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Overall Grade: D
Transnational Organized Crime, Drugs, and Terrorism did not prove to be a top priority at this year's G8 summit. However, additonal forums such as the meeting of Finance and Foreign Ministers have helped maintain some monumentum for a well-tailored cooperation on the issues of financial crime and terrorism.
Ratification of the Palermo Convention: F
The Palermo Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly on November 15, 2000 and was signed by 125 states in December in Palermo, and was heralded as the most ambitious effort to date to fight international crime. Considering that the G8 states harbour particularly strong criminal organizations with increasing international ties, the move not to ratify this agreement came as a big surprise. Moreover, the G8 failed in this area by not implementing the assistance mechanisms forseen by the Convention.
In this particular area of concern, the G8 states moved forward. They commited themselves to implement the OECD Bribery Convention and to support efforts in the UN to pursue an effective instrument against corruption, both of which were goals forecast before the summit. However, advancment on this topic came indirectly and was outlined under the G8's Strategic Approach to Poverty Reduction. For this reason, the Heads of State neglected to collaborate amongst themselves on issues of intensified investigative and police work. In addition, they neglected to bring up the subject of judicial cooperation.
Money Laundering: B+
Money Laundering was delt with as a component of Financial Crime at this years summit. The G7 Finance Ministers presented to the Heads of State and Government a report outlining the work completed during the past year. The report contained numerous recommmendations aimed at money laundering, offshore financial centres, harmful tax practices and improving the observance of international standards and good governance. The Finance Ministers asked for better coordination of efforts underway in various international fora and for expeditious follow-up actions and stressed the need for open dialogue and the provision of technical assistance where necessary to help countries meet international standards. In addition, they underlined the need to promote international cooperation between law enforcement, tax, and regulatory authorities in the fight agains financial crime and abuse. The leaders of the G7 have reaffirmed their support for the multilateral effort against abuses of the global financial system and have promised to endorse the recommendations of their Finance Ministers in order to address this challenge. However, the issue was not reaffirmed in the G8 Communique.
Illegal Immigration: E
Illegal immigration is a topic that has received much attention by all the G8 countries over the last year. The members of the G8 have acted independently over the past year by pushing domestic reforms and legislation to tackle this ongoing problem. Despite these domestic initiatives, illegal immigration was only vaguely mentioned in the communique, and no commitment was made by the G8.
International Terrorism: C
After meeting in Rome on July 18-19 to examine the international issues of the G8, the Foreign Ministers released a set of conculusions containing a renewed condemnation of all forms of terrorism. Surprisingly, the leaders of the G8 did not follow the lead of their Foreign Ministers since they did not restate the importance of terrorism. Yet, at the very minimum, they did stress the need for enhanced international cooperation in the development of preventive and enforcement strategies and endorsing the commitment expressed this year by the G8 Justice and Interior Ministers in Milan. In the end, no hard commitments were presented in the G8 Communique.
High-Tech and Internet Crime; use of the Internet in Child Pornography: E
Going into the Summit, the final theme of the Foreign Ministers was expected to be the fight against high-tech crime and Internet-based child pornography. As with illegal immigration, this topic was only briefly mentioned in the final communique of the Group of Eight and no commitments were outlined.
Illegal Drugs: D
Following up on the G8 Ad Hoc Meeting of Drug Experts held in Miyazaki last year and the recent London Conference on the global economy of illegal drugs, the G8 commited themselves to strengthen efforts to curb the trafficking and use of illegal drugs. While the statement itself is a commitment, it is vague in and of itself. No time frame or measures were outlined, and the commitment was not a novel one.
Prepared by: Maria Banda, Ana Milkovic and Michael Simpson of the G8 Research Group.
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