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G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting Chair's Progress Report

March 14, 2013

The Foreign Secretary William Hague has updated Parliament on objectives for the G8 Foreign Ministers' meeting. The foreign secretary said:

The G8 Foreign Ministersí Meeting will be taking place on 10 and 11 April 2013 in London. I wish to inform the House about the Governmentís objectives for this meeting, further to my Right Honourable Friend, the Prime Ministerís, Written Ministerial Statement about the UKís G8 Presidency of 9th January 2013.

The G8 represents a group of nations with a broad range of global interests and responsibilities. We have a collective responsibility and opportunity to use our influence to address some of the most pressing issues in the world.

We will be inviting G8 nations to provide leadership on the following issues:

First, we will seek a clear statement of intent and concrete commitments to begin to shatter the culture of impunity for those who use rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war, including support for a new International Protocol on the investigation and documentation of sexual violence in conflict and practical assistance in countries affected by this problem. Tackling rape and sexual violence in conflict is a major challenge for our generation, and I am grateful for the expressions of support voiced during the debate in this House on this subject on 14 February.

Second, we will encourage the G8 to provide provide high-level political support for Somalia in advance of an international conference on Somalia in London in May, which will be co-chaired with the Somali government. G8 Ministers will consider how best to support the re-engagement of the International Financial Institutions with Somalia.

Third, I intend to propose ways we can build greater trust and security in cyberspace as a means of expanding the growth potential of the global digital economy. The G8 can show leadership on international capacity-building efforts, following up the UK initiative announced at the Budapest Cyber conference last October.

Fourth, support for Burma will also be a priority. Following a remarkable period of political reform we believe that the G8 should, in partnership with the Burmese leadership, support a framework for responsible international investment.

Fifth, we will follow up on the Deauville Partnership which represents G8 and partnersí support to countries undergoing transition following the Arab Spring. Over the course of 2013 the G8 and its partners will oversee several Deauville Partnership initiatives, centred on trade and investment, promoting small and medium sized enterprises, and supporting womenís economic empowerment.

In addition to these issues, Foreign Ministers will also discuss urgent foreign policy issues. This agenda will be determined closer to the time, but will certainly include the situation in the Middle East, including Syria and Iran, security and stability across North and West Africa, DPRK and climate change.

I will keep the House informed of progress.

Source: Official website of the UK Presidency

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