G7 Research Group G7 Information Centre
Summits |  Meetings |  Publications |  Research |  Search |  Home |  About the G7 Research Group
University of Toronto

Special Events

G8 Outreach Session

G8 2005:
Canada's and the UK's Objectives
for the Gleneagles Summit

An Outreach Session with Civil Society Stakeholders
with Peter Harder, Canada's G8 Sherpa, and Sir Michael Jay, the United Kingdom's G8 Sherpa

April 8, 2005

Watch webcast
(requires RealPlayer)

Please feel free to send your questions or statements to g8@utoronto.ca,
which we will do our best pass on to the sherpas.

Unofficial transcript by Madeline Koch, G8 Research Group


John Kirton:Hello, I'm Professor John Kirton, director of the G8 Research Group a global network of scholars, students and professionals headquartered here at the University of Toronto, at the Munk Centre, where we're gathered.

It's my pleasure to welcome everyone here with our partners in Calgary, Montreal, Halifax in centres where the G7/8 have hosted summits as well as here at the University of Toronto back in 1988, to look forward to the next G8 summit hosted by the UK at Gleneagles Summit Scotland in July 6-8 2005. I'd like to welcome in the first instance our two guest speakers, Peter Harder and Michael Jay – Peter Harder an old friend of the Munk Centre, is the sherpa for the PM of Canada for the Gleneagles, G8 and the deputy minister of foreign affairs. Sir Michael is the personal representative of the PM of the UK for the Gleneagles Summit, the host sherpa, and also the Permanent Undersecretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. We're delighted to do this while Sir Michael was visiting Canada for his pre-summit consultations for Gleneagles.

I'd like to thank you the Canadian stakeholders to give the sherpa team the benefit of your insight, intelligence and commitment to the large task that faces everyone dealing with the Gleneagles Summit. Its two key issues are African development and climate change, and these not easy global tasks. It will require the energy and constructive contribution of many, including the civil society stakeholders from across the G8, and including Canada where we start today. I'd also like to thank our stakeholders and partners in Montreal, Halifax and Calgary, the moderators and organizers of which I will introduce when we come to them.

First, in order to make use of our hour and a half together, we have a few ground rules. First, we're operating under Canadian Institute on International Affairs/Chatham House rules, which means everything said by anyone today is not for attribution or citation directly or indirectly. It is off the record, or deep, deep background in Washington parlance. No video or audio recordings are permitted. We Canadians will remember from our own national experience last summer that senior public servants are under particular constraints when their political masters are engaged in a general election campaign. The governance of the UK is as we speak. We do hope to webcast at some point the proceedings to the world, and should that happen I need to notify I should notify you by your presence and participation you are giving all intellectual property rights to the G8 Research Group for our global education purposes.

We'll start with opening remarks first from Peter Harder, then from Sir Michael, then go to the audience first here in Toronto for perhaps three or four interventions please of about one minute each. We'll collect them, and then we'll ask the sherpas to respond for about two minutes. Then we'll go in turn to Montreal, Calgary, Halifax and then back to Toronto again.

[back to top]

Peter Harder: Thank you very much Professor Kirton. It's great to be back at the Munk Centre and to participate in this important outreach session. I do so, Michael, with some trepidation, and I must warn you that one of the deans of the Canadian sherpa world is sitting in front of you, Sylvia Ostry, and she will be monitoring every word you say.

It's a particular present my colleague as permanent undersecretary and in the G8 at this outreach event. Outreach has become part of the architecture of the G8, and in large measure because of the way in which Professor Kirton and Canadian participants in civil society have designed their participation and their engagement with the G8 collectively and with the government of Canada in their processes. I thank you for that. It's important for us. Sir Michael as part of that strategy is visiting the G8 countries, has just come from Washington and NY, meetings yesterday and this morning in Ottawa, and as part of the outreach we've engaged the editorial boards of both the Toronto Star and the Globe. It's a full agenda of outreach and important for us. It's really the presidency that engages in this outreach, and it's important that I give Michael the vast majority of this first period of time to articulate the architecture of the British approach to this presidency, and I'm happy in the context of interaction to talk about where Canada is at in participating in this, in the issues and how we're building a successful summit exactly three months from today. If that doesn't put sweat on your brow, Michael, I don't know what can. With these words of welcome and with the thanks to the organizers for both this event and for the way we've stepped up the engagement of the civil society over the years of engagement with you, I welcome Sir Michael Jay.

[back to top]

Sir Michael Jay: Thank you very much, and my thanks also to Professor Kirton for making this possible. It's great to be with you – this is the final event in a week that has seen me in Washington, New York, Ottawa and Toronto, so I regard this as the climax for a week's preparations for the G8 summit in Gleneagles and I'm glad to be hear and glad too be linked up to other cities in Canada. I'm particularly glad to be linked to friends in Halifax because I shan't forget the really warm welcome when I was part of the G7 delegation was in Halifax some ten years ago.

In fact, coming back to G7/8 issues this January for the first time, at least pretty full time, for 10 years, the one real change that I see is the engagement of civil society stakeholders in the G8 process, and real engagement on both sides in that process. That didn't exist at all 10 years ago, and it is now an essential and integral part of the preparation of G8 summits. I think that's particularly important in the case of the summit in Gleneagles because the two subjects the PM has chosen as his main themes, Africa and climate change, are both ones in which civil society has a real role to play – and has indeed already played a real role. When one thinks about what has been achieved so far in debt in particular is large due in large part to the work of civil society, the pressure they have put on governments. That's true with the Jubilee Campaign on Africa this year, and it's true the terrific efforts of the Make Poverty History campaign.

It's good to be here. I'm Looking forward to this set of exchanges. I thought JK got it right what we're looking for is your insights, intelligence and commitment, I hope this isn't just going to be questions and answers but that you tell me what you think the G8 ought to be focusing on as we address these two key issues. I've said in other outreach events, including one that Peter Harder was at in London, that unless you make our lives uncomfortable, you're not doing your job. So I look forward to being able to take away from this exchange something that will be very helpful us at Gleneagles.

Three months today we'll be congratulating ourselves or commiserating, and I'm clear we'll be congratulating ourselves but exactly what on I can't tell you at the moment. We've had two sherpa meetings and we've got two more to go before the Gleneagles Summit. We've got other meetings: there's an important finance ministers meeting next week and in June the G8 foreign ministers will meet to produce the foreign policy agenda for the G8 summit. So we're well into the process.

Some of the issues are becoming reasonably clear and clarified, issues of agreement, issues of disagreement, issues on which we need to do further work. I can't tell you what we're going to agree at Gleneagles but what I can do is to give you some understanding why the PM thinks the two subjects he's chosen as his main themes, Africa and climate change, are important and what he'd like to be able to get out of the summit at Gleneagles. On Africa: the PM sees this as a real year of opportunity for Africa and he sees that because he sees the G7 process this year as first of all building on what's gone on before – when I say that, I think building on particular on Kananaskis under Canadian presidency, the launching of the APRs, the NEPAD structures which have made real difference – building on that, achieving specific outcomes at Gleneagles and but then also providing momentum through to the UN Summit in NY and the Doha Development Agenda meeting in Hong Kong at the beginning of December. So not just what have we achieved on the 8th of July at Gleneagles but, looking aback on the 31 December, at the full year and looking at what we've done to advance development in Africa. The CFA which he set up and has chaired is in earnest of his intent to put Africa at the centre of the summit. The structure of that report is a good structure for the discussions at Gleneagles – comprehensive approach to Africa, focusing on importance governance, peace and security, conflict resolution and prevention, increasing Africa's capacity to absorb aid so we have a context in which we can take specific measures on trade, debt relief, finding the funds for private and public flows for innovative schemes such as the IFF such as some of French ideas on levies and taxation as well as ODA. Can't tell where we'll come out on these issues – high level of ambition, spoke at Davos, which launched the G8 process, of doubling of aid, CFA talks of doubling aid. That's a big ambition. How far we can get there by Gleneagles or by the end of this year is a matter of what we'll try to achieve in the next three months.

On climate change, PM is absolutely convinced of the imp of his generation of politicians on making an advance on climate change over the next year. He finds the science compelling that global warming is a result of emissions including CO2 emissions, that there is a real risk of this having serious adverse impact on our planet and the need for action. What he'd like to achieve at Gleneagles Summit are three things: first, agreement by all the G8 on the importance of the issue and the need for action, second agreement on a set of actions we can all take and that we advocate, perhaps under the rubric of energy efficiency, cleaner power, making better use of existing technologies and promoting new research into new technologies; and third, some discussion about the longer term. There's a particular point I want to stress: the PM has invited part of outreach he has invited Brazil, South Africa, China, Mexico and India, The thinking behind that is that there are a number of us signed up to Kyoto protocol process and determined to meet obligations and the Kyoto protocol process is hugely necessary in trying to ensure that we stabilize the climate. But doesn't include a commitment form the U.S. and it doesn't include the big emerging economies – in particular China and India. The question therefore is there some way by having a discussion at Gleneagles that includes those countries that we could have some commitment that includes the U.S. and those emerging economies, but nonetheless takes the way we address climate change beyond that a little bit. That's a big question. I don't know whether that's achievable but that's where the PM is coming from.

These are ambitious aims. I've been asked, indeed I've been asked in some meetings Peter Harder and I have this afternoon the newspapers aren't you raising expectations high, isn't the PM riding for a fall? If you would ask him, he would say yes I am, because I think these are the kinds of issues we need to strive to achieve. I don't know how far we can as the G8 achieve the ambitions he has set for himself but I know he's determined to do what he can with his G8 colleagues to reach a good outcome on both these issues.

That's the context, and I'll stop there and hope we can have a really good discussion and as I say I would really welcome not just your questions but the comments and suggestions, the things you think we ought to be aiming for three months that remain for this negotiating process.

JK: Thanks for that great opening, it has already inspired a number of questions in the days leading up to this session from our global audience. We begin here in Toronto. If you'd like to make your intervention, please raise your hand. Start by giving your name and affiliation. Keep your intervention to one minute please. We'll have three or four of those and then we'll allow our sherpas to respond, but please email your intervention and we will ensure they will be injected into the sherpa process. The oral voice is not the only contribution you can make.

[back to top]


John Dillon, with KAIROS, the Canadian ecumenical justice initiative, and part of the global debt campaign.

My question has to deal with the G8 report here correctly notes that that Chancellor Brown has talked about 100% debt cancellation. However on studying the actual proposals from the UK treasury and from Finance Minister Goodale that are now being debated, they all fall short. Limited number of HIPC completion point countries and only payment of debt service until 2015. We estimate only 30-40% of debt would actually remitted for that limited number of countries. Have the prime ministers Martin and Blair engaged on this issue, anticipating that not a lot of progress will be done next Friday in Washington when the finance ministers meet. When will the prime ministers become in engaged because their leadership is definitely going to be needed to fulfil the promise that is also in the CFA report?

JK: The most common issue raised by our email audience was debt relief and debt cancellation.

Katherine McDonald, Action Canada for Population and Development.

We work on women's sexual and reproductive rights, in particular the need to integrate gender and sexual reproductive health into HIV/aid interventions. I've read the CFA report, and it has some promising pieces around need for sex and reproductive health services for women particularly in Africa and referring to maternal and infant mortality and so on. What I'd like to see the G8 address is the need to have much better integration. Women are at greatest risk for HIV/AIDS, especially in Africa, and there has been little done to break down the silo approach to program policy and delivering of services, so you get HIV services next door to sexual and reproductive health services. we have to talk about sexuality as a underlying issue and poverty as a driving factor and the needs of women in these issue. I'm hoping strongly that the prime ministers will take advantage of this opportunity to address the increasing feminization of aids.

Sylvia Ostry, University of Toronto

I'm sorry I didn't bring it with me – on Wednesday at Brookings they had a session on the report of a survey that was jointly planned by the BBC and I think Maryland University. One of the results – it's not very surprising – 23 countries, carefully done, statistics etc. I got the material off the web. It shows with very few exceptions an overwhelming dislike of the U.S. It's big. The exceptions are the Philippines – I can't remember, there are I think three countries. The other part of it – I almost fell off my chair – but I think it's relevant. You know who the most popular country in the world is? France! The pro-European is very, very strong. France is seen as the leader. I think this is very significant – the transatlantic thing is very important. I don't know what you can do, but it seems that's one of the most dangerous issues. I was just also reading Bergsten's book [The United States and the World Economy: Foreign Economic Policy for the Next Decade], in which he raising that question of the eroding transatlantic. The two issues the PM has chosen couldn't be more divisive. It's very ambitious, but I just want to raise the question. We live in the world of political reality, so it's kind of dicey.

Melanie Campbell, Students for Global AIDS

I am a student at the University of Toronto and represent a national group called Students against Global AIDS. We're part of an international coalition of more than 25 organizations around the world, including Japan, the UK and South Africa. We bound together in a campaign called Make AIDS History. We have prepared a five-point program that we would like the G8 leaders to respond to stem the tied of the growing AIDS pandemic. The issues we'd like them to address are increased funding for the AIDS crisis, which includes funding the Global Fund as well as other mechanisms, because we know that the Global Fund on its own not enough; ensuring there's treatment and access to medicines universally – 8500 people who die each day because they don't have access to these medications and we would like the G8 commit agree to a timetable to expand HIV/AIDS treatment universally by 2010. Another major crisis is that there's support needed for healthcare workers. Depending on what reports you look, at least 1 million healthcare workers that will be needed to meet the MDGs so we'd like the G8 to respond in terms of providing resources and also long-term planning for education strategies. Also debt cancellation, which has already been brought up, but that's something we also support. In countries like Malawi they spend as much on health care as they do on debt servicing. Finally we'd like the G8 leaders to respond to HIV prevention. I'm going to pass a copy of the platform to both you, and draw your attention to the letter on the side. I would like you, Mr. Harder, to please give this letter to Mr. Martin and Mr. Goodale. I think this indicates the level of support we have on the campus of the University of Toronto. We had a rally on March 16 on this issue and it was a great success and there's obviously a lot of support from students and faculty for these issues.

[back to top]

MJ:: Thank you very much for those comments. Let me say something about those three issues. Firstly, on debt, I think this is one issue on which there is a pretty good chance of an agreement at Gleneagles, or by Gleneagles. There are a number of proposals on the table at the moment. There's a British proposal, a Canadian proposal and an American proposal. Both have the same objective, which is to write off 100 percent of multilateral debt from multilateral agencies – mainly the World Bank and IDA and the Africa Development Fund. That's the objective. There are differences in the means to get there between the different proposals. We're now engaged in a discussion to see whether we can find a way of ensuring that we can reach agreement among the three of us and then to ensure there is agreement among the all the eight. Peter may want to say a word about the Canadian position. I don't think there'll be agreement at the G7 finance ministers meeting next week, but I think there's reasonably good chance after that after that at the meeting of the June meeting of the G8 finance ministers, maybe at Gleneagles itself. I think you may well be right that on that and some other issues there may need to be engagement of leaders themselves before we get to Gleneagles, but I don't think you'll get engagement that before May 6 – a broader consultation [PH's interjection] – condition prélat before that, but I would be reasonably confident about that.

Two questions on AIDS. I take the point for the need for an integrated approach and I will feed that into our processes. Let me also say that I find that five-point program personally very compelling and I will take that away and see how we can respond to those particular points in the time that remains between now and Gleneagles. I'm quite clear there is very large support among the G8 for doing a lot more for AIDS and health more widely. We in Britain have given 1.5 billion pounds, I think I'm right in saying, over the next three years for AIDS. That's a sign of our commitment and I know there are parallel commitments in other G8 countries.

A word about the transatlantic relationship. I agree with you that looked at from a British perspective the most important issue in our external policy is trying to ensure there's a constructive transatlantic relationship. It's going through a tough time over the last two or three years. I think the last Six months have shown quite important improvement – Condi Rice's speech at was at Sciences Po, Bush's own visit to Brussels what we are seeing now in a transatlantic approach to Iran and the Middle East peace process shows to me – maybe we need to be cautious about this – a greater willingness of the part of the U.S. to engage with European allies and greater willingness on the part of the European allies to see that a the constructive transatlantic relationship is in the interests of everybody. I'm cautiously optimistic that we're on an upward curve after a rather difficult trough.

Final point: The PM has chosen two issues that are ambitious and risky, yes he has because he thinks they're very important issues to try and advance. I can't tell you whether that's going to work but he's not one to duck a challenge, and he's set some targets he'd really to achieve. And it's my job to try to deliver those and since in the public service these days we're paid by the achievement of objectives I have a personal stake in the outcome.

PH: We'll do a fundraiser on your return. Let me add a couple of points because the issues raised are bang on. On the issue of debt – very key in the context of Africa. We've had the benefit of our minister of finance participating in the CFA. I can assure you that the PM as a former finance minister but also as prime minister has engaged directly the British chancellor and his own finance minister Ralph Goodale on the debt issues. Canada playing a constructive role on these issues at the G7 and we'll see what kind of interventions are required as we get to Gleneagles, but our earnest is in the budget and the statement that Goodale made of real Canadian commitment to the beyond HIPC 100 percent.

On the issues I can support Michael's comments on issues of population and development and share his view that we'd like to see those papers and incorporate them in our own thinking. Similarly, on AIDS and Make Aids History – very much part of the animation of the very considerable in the last year or two of G8 momentum. We need your voices to continue to add that momentum so I see this as a partnership between those who are advocating us to do more and giving us the ability, the political will to do more.

Sylvia has raised a fascinating set of issues. from a Canadian point of view, the transatlantic issue is primordial. Where do we fit in? Essential for us. I've been impressed – my second sherpa year – Sea Island came at a tremendously difficult time. It was somewhat saved the day before by the UN resolution on Iraq. It was fascinating how the leaders went out of their way in their personal interaction to not want to see, to build positive momentum on that and to give pres bush the agenda he brought to the table with the BMENA initiative, with his own Africa outreach as well. I think there is within the dynamics of the eight a keen desire to make a success of the presidency's choices. In our discussions with our American colleagues, they have not shied away from participating in the discussion of in these issues. In fact in a very ironic way I think that having these issues on the agenda gives the Americans and the European side of the transatlantic an opportunity to discuss on what would not be perhaps top-of-mind issues that would bind us and yet we are engaged and working towards what I believe will be a successful engagement of the G8. As Michael made clear in the climate change discussion, it will take discipline on all parts not to make this a review of Kyoto. This is about a broader set of issues, including the science, the new technologies, bringing new and emerging countries that are huge consumers of all this – and if you talk about energy security you do tend to get Americans' mindset and their attention.

Every G8 is connected to its history and where it's going. As Sir Michael referenced, the Africa agenda has had other G8s, beyond Kananaskis, and the like, and Sea Island had an Africa dimension to it. It's important, we feel, that the Africa agenda be reviewed now as we go to a presidency with Russia where that might not be atop of mind for the Russians, but climate change, energy security and new technologies and the like might be. So there's a sequencing of events at the G8 also the millennium-plus-five, Doha-Hong Kong meetings and Cop 11 and MOP 1.

[back to top]

Moderator: Kimon Valaskakis, Global Governance Group

Jean-Louis Roy, Rights and Democracy [roughly translated from French]

I would like to know from the sherpa from UK his meaning of Òinvited,Ó when you've got China, India, South Africa and Brazil and others who are invited. Are they going to be participants or partners? Will this be an evolution at the beginning of the 21st century? Also, on the subject of the debt, I hope the G8 are clear on the debt. I think there is an immense scepticism everywhere – there are so many announcements about reducing the debt, the work of the Paris of Club, also the Club of London – it's so complicated that people don't really know which countries benefit from the reduction of the debt, what is the real meaning of the reduction. What will happen in the coming years? Also about investment in Africa, if we hope – and Peter Harder just said that the Russians may not have Africa as a priority – what will the G8 has to say on the investment about this only region of the world that has no more investment except in a limited way in natural resources and energy. What is the level of public aid that we could give Africa if there is not a concerted effort to develop investment. I would also like to say, off topic, that I am scandalized that after all this rhetoric on Africa the Togolese are the only ones, after 40 years of dictators have three weeks a presidential election no co-operation multilateral and bilateral they are fighting for their liberty.

Nigel Martin, International Forum of Montreal

We were privileged to begin a dialogue with the sherpas before Kananaskis bringing NGO representatives from the south, and I'd like to thank Sir Michael and Charles Hay for taking us forward this year in our meeting at Lancaster House with the excellent help of Chatham House. What was the reaction of our colleagues to that meeting and how can we improve it. Second, I think as a rule civil society believes one of the major positive functions of the G8 can bring its weight to positively influence more democratically based multilateral bodies. If there is no unanimous agreement, and I believe there will not be, on these two issues in Scotland, what is the measure of success, and what are your positions to bring something for ward to other multilateral bodies?

Alexandre Trudeau, Jeunesse Canada du Monde [roughly translated from French]

I would like to address the British sherpa because this is a good occasion the G8 is an important meeting, because the UK is the only country with its history and its position with Europe and U.S. and North America to address the issue of the reform of the UN and poverty. With its failure of the last 5 years, we are facing an international institution that no longer responds to our needs, not our environmental needs nor our international needs. It no longer receives the respect of the great powers. Only this club of the rich countries with its invited guests from China, Brazil, South Africa, and Russia and other countries should deal with this issue in some manner. All other questions have a certain secondary priority.

Étienne Rusamira, Observatoire de l'Afrique Centrale [roughly translated from French]

My first question is about conflict resolution. I would like to know the position on the concrete propositions for resolving conflict. There are two dimensions to this conflict: external and internal. With the G8, concerning security, there are always measures – whether for anglophone or francophone Africa – and we would like to know whether the UK could get its colleagues to take the same position in facilitating conflict resolution in Africa. My second question follows on Mr. Trudeau's. Is the UK ready to support Kofi Annan's proposals for reform, notably those concerning Africa having two or three places on the Security Council.

Ted Schrecker, University of Ottawa

I found the poll findings that Sylvia Ostry quoted somewhat rather reassuring. The CFA is commendably strong on the link issues of corruption and capital flight. It talks about the $15 billion a year in capital flight form sub-Saharan Africa. What kinds of action and commitment can we expect from Canada, from the UK and from G8 as a whole on ratifying the UN convention against corruption?

Richard Veenstra, Canadian Crossroads International

I'd like to add to M. Roy's comment about industries of extraction in Africa and what can the G8 do to ensure that as the principal sector of investment in Africa it is regulated in a fashion that can be profitable to Africans.

[back to top]

MJ:: [translated from French] First, what do we mean by "inviting" the five countries. The reason for the invitation is that the PM considers it very difficult to discuss climate change without the presence of those that will be the largest emitters of the next five years. That's the justification for the invitation. That means that on the first day at Gleneagles there will be a discussion at eight on these questions of the economy and global warming and then, after that, the G8 and their five guests a discussion on these questions with the view of arriving at common conclusions.

I should also add, that on the second day at G8 there will be discussions on the Africa and the PM has also invited 7 or 8 African leaders to participate in these discussions because here too we can't have a real discussion without the participation of several francophone and anglophone leaders.

There was a question on what we will do to create a climate for investment in Africa. I think one of the reasons for trying to augment the level of public aid is to create conditions to attract private investment. I think there was also a mention on EITI. That's something that concerns the UK. We are behind this initiative 100 percent as are most of our industries and large corporations. I think it's possible to have a consensus on that.

[In English] There was a question about corruption. I would like to think also we could reach agreement at the G8 on a timetable for agreeing or ratifying the agreement against corruption. I don't know whether we will be able to. We've discussed it amongst ourselves. There's quite a lot of support. Some countries have technical reasons within the time table we would like to say, but that's an issue that remains on the table. I think to be honest we need to try really hard to do that, because it's a crucially important part of the governance agenda for Africa.

[In French] I could not understand one or two of the questions on the reform on the UN. What I'd like to say about that is that for us, what's important is to support the propositions of Kofi Annan, which came out last week from NY and I hope that it will be possible to deal with these issues at the heart of the summit at Gleneagles. As I said before, it's important to see Gleneagles as a process that will lead from Gleneagles to New York and then on to Hong Kong. I think a discussion on the reform of the UN will be important in this context.

PH [in French]: I'd like to add a few words on investment in Africa. One project of the G8 is Enablis, led by Charles Sirois. This is a project to give funds and to encourage entrepreneurship in south Africa. It's a small example that is both Canadian and G8 at the same time. But I share the goal that you have indicated that there must be a process to engage the private sector directly in Africa, and that's an aspect of the CFA. We have a dimension in our response in this area.

[In English] Nigel, you spoke of the London meeting. I though it was very good. I thought it was the first time that sherpas other than the presidency's sherpa participated. That's a stepping up of the engagement of civil society. I personally would have liked more time. There wasn't enough time given the number of people and including the number of sherpas it wasn't a sufficient engagement. It might have been useful to have a little bit of a collective presentation – I know a lot of work went into the presentations from the consultations on the day before and the morning we were there. If we had perhaps an hour of broader engagement before the questions and answers, it would have been less "meet the press" and that becomes less of an engagement in terms of informing our agenda than defending what public statements various government leaders have made on the subjects that were raised. I wouldn't mind chatting with you about this outside of this forum. Michael, you might want to come back on that, because you organized that expansion of it.

MJ:: Thanks, Nigel. I should have come back on that myself. The response from my sherpa colleagues was pretty positive to that. I find it useful and valuable. I agree if we had more time it might have maybe been more productive but I was impressed by the discipline of the civil society and by the range of questions asked. I was very encouraged by one particular point that came out of that, which was a question at the end addressed to our Russian colleague, Igor Shuvalov. The Russians will have the presidency next year, and he question was are you going to have this kind of outreach event in Russia next year. I didn't know what the answer to that question was going to be. His answer, without a moment's hesitation, he said "Of course, that's why I'm here." I thought that's quite an important and positive response. So I agree with that.

[In French] I'd like to respond to another somewhat pessimistic question. If there is no agreement at Gleneagles, what will we do? Will we continue to pursue these issues in other fora? The answer is evidently yes – I hope there will of course be unanimous agreement, but one must be realistic. It is possible we will not succeed at 100%. But yes, certainly, I think it is necessary to continue the discussions for example at the UN and at Hong Kong on trade.

[back to top]

Moderator: Doyle Hatt, University of Calgary

Lynn Foster, International Society for Peace and Human Rights

Thank you very much for this opportunity. I was involved in the G6B, the people's parallel conference when it was held when the Kananaskis summit was held. I'd like to ask Peter Harder a question. I am wondering when the Canadian government will unveil its plan to achieve the 0.7% of GDP.

Miriam Grant, Dept of Geography, University of Calgary

The British plan is very brave and it gives one hope on the face of it. But the British plan will cost each person in every G8 country the price of half a stick of gum each day. If I am an 18-year-old HIV-positive young woman in an African country where the average age has dropped below 30, how can I glean any hope upon hearing that statistic, and what kind of commitment are we making, and are we making it in time?

Randy Easthouse, Canadian Christian Relief and Development Agency

My question is focused, in light of the future G8 summit, with respect to the MDGs. As a worker the last 15 years working with the Quechuas in the mountains of Peru on bilingual education in Spanish and Quechua, I want to ask what is being done to focus and what strategic plans are being made to focus on indigenous languages in national education programming. I contend that global education has become more of an extraction education. We need to be focusing on not only the local resources in terms of mining and knowledge of the people and their own cultures, but also to give them access, as Amartya Sen has done in Development as Freedom, comparing the development between India and China for example and the stark contrast between the success in China in language and national literacies but the difference and disparity between that and India. What can be done to build into formal education structures, the 6900 languages that here representing hundreds of millions of indigenous cultures.

Catherine Little, RESULTS Canada

Thank you very much for this opportunity. Ditto my other colleagues on some other questions, particularly with the 0.7%. RESULTS is a grassroots advocacy group for the eradication of poverty. We had a presence at Halifax and had a presence at Kananaskis, mostly here in Calgary of course. I would like to follow up on a question. I heard you say sometimes we think there's some follow up from one summit to another. Some of us think it's not as good as it could be. Particularly in the area of education, at Kananaskis there were big commitments for a significant increase in funding, and the World Bank even says that since then we've pretty much flatlined. Maybe $500 million more and we're looking for the $3.7 that's required. One aspect of that, when we say increased capacity, one of the biggest components could be the complete eradication of user fees. We've seen the huge influx in Kenya. Our own Stephanie Nolan in The Globe and Mail did a huge piece a couple months ago on the font page: In Zambia they cut out user fees and a million more children that arrive at school the next day. So we can't say that these countries aren't committed to the education of their children. What are we doing? There are still countries that have these user fees, and for them it doesn't look like they can undo them because the loss of revenues is too much. What is the G8 going to do in this regard?

A quick follow-up: Okinawa was the big year for the Global Fund on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Promises 50 percent decreases, 25 percent for HIV. So when we look at AIDS, we need to look at tuberculosis, which is a co-infecting factor in HIV/AIDS, and malaria as well.

[back to top]

MJ:: I'll leave Peter to answer the first question but on the second, this is toughest of all. The chewing gum statistic tells how little just we would need collectively to provide to make a real difference. That's a message we have to get across and that you have to get across to us in the way you are doing now in order to make the next three months really productive. What I can give you hope in is the British PM's determination to go as far as we can toward the doubling of aid that the CFA report suggested. I think we can make some progress there. I think we can make more progress if we constantly have the support and encouragement of civil society, which is why I really do believe – and I'm not just saying this because I happen to be here – that the kind of meeting we're having here really matters. The commitment I can give you is a commitment to try. I can't give you a commitment that we will succeed, but we are more likely to succeed if we have the help of civil society, the Make Poverty History campaign, Bob Geldof, Bono and others.

On the MDGs and indigenous languages, I'm going to have to take note of the question about indigenous language. I think it's a really important point. I'm tempted to answer that focuses in which we have managed to increase the use of Welsh in Wales, because it shows it can be done. There ahs been an extraordinary increase in the use of Welsh in Wales in the last 10 years or so by various means of supporting the youth and education system. But let me take delivery of that.

On the last question, I'd like to answer in two parts. First, there's a question about how we ensured G8 conclusions are followed up. That's a crucial question. On Africa the PM has proposed that there should be a couple of really senior figures, wise people, one from an OECD country and one from Africa, who should be charged with ensuring that they monitor and keep to our promises. That's one idea. The APRs, who were set up at Kananaskis, have proposed there should be a strengthening of the African Forum, which was set up after Kananaskis, in order to ensure we meet our commitments. I think that's a good idea too. I don't think these ideas are mutually exclusive. I do think that follow-up is important. I'm a little more optimistic or positive than some, about the way there has been a good follow-up to past G8 summit commitments. I think Kananaskis made a real difference. I think that the APRs have made a real difference. I think that NEPAD has made a real difference in the sense of increasing peer group pressure within Africa, in the sense of strengthening the AU, which is making a real impact now. So I think there have been important commitments. The same is true on debt – I think the G8 has made real difference on debt. That said, the question of what should be the right follow-up mechanism is one we need to address more carefully.

On the rather important question about user fees. I think I'd answer in this way. I think we certainly in the UK would support free basic education and health, which means the abolition of user fees. We've seen in some parts of the world where user fees have been removed. In Uganda, for example, that meant millions more kids have gone to school. That's clearly been important for them and for development. Sometimes of course removing fees doesn't have the desired consequence. Sometimes removing user fees means the institutions – whether they're schools or hospitals – get completely overloaded and can't cope. That then leads me back to the answer. The answer is not to just remove user fees but also to provide the aid in order to increase investment in health and education, which takes us back to where we started about the importance of increasing the funds available for African development. I'd like to see user fees removed but then to be replaced by really targeted investment in health in education through increased aid programs.

PH: Let me respond to a couple of questions, including the direct question about the 0.7%. As you well know, the government has not committed itself to a particular date. Its position has been that we have made very significant commitments of enhancing our aid – from 2003 to the this decade, a commitment to double and a commitment to double aid in Africa by 2008, and we're on the track to do that. There have also been some significant commitments to health to infectious diseases and debt relief. That's the political judgement by the government that we should, as we're able to in our budgets , continue to expand and enhance our investments in development but not to set a date that is unrealistic or otherwise not achievable. Having said that, I would again just like to underscore that it's not just about – although it is important – enhancing the level of aid. It's also about issues of trade, good governance, capacity building, peacekeeping and for markets, and Jean-Louis Roy mentioned, it's also about ensuring that there's private sector development. A 1% increase in Africa's share of global trade far exceeds what's on offer by either the CFA or combining that with what already exists. I don't meant to say that going to 0.7 wouldn't put a lot more development resources on the table, but it's not just about the supply side of development.

On the issue of follow-up, I'd like to take that one if I could just to raise as well – the APRs are meeting this weekend to work with the African Forum to prepare a report for Michael and our colleagues on taking stock of what has worked, what hasn't worked, what we should be doing in addition to what is being done. That' s an important stock-taking and follow-up. That mechanism and their views have reminded leaders, because of the nature of the APRs' relationship to the leaders, of the Africa agenda. I also think groups such as this, in particular the G8 Research Group could do some important papers on the commitments made and promises made – question mark – that would encourage an external view on whether or not commitments are being kept. That's what's done in domestic politics, and the way in which we need to use and adapt domestic measures of accountability are not without parallel here. I would encourage civil society to find the mechanism, working with academic partners, to do some specific follow-ups.

That will get me to my last point, because I wanted to have just a word on education. I suspect that if I was very frank I would say the Education For All volé was more anemic than it should have been. It would be interesting to do some academic work around why, because there was, at the same time, another project called the DOT Force – also a G8 initiative – which met with greater specific tangible results. There may be some lessons to learn there. I'm a bit of a parti pris to that one. While I can tell you that we're on track to doubling our support educational assistance in sub-Saharan Africa to $100 million as a result of the Kananaskis commitments, the overall commitments to Education For All have not been addressed not as robustly as the intentions were stated. Maybe it's time to focus on education in a G8 context.

[back to top]

Moderator: Gilbert Winham, Dalhousie University

Caesar Apentik, International Development Studies, Dalhousie University

Our first question is on the role of civil society and the G8 and its commitments. In the past, the G8 has made many commitments and we don't know what has happened to some to them up to now. Many commitments have been made over the years again and again. So my question is what makes this particularly initiative different from previous ones, and what is the role can civil society in this initiative. One of the arguments or problems with this commitments is that most of them have been government to government and civil society is brought in as part of the equation but not directly involved in anything. What plans or mechanism have been put in place to ensure that civil society is part of this commitment and that civil society will have a role to play ensuring that the G8 commitments are made at the local level.

Jane Parpart, International Development Studies, Dalhousie University

Additionally, we're concerned that issues of governance, not just at state-to-state level but by talking to and finding out how governance works on the ground. To do that you have to involve civil society. We'd like to know how the G8 could be more involved with the NGO parallel group and how it can seek to move beyond state-to-state collaboration to investigation good governance at the accountability level where people are the ones being affected.

Alison Mathie, COADY International, St. Francis Xavier University

I would like to follow up a little on this challenge to research commitments made and promises kept. We have seen how in dire emergencies as we saw the tsunami there's a groundswell of public opinion in favour of large amounts of aid to be transferred to those who need them, and governments respond very generously. And at other times we're told, well, as we are able we'll to in our budgets make funds available, then we will do so in order to meet this 0.7% target. It seems to me one of our biggest challenges is to sway public opinion, because all the promises that have not been kept have been very sensitive or political dangerous issues where governments have been reluctant to shake voter confidence in particular domestic issues. How can the G8 governments devise strategies that are really going to provide the leadership to sway public opinion so that subsidies can be removed, so that there can be increases in aid budgets so there can be increased research into how best this kind of money can be spent, particularly in the Africa context.

Stephanie Sodero, Ecology Action Centre

I'm aware that Canada's climate change plan is coming out next week and [will likely stress reducing emissions] domestically. I would like to emphasize the need for domestic emission reductions, especially in light of the fact that the average Canadian emits 14 tons of greenhouse gasses per year, and in the UK it's an average of 10 tons per year, whereas in China, Brazil and India the average is about 1.5 tons per year. I'd like to emphasize the need for domestic emission reductions. There's a role for clean mechanisms but considering the disproportionate level of emissions, there's a need for domestic emission reductions. Could you provide insight into the plan for including China, Brazil and India into working on the issue of climate change without compromising the need for domestic emission reductions.

Edna Keeble, St. Mary's University

My question is both very general and very specific. It's to follow up on what Mr. Harder said about how the follow-up to the G8 is important. It's very specific because within this context of accountability you have these sessions with regard to outreach to civil society groups, here in Canada and other areas. What about continuing these after the G8, that is a specific sort of outreach just like this, so that others and those of us around the room, come back and ask you questions again.

Gil Winham, Dalhousie University

Mr. Jay indicated that one of the concerns in regard to Africa was to increase Africa's capacity to absorb aid. Much of the concern among the development community has been to reduce barriers in the west, trade barriers in particular – of course this should be done – but the [xxx] two areas are at play in terms of increasing Africa's capacity to absorb aid.

[back to top]

MJ:: There are quite a lot of questions already about the role of civil society. I'd like to make a couple of comments on that. First, I said earlier on, one thing that is really striking for me is coming back to G8 work is the crucial importance of the role of civil society. The role is important before G8 summits for exactly the reason that we've been showing this afternoon – the need to put pressure on governments to come up with commitments they've made to try to stick to the promises that they make. But what has struck me from the questions that you've been asking now is much more this question of what can civil society do not just to keep the pressure on us as it were before the big negotiations, but hold us to the commitments we've made afterwards. That's quite a big thought that has come out of these discussions. I agree with what Peter Harder has just said about the scope of institutions such as this to do maybe much more of an audit of past commitments and to keep at us to ensure that we honour the commitments we've made That's an important conclusion. The idea of having some kind of outreach event after the Gleneagles Summit so that you can then judge how we've measured up to the promises we've made is quite an uncomfortable one, maybe, but rather a good one to follow up. I think some of the answer, actually, is not what the G8 should do but what civil society should do to focus more on these issues. There's a kind of responsibility for both of us here.

There was a question about the tsunami and I think the question about what strategies do we have to sway public opinion. I've got two answers to that. One is what governments do is respond to public opinion, and if you look at the British aid budget and the commitments to Africa over last five or six years, and the very substantial increase in our aid, that is a response to public opinion that has said this is something we really need to do. So to an extent it's governments that respond to public opinion, but then it's public opinion through civil society to be putting the pressure on us as well.

I want to answer one other question on climate change. What's the rationale for inviting countries like India, China and Brazil to the discussion at Gleneagles. The rationale for that is that these countries are going to be the really big emitters of the future. Can you seriously have a discussion about climate change without involving them in some way too? And if you do involve them in some way you may also be able to involve the U.S. because the U.S. has been saying one reason not get involve din the Kyoto process is because the large countries like India and China are not involved. So the logic here is to have a discussion that involves them too to see whether its possible to reach some way forward that is in a broader context than Kyoto and lead to having a process in which all the large economies are going to be involved. That's the logic, but I don't know if it will work. But I think it's worth a try.

PH: Let me add a couple of comments on engaging civil society. I think there are a couple of projects I would encourage academics to look at. I come back to the DOT Force , which was the only case study I'm aware of in the G8 with three equal partners doing the work – civil society, a representative of the private sector and a representative of government. They did the work throughout the period of two years, leading to action plan. I wonder why that was successful. I suspect that it was the scoping of the question, nature of the commitment of the participating people and elements of civil society, and the desire to have very practical objectives that would lead to programmatic change. Maybe that model is available to taking some issues – not all – that would have civil society, the private sector and government at very heart of parsing out the analysis and developing how they will align their own actions to achieve specific goals that are the product of that work. Just an idea that benefit us from having some study done. This relates to broader question of engaging public opinion. I think the tsunami model is worth paying some attention to, because I think it has the risk of being a huge success and it may, if we don't manage this right, lead to further cynicism. In the Canadian experience, matching one dollar of the eligible organizations led to over $220 million of matching funds. That far exceeded what we thought it might be at the start of this commitment. In some measure, because it was the end of the fiscal year we were able to leverage yearend dollars for real new money. If the dispersion of that in the partnerships of the participating delivery organizations leads to a common website as we have and ongoing stories of how this is actually working well, I think we perhaps have a model of how Canadians can not only participate in the intensity of the emotional moment and in actuality of delivering program over in months and years ahead. If there is the technology actually allows us to have that engagement unfiltered from the field, it might be worth taking a look at.

Another suggestion I have is one Michael was telling me about in the British campaign, if I can say that, was an agreement to have an Africa day. That's an interesting phenomenon of parties agreeing to have a day devoted to a particular subject like this. I know there have been attempts during campaigns of civil society or newspapers to let's focus on an issue of global governance or aid or whatever, but it doesn't have quite the devotion of attention that's the commitment to have a day or a subject focus like this. That's how you get political commitments, and without political commitments how do you move the yardsticks? I put that to you – we've got to do some brainstorming around this issue. It's not civil society yelling at government about what we have to do in terms of moving the yardsticks, it's how do you in an informed way work together, because often it's government wanting to engage the public to do these kinds of things and doing them in the art of the possible, which is all about politics and that's highly desirable.

JK: Thank you very much, Peter. Just before I turn it over to my colleague Lou Pauly, director of the Centre for International Studies here at the Munk Centre, to express our thanks, let me just say that we in the G8 Research Group have heard you loud and clear on work to be done monitoring, follow-up, implementation compliance, but let me serve notice that if we're going to do it better and do it right, we're going to need help from both sides of the dialogue today. One of your finest colleagues told me at the beginning of the week that good though our compliance studies were, we were much too kind and gentle. "Easy markers," and that hurt me as an academic, so we really do need a fresh injection of help from civil society to get – we're off the record here, right? – Vanessa Corlazzoli is in charge of our expanded civil society dialogue so stakeholders you'll be hearing more from us, and then we will need the two key sherpas in the G8 this year to return, I would hope perhaps to hear the results of our interim compliance report as the torch is passed to the Russians next year, so we can have a frank follow-up dialogue on what all of us got right and the challenges ahead when we move on to Russia and the year ahead. At the moment please stay focused on the tasks from here to Gleneagles and then once it's done we can look at the results and the legacy.

[back to top]

Lou Pauly, Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto

Peter Harder, thank you very much for coming back again, and Sir Michael, you're certainly welcome to come back we'd like to have you both for the follow-up session that now seems to be unavoidable. Thanks for taking advantage of the Munk Centre forum now linked to partner centres across Canada. we're very proud here of the longstanding, deep and continuing research program on the G8 so ably led by Professor John Kirton and let me say a special word of thanks behind him, too numerous to name individually but you know who you are, but thank you very much. Scott, thank you for your team in making this technology work, and we'll take advantage of that. Universities exist mainly to teach, and teaching is always a two-way street. This has been a great learning experience, good luck to you both at Gleneagles, we look forward to seeing you again, and please help me thank our guests.


(those marked with a asterisk made an intervention)


Albino, Mary (G8 Research Group)
Allan, Bentley (G8 Research Group)
Brady, Courtney (G8 Research Group)
Buckley, Adele (Pugwash)
*Campbell, Melanie (Students Against Global AIDS)
Corlazzoli, Vanessa (G8 Research Group)
Cragg, Wes (Transparency International)
DaSilva, Steve (G8 Research Group)
de Lange, Debbie (University of Toronto)
*Dillon, John (KAIROS)
Dupuis, Jordan (Canadian Institute on International Affairs)
Epps, Ken (Project Ploughshares)
Evans, Prof. Marketa (University of Toronto)
Goold, Doug (Canadian Institute on International Affairs)
Greenspoon, Michael (G8 Research Group)
Gunn, Taylor (Student Vote 2004)
Hajnal, Prof. Peter (University of Toronto)
Hobeika, Maran (University of Toronto)
Hoda Zaghloul (Save the Children)
Ismaeva, Nadiya (Universalia)
Johnstone, Bob (Canadian Institute on International Affairs; former sherpa)
Kerby, Debra (Right to Play)
Khazeaeli, Susan (University of Toronto)
Khoubesserian, Caroline (Centre for International Governance Innovation)
Kingston, Prof. Paul (University of Toronto)
Kirton, Prof. John (G8 Research Group) MODERATOR
Koch, Madeline (G8 Research Group)
Kumar, Kartick (G8 Research Group)
Kytola, Johanna (University of Toronto)
Lam, Bella (Presbyterian World Service and Development)
Lotin, Henry (Industry Canada)
*McDonald, Katherine (Action Canada for Population and Development)
Mattacchione, Francesca (University of Toronto)
Meshel, Tamar (University of Toronto)
Morris, Claire (Association of Universities and Colleges)
Munro, Lauchlan (International Development Research Centre)
Nawaz, Farzana (University of Toronto)
Navaneelan, Tony (G8 Research Group)
Nixon, Stephanie (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative)
*Ostry, Prof. Sylvia (University of Toronto)
Pallier, Delphine (University of Toronto)
Paltiel, Candida (Planet in Focus)
Panozzo, Jack (Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace)
Pasquino, Nick (University of Toronto)
Paterson, Clare (G8 Research Group)
Pauly, Prof. Lou (University of Toronto)
Postma, Will (Worldvision)
Riley, Helen (Raging Grannies)
Rudich, Denisse (G8 Research Group)
Scherrer, Amandine (G8 Research Group)
Sheth, Anita (Save the Children)
Smith, Janel (G8 Research Group)
Strong, Fred (G8 Research Group)
Tomlinson, Brian (Halifax Initiative)
Underwood, Caroline (The Nature of Things)
Varey, Mike (University of Toronto
Walsh, Helen (G8 Research Group)
Wood, Alex (National Round Table on the Economy and the Environment)


Asimakopoulos, Angelo (Global Governance Group)
Lavoie, Mario (Montreal International Forum)
*Martin, Nigel (Montreal International Forum)
*Roy, Jean-Louis (Rights & Democracy)
*Rusamira, Étienne (Observatoire de l'Afrique Centrale)
*Schrecker, Ted (University of Ottawa)
*Trudeau, Alexandre (Canada World Youth)
Valaskakis, Kimon (Global Governance Group) MODERATOR
*Veenstra, Richard (Canadian Crossroads International)


Aentik, Caesar (Dalhousie University)
*Keeble, Edna (St. Mary's University)
*Mathie, Alison (Coady International Institute)
*Parpart, Jane (Dalhousie University)
*Sodero, Stephanie (EAC)


Cherry, Lynda (Operation Eyesight)
*Easthouse, Randy (Canadian Christian Relief and Development Agency)
*Foster, Lynn (International Society for Peace and Human Rights)
Grant, Prof. Miriam (University of Calgary)
Hatt, Doyle (University of Calgary) MODERATOR
*Little, Catherine (RESULTS Canada)
Lyons, Prof. Diane (University of Calgary)
Tettey, Prof. Wisdom (University of Calgary)
Vanderberg, Roland (Alberta Council for Global Change)
Wertheimer, Sophie (University of Calgary)
*Winham, Gil (Dalhousie) MODERATOR

[back to top]

G8 Centre
This Information System is provided by the University of Toronto Library and the G8 Research Group at the University of Toronto.
Please send comments to: g8info@library.utoronto.ca
This page was last updated April 11, 2007.

All contents copyright © 2005. University of Toronto unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.