the G8 leaders agreed to forgive only 90% of commercial debt, this is a significant improvement over the 80% forgiveness level that existed prior to the summit. The G8's agreement to forgive 100 percent of all Official Development Assistance loans represents another success for Canada. Finally, Canada was able to secure support for an end to the provision of development assistance loans and to instead provide development assistance on a grant basis only.

3) Kosovo: A

Canada's desire for a diplomatic solution to the war in Kosovo was achieved before the summit. Subsequently, Canada placed significant emphasis on keeping Russia intimately involved as a productive partner in ongoing political and diplomatic discussions as well as in the newly-established peacekeeping force in the region. By compromising on previous statements that Serbia would not receive any Canadian aid so long as Milosevic was in power, Canada was able sustain the more important objective of maintaining Russia's active diplomatic cooperation in the Kosovo matter. Canada also wanted a statement of support for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia which is mandated to investigate possible war crimes in the region. Such a statement was included in the final communique.

4) Multilateral Trade: D-

Entering the summit, Canada had hoped to discuss the negotiating process for the upcoming round of World Trade Organization trade liberalisation talks which are scheduled to begin at the end of 1999. The process for the negotiations, however, was not discussed at all. The communique only mentioned that the leaders would support "a new round of broad-based and ambitious negotiations with the aim of achieving substantial and manageable results." This partially reflects Canada's desire for a broad-based agenda that could be implemented in a timely fashion as sectoral discussions are completed, rather than waiting until agreement has been reached on all sectors under negotiation. The absence of in-depth discussions of the process of the negotiations means that Canada cannot be given a high grade on this issue.

5) Nuclear Disarmament: A-

Prior to the summit, the nuclear and missile tests that India and Pakistan had engaged in over the last twelve months raised concerns in Canada over the credibility of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Therefore, Canada wanted G8 leaders to issue a renewed call for India and Pakistan to halt all future weapons tests and to sign the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and to sign the NPT as non-nuclear states. This objective was achieved. The Koln communique mentions broad support for the NPT and for a variety of actions that will contribute to the goal of nuclear non-proliferation. It also encourages both India and Pakistan to join "international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts". Finally, the communique reaffirms statements made in the 1998 Birmingham communique which calls on both India and Pakistan to "adhere" to the CTBT and the NPT.

Report by Jason Krausert, Eleni Maniatis and Mike Youash

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