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G8 Foreign Ministers Meetings

Chair's Statement

Trieste, Italy, June 26, 2009

A growing variety of factors, both global and regional in nature, challenge the stability of the world. International security cannot be ensured without tackling also phenomena such as terrorism, organized crime, fragile institutions and many sorts of illegal trafficking which spill their effects over national borders. Devising effective responses is made more complicated by the inter-relations among those phenomena and their frequent link with dire human conditions.

The current economic situation, food crisis, lack of energy security and climate change have further proven that the world is more interconnected than ever.  For example, last year’s global food crisis plunged 100 million more people into extreme poverty and generated political instability in several countries.  We can decrease the risk of social destabilization due to food insecurity through long-term partnerships with developing countries that stimulate rural development and economic growth.  The global financial crisis increases the vulnerability of the world’s poor, and along with the other factors above, has the potential to magnify political tensions and foster social unrest. 

The situation demands a comprehensive, coordinated and sustained commitment to mobilizing financial and diplomatic instruments that focus on our common interest in ensuring peace, resolving conflicts and creating conditions for sustainable development. We, the G8 Foreign Ministers, recognize our responsibility to stand together as one in countering old and new threats to peace and security and stress our commitment to transforming those challenges in opportunities for fostering effective international cooperation.

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Non Proliferation, Disarmament Instruments and Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy

The proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery still constitute a major threat to international peace and security. We state our commitment to reinforce global non proliferation efforts by strengthening multilateral regimes. In that context we will strive for a successful outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference that strengthens the international nuclear non proliferation regime,  promotes the international consensus underlying the Treaty and advances each of its three pillars. We are all committed to seeking a safer world for all and to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, in accordance with the goals of the NPT.

We salute, in particular, the decision by the United States and the Russian Federation to negotiate an agreement to replace the START. We call upon all nuclear-weapon states to undertake further steps in nuclear disarmament. We will intensify our efforts to bring into force the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. We welcome the adoption by the Conference on Disarmament of a programme of work for its 2009 session. We strongly support the early commencement of negotiations on a Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices that includes provisions for international verification.  We expressed appreciation for the Conference “Overcoming Nuclear Dangers”, organised by Italy, the Nuclear Threat Initiative and The World Political Forum in Rome on 16-17 April 2009. We look forward to other G8 states’ initiatives aiming at fostering the implementation of the NPT.

We keep on monitoring regional challenges to the non proliferation regime with a view to ensuring full compliance by all States with their non proliferation undertakings and relevant UNSC Resolutions. We call upon all states to fully implement UNSC Resolution 1540/2004. We support the 1540 Committee’s work and encourage all states to participate actively in the comprehensive review on the implementation of the Resolution. We will join in reinforcing IAEA safeguards and addressing serious violations of the NPT and IAEA safeguards. We reiterate our commitment to take appropriate steps for further implementation of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.

We recognise the growing interest in peaceful uses of nuclear energy that should be carried out under the best safety, security and non proliferation conditions. We support the development of multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle and appreciate ongoing initiatives in this regard. We stress the key role played by IAEA in promoting the highest standards of non proliferation, safety and security, as well as in fostering cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We are ready to assist its member states in developing capacities that respect those standards.

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Terrorism continues to represent one of the greatest challenges to international peace, stability and security. We reiterate, in the strongest terms, our firm condemnation of this phenomenon in all its manifestations, particularly suicide bombing and kidnapping, and our commitment to counter violent extremism. All acts of terrorism – by whomever committed – are criminal, inhuman and unjustifiable, especially when they indiscriminately target and injure civilians.

We continue to be concerned about the growing links between terrorism and other criminal destabilizing factors – e.g. narco-trafficking, arms smuggling and corruption – which are of particular concern in states with fragile institutions. A proactive response is therefore required, including multifaceted short and long-term initiatives, within the framework provided by relevant UN conventions, protocols and Security Council Resolutions.

We reiterate our commitment to respecting and defending human rights obligations, which is fundamental to countering terrorism. The respect of international law and the promotion of the rule of law are irrenounceable pillars of our endeavour to eradicate terrorism.

Prevention and repression of terrorism financing are vital elements of any international strategy. We support the full implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations and of the United Nations sanctions regime.  With special regard to the latter, we welcome the adoption of UNSC Resolutions 1730/2006 and 1822/2008, and call for their full implementation. Special attention should be paid to prevention of terrorism, i.e. to countering terrorist propaganda, incitement to terrorism and recruitment by terrorist organizations, as well as radicalization leading to violence. The use of cyber networks for terrorist purposes must be tackled as well.

The G8 continues to play a key role in supporting capacity building and technical assistance initiatives in third countries.  We commit ourselves to further strengthen our coordination in this field and, to this end, we welcome the progressive reinforcement of the activities of the “Roma/Lyon Group” and of the Counter Terrorism Action Group (CTAG), as well as their further enhancement by “ad hoc” outreach initiatives with other relevant partners and the increased emphasis given to regional dimension in their work.

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Trans-national Organised Crime

International stability is directly affected by a number of activities of Trans-national Organised Crime, such as illicit trafficking in firearms, persons and drugs, cash smuggling, money laundering and corruption. In this context we are particularly concerned about the increasing penetration of organised criminal groups into the legal economy. We call for the universalisation and the full implementation of all relevant UN conventions, in particular the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (Palermo, 15 December 2000) and its protocols, and the United Nations Convention against Corruption that – through a financial asset oriented approach – effectively attack the ultimate interest of criminal organizations.

We commit ourselves to supporting capacity building and providing technical assistance for strengthening criminal justice systems in third countries. We are fully engaged in further enhancing coordination amongst ourselves, as much as our cooperation with relevant UN bodies, in particular with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

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Peace-keeping / Peace-building

Noting the progress in implementing commitments made at successive G8 Summits to enhance global capacity for peace support operations, we look forward to our experts’ report to Leaders on major achievements in this regard.  We will continue to pursue a comprehensive approach to peace support operations in crisis areas, in which security, stabilization, post-conflict reconstruction and rule of law go hand in hand. We welcome the UN Secretary General’s Report on Peacebuilding in the Immediate Aftermath of Conflict and encourage all relevant actors to consider its recommendations.

Recognizing the leading role of the United Nations in the field of peacekeeping, in particular the UN Peacebuilding Commission, we further commit to enhancing international coordination in order to ensure the best possible application of resources. We pledge to support capacity building programs worldwide, with special attention to the police and civilian components as an effective bridge on the road from crisis to stability. In that context we look in particular at Africa, where we shall continue to work with the African Union, sub-regional organizations and African States, in order to increase continental peacekeeping capacity and strengthen institutions, including through enhanced cooperation between Training Centres, in keeping with the principle of local ownership.

We stress as well the need for enhanced cooperation in sustaining the African Union-led peace support operations.

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We are seriously concerned about the increasing threat of piracy off the Gulf of Aden and the Eastern coast of Africa. We agree that dissuasion, prevention and suppression of acts of piracy are essential for maritime security and regional stability. We welcomed the ongoing international efforts to combat piracy through multilateral frameworks such as the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – in particular the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCC) – as well as individual and collective maritime operations. We are committed to enhancing coordination and information sharing among those actors as well as initiatives to reinforce their inclusiveness. Aiming at preventing pirates from achieving their goals, we recognize among others the need to cooperate at international level in order to ensure the development of adequate legal frameworks to fight piracy and other maritime-related crimes, to explore ways of tracking and freezing pirates’ assets, and to consider measures of shipping self protection.

We also agree on the need of a strengthened international commitment to target the root causes of piracy, by helping countries in the region meet a number of destabilizing domestic and external challenges (such as poverty, ongoing conflicts, lawlessness and the lack of a strong central authority).

Affected States have a significant role in prosecuting, and enabling the prosecution of, suspected pirates, in keeping with internationally accepted legal and human rights standards and practice. In parallel, and consistent with the orientations expressed at the Seoul High Level Meeting on Piracy off the Coasts of Somalia of 9-10 June 2009, we note the importance of strengthening maritime and legal capacities of countries in the region. The G8 commended the leadership role of Kenya in the prosecution and detention of pirates. It is urgent to assist regional states in building their own capacity of adequately controlling their borders, coasts and territorial waters. In the framework of the CGPCS and in cooperation with IMO, we shall help personnel from concerned States to take maximum advantage of training opportunities provided by the International Maritime Safety, Security and Environment Academy (IMSSEA), already operating in Genoa under an agreement with IMO, and the Regional Training Centre to be created in Djibouti. We shall consider offering concerned States, on a bilateral basis, further opportunities for coast guard and law enforcement agencies formation and training.

We agreed to follow-up, also through meetings in the region at Ambassadors and experts level, in order to ensure that the G8 members provide maximum support to the work of the CGPCS and the implementation of its guidelines.

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We are concerned about the aftermath of Iranian Presidential elections. We fully respect the sovereignty of Iran. At the same time, we deplore post-electoral violence, which led to the loss of lives of Iranian civilians. We express our solidarity with those who have suffered repression while peacefully demonstrating and urge Iran to respect fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression, as ensured by the international treaties it has ratified. The crisis should be settled soon through democratic dialogue and peaceful means on the basis of the rule of law. We call on the Iranian government to guarantee that the will of the Iranian people is reflected in the electoral process.

We remain committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the issue of Iran’s nuclear program and support renewed efforts to that effect, such as the readiness of the U.S. to enter into direct talks and the invitation from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States to Iran to restart negotiations, as well as the constructive involvement of other G8 partners in the process. We stress the need for unity of action on the basis of agreed policy. We sincerely hope that Iran will seize this opportunity to give diplomacy a chance to find a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue. At the same time we remain deeply concerned over proliferation risks posed by Iran’s nuclear programme. We recognise that Iran has the right to a civilian nuclear programme, but that comes with the responsibility to restore confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear activities. We strongly urge Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA and to comply with the relevant UNSC Resolutions.

Our meeting on the margin of the United Nations General Assembly opening week next September, will be an occasion for the G8 to take stock of the situation.

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Afghanistan and Pakistan

We remain firmly committed to supporting the democratically elected governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan as they confront grave security, humanitarian, counter narcotics, terrorism and economic challenges and will help them strengthening institutional capacity and increasing the effectiveness of government. We recognise the central role of the UN in ensuring the effectiveness and coherence of our efforts in Afghanistan. We look forward to our engagement in Trieste with our colleagues from Afghanistan and Pakistan and other regional actors.  The outcomes of those discussions will be reported separately.

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We condemn in the strongest terms the nuclear test conducted on 25 May 2009 in violation of UNSC Resolution 1718/2006 and the launch using ballistic missile technology of 5 April 2009 which constitute a threat to regional peace and stability. We welcome the adoption of UNSC Resolution 1874/2009 and call upon the international community to fully and transparently implement their obligations pursuant to this Resolution, including the prevention of transfer of proliferation-related materials to and from the DPRK. We urge DPRK to fulfil its obligations under relevant UNSC Resolutions, to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes as well as ballistic missile programmes, which affect international security, and to return to full compliance with its international obligations. We remain committed to the goal of the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through the full implementation of the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks. We demand DPRK not to conduct further destabilizing actions and resume its participation to the Six Party Talks. We recognise the need for all participants to take measures as agreed in this format. We also urge DPRK’s prompt action to address the concerns of the international community on humanitarian matters, including the abduction issue.

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Middle East

We reiterate the G8’s full support for the two-state solution, with the establishment of an independent, democratic, viable and contiguous Palestinian State living in peace with Israel and its other neighbours within secure and recognised borders. We salute our Leaders’ personal commitment for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We maintain our firm commitment to continue providing assistance to the Palestinian people and to strengthen the Palestinian democratic institutions. We call on all parties to re-enter direct negotiations on all standing issues consistent with the Roadmap, the relevant UNSC Resolutions and the Madrid principles. We also call on both parties to fulfil their obligations under the Roadmap, including a freeze in settlement activity (as well their “natural growth”) and an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism. We emphasized the urgency of a durable solution to the Gaza crisis through the full implementation of UNSC Resolution 1860/2009, including an end to arms smuggling and the immediate opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons. We remain committed to actively supporting the implementation of current and future peace agreements, and encourage others to do the same. Comprehensive peace in the Middle East requires a regional approach and we look forward to a comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbours, also building upon the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. We support the proposal of the Russian Federation to convene, in consultation with the Quartet and the Parties, an international conference on the Middle East peace process in Moscow in 2009.

We continue to support a secure and united Iraq and pledge our ongoing support for free and inclusive national elections in the year ahead.

We congratulate the Lebanese people for carrying out a peaceful national election on 7 June 2009 and express our continued support for a sovereign and independent Lebanon.

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We are deeply concerned about the recent developments. A real process of dialogue and national reconciliation is needed, with the full participation of representatives of all political parties and ethnic groups, leading to transparent, fair and democratic multiparty elections. In this regard we call on the Government of Myanmar to release all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi whose continued detention would undermine the credibility of the elections planned for 2010.

We reaffirm our full support to the UN Secretary General’s good office mission and the initiatives aimed at fostering dialogue and democratic transition in Myanmar, demanding international community to do likewise. We call on the Government of Myanmar to fully cooperate with the UNSG Special Advisor, as well as with the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar. We remain prepared to respond positively to substantive political progress undertaken by Myanmar.

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Sri Lanka

While we welcome the end of the military conflict, we deeply regret the mass civilian casualties during the final phase of the fighting. We also recognise the steps already undertaken by the Government of Sri Lanka to address the humanitarian situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and its cooperation with relevant UN agencies, and encourage it to take further measures toward remaining significant challenges, including the civilian nature of the camps, freedom of movement and early return for IDPs. While we acknowledge security concerns, unhindered access for humanitarian aid agencies should be ensured by the Government of Sri Lanka. We welcome the recent agreement between the UN Secretary General and the Government of Sri Lanka underlining the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. We also welcome the government of Sri Lanka’s agreement to take measures to address those grievances. Further efforts are needed to ensure steady progress in the political process towards national reconciliation. Long-term security, post-conflict reconstruction and prosperity in the country can only be achieved through a process that addresses the legitimate concerns of all communities.

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We recognise the strategic importance of enhancing international support to Yemen, whose integrity and effective control of the territory and borders are crucial for fighting against piracy and terrorism, as well as for security and stability in the Middle East, the Gulf and the Horn of Africa. We support a strengthened international cooperation aimed at helping the country in meeting domestic and external challenges. We will consider concerted and coordinated assistance, building upon the existing Consultative Group process. Increased integration of Yemen in regional cooperation would also be beneficial.

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We reiterate full support to the G8 - BMENA Partnership as a crucial platform of dialogue and cooperation among Partner Governments, international organisations and the civil society in view of home-grown reforms in political, economic and social spheres. We look forward to the sixth “Forum for the Future”, scheduled next fall under the co-chairmanship of Italy and Morocco, in order to review the various initiatives undertaken since 2004 and strengthen the Partnership.

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We shall work in order to create the conditions for transforming present problems in Africa into new opportunities for cooperation and development. We look forward to engaging African countries as partners on equal footing. We saluted recent efforts by African partners in strengthening governance in Africa, in building the capacities of continental and sub-regional organizations and in addressing situations of armed conflict. The G8 welcomed: recent free and fair elections in the region; the continuing implementation of the African Peer Review Mechanism and other initiatives associated with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and its integration with the activities of the African Union; and historically-high levels of regional economic growth in recent years. 

These examples underscore the positive results that can be achieved when progressive national leadership is supported by sustained international engagement.  Nevertheless, and notwithstanding these important successes, we expressed deep concern about the persistence of undemocratic transfers of power in Africa and commended the principled opposition of African partners, particularly the African Union, Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to these extra-constitutional changes of government.  We call on the regimes which have taken power by such means to allow the restoration of constitutional order through free, fair and transparent elections as soon as possible.

We remain conscious of the political and economic challenges still confronting Africa – especially in the context of the food and economic crisis – and underscore the need for continued international cooperation in addressing them. We shall devote a special attention to protection of human rights, particularly on the most vulnerable such as children and women.

We remain seized of a number of specific situations.

Somalia - Sharing a deep concern over long-standing instability and the humanitarian crisis in Somalia, we reiterated our strong support to the Transitional Federal Government and its efforts aimed at securing an inclusive process of national reconciliation and sustainable peace. We recognise the need for enhanced and sustained humanitarian assistance and development efforts in Somalia, which we are willing to support. We welcomed the outcome of the International Conference in support of the Somali Security Institutions and the African Union Mission in Somalia, held in Brussels on 22-23 April 2009, and recognised the role played by the International Contact Group on Somalia, which lastly convened in Rome on 10-11 June 2009 with the participation of the Somali Prime Minister. We encourage African nations to join Burundi and Uganda in providing troops and support to AMISOM, while urging the whole international community to further engage in coordinated security and recovery efforts involving the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union and other relevant organizations, with a focus on building capacity for the TFG to deliver basic government services. In this regard, we are ready to consider financial assistance for training as well as other support for Somali security forces.

Sudan - We highlighted the importance of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, as the foundation for a sustainable peace, and welcomed the recent CPA Forum hosted by the United States in Washington on 23 June 2009. We call on the international community to work together to secure full implementation of the Agreement. We urge all parties to commit in good faith to the Darfur peace negotiations.  We salute the efforts of the AU-UN Joint Chief Mediator and Qatar in this regard and encourage regional players to support the process. UNAMID's role is crucial in enhancing security in Darfur and we emphasise the importance of its full and effective deployment. We call on the Government of Sudan to work effectively with humanitarian organizations in order to facilitate humanitarian access and assistance, and demand all parties to comply fully with their obligations under international humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law. We also call on all parties to abide by their obligations under relevant UNSC Resolutions. In particular, we reaffirm the obligation for Sudan to abide by UNSC Resolution 1593/2005, as lasting peace cannot be achieved without justice and reconciliation.

Great Lakes - We acknowledged that stability in the Democratic Republic of Congo is paramount to security in the Great Lakes Region and in all of Africa.  We applauded the recent cooperation between the governments of the DRC and Rwanda, which has created new opportunities for a concerted and sustainable solution to the crisis in eastern DRC. We encourage renewed cooperation among the countries of the region, including in regional fora, on all political, security and economic aspects that are underlying causes of the crisis. We encourage the disarmament and reintegration of all organised armed groups as necessary steps towards a lasting solution. We express our grave concerns about the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence in the DRC and the Great Lakes Region, and emphasise the need to effectively punish its perpetrators and to address its root causes. It is essential that all parties protect civilians and facilitate full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian workers providing assistance.

Zimbabwe - Progress has been made towards national reconciliation. We support the people of Zimbabwe and the transition government as they work to bring peace, stability, prosperity and democracy back to their country. We encourage a full application of the Global Political Agreement, which can positively respond to concerns for rule of law, economic governance and land issues.  Illegal and violent farm seizures, repression of human rights, and restrictions on media and journalists must cease. We will work with the transition government as it builds the institutions necessary for free and fair elections in a timely manner.  We look forward to a meaningful dialogue with Zimbabwe, leading to a full normalization of political and economic relations, contingent upon progress towards full respect of human rights, democracy, and re-establishment of effective rule of law in the country.

West Africa - Several states of West Africa are emerging from conflict and political stabilization processes in some parts of the region remain fragile. Rule of law continues to be a primary challenge for a number of states concerned, as demonstrated by a series of recent non-constitutional transfers of power.  As one consequence, we are witnessing an increase in worrying phenomena such as terrorism, maritime insecurity and illegal activities (trafficking in drugs, small weapons and human beings, and kidnappings for ransom).  In that regard, we are particularly concerned about the actions of Al Qaida in the Sahel region, including hostage taking of foreigners, and totally condemn the recent assassination of a British hostage.  Trans-national organised crime is also striving to infiltrate and weaken institutions. At the same time, we acknowledge the effectiveness of peace and security initiatives undertaken through ECOWAS. We encourage and will continue to support states of the region in their common effort to build the capacity to effectively meeting these challenges, including by addressing their root causes.

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We expressed our commitment for achieving regional stabilization. We state our support to efforts carried out to that effect with the active involvement of the UN, the OSCE and the EU. We encourage all actors in the region to work towards the peaceful settlement of unresolved conflicts and to support humanitarian aid programs.

We strongly encourage the development of regional cooperation. In this framework, we welcome the efforts of Armenia and Turkey to normalise their relations and the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to seek a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Caucasus region has the potential to become an area of peace and prosperity for all populations.

Source: Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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