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Political Issues
L'Aquila Summit, July 9, 2009


Heads of State and Government of the G8 countries continue to be seriously concerned about recent events in Iran. We reiterate our full respect for the sovereignty of Iran. At the same time, we deplore post-electoral violence, which led to the loss of lives of Iranian civilians. Interference with media, unjustified detentions of journalists and recent arrests of foreign nationals are unacceptable. We call upon Iran to solve the situation through democratic dialogue on the basis of the rule of law and we remind it of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

We agreed that Embassies in Iran must be permitted to exercise their functions effectively under the Vienna Convention, without arbitrary restrictions on, or intimidation of, their staff.

We remain committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the issue of Iran’s nuclear program and of Iran’s continued failure to meet its international obligations. We welcome 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, without further delay. The G8 meeting on the margin of the United Nations General Assembly opening week next September will be an occasion to take stock of the situation.

We condemn the declarations of President Ahmadinejad denying the Holocaust.

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Comprehensive Approach to Peacekeeping / Peacebuilding

We will continue to pursue a comprehensive approach to sustaining global peace encompassing security, post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction. We welcome our peacekeeping/peacebuilding experts’ report, which reviews progress in building capacity for peace support operations, and note with satisfaction the major advances made toward achieving the ambitious targets set at Sea Island and subsequent Summits. Given the continuing increase in number and complexity of peacekeeping operations in crisis areas, we commit to maintaining our focus on developing rapid, effective and sustainable capacity, and endorse the conclusions of the report in this regard.

We commit, in particular, to continue building capacity globally, with a focus on preparing troops and robust police components for peacekeeping, and on developing civilian personnel for peacebuilding, as emphasized at the Toyako Summit. Our attention to police and rule of law components will be strengthened as crucial elements on the road from conflict to stability. We will augment international coordination, strengthening consultations among G8 experts, as well as with major emerging economies and other countries and international organizations. Such enhanced coordination will ensure the best application of resources, help assess emerging needs and build consensus for decisive action. We will continue to strive for greater interoperability of forces and to assist in logistics support, including by promoting partnerships in training, equipping and sustainment. We call on all countries to join in assisting trained troops and police to deploy effectively.

We support the leading role of the United Nations, in particular the Security Council in the area of peacekeeping operations, and encourage efforts to improve their planning, mandating and management. To that end, we will assist the UN to further develop partnerships with regional organizations, contributing countries and other actors. We further encourage the important efforts of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and the strengthening of its role.

Supporting peace in Africa remains central to our efforts. We commend the progress of the African Union in developing peace and security capacities, and will continue to assist in this regard. We will seek to provide flexible, predictable and sustainable support for African-led peace support operations. Reinforcing the African Peace and Security Architecture, including the African Standby Force are crucial to success in meeting the challenges ahead.

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Transnational Organized Crime

Today’s world is confronted by ever-increasing and destabilizing challenges, such as terrorism (on which we have issued a separate statement), trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling, drug and fire arms trafficking, cash smuggling, money laundering and corruption. These issues constitute a serious threat to domestic and international security. Furthermore, the increasing interconnections between these criminal activities and their detrimental effect on human security — as also highlighted during the G8 Rome Conference on Destabilizing Factors and Transnational Threats (23-24 April 2009) — are source of additional concern to G8 countries and require urgent attention by the international community.

In particular, we are concerned about the links between terrorism and transnational criminal networks. As emphasized by the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo, December 2000), these converging threats require a constant update of our strategies, targeted means and better coordinated multilateral efforts and law enforcement initiatives. The G8 represents an appropriate forum to develop common responses to these global challenges, and to increase support also from other like-minded States. Our collective response will continue to be developed within the framework of relevant United Nations conventions and protocols, and in close coordination with the Conference of the Parties to the Palermo Convention, other competent UN bodies (e.g. the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC) and relevant international organizations, such as INTERPOL and other regional fora.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the negotiations that led to the adoption of the Palermo Convention, a milestone in the fight against organized crime, trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants, especially women and children. The year 2009 also marks the seventieth anniversary of the birth of Giovanni Falcone, the Italian public prosecutor killed by the mafia in 1992, whose financial asset oriented approach to fighting organized crime (aiming at targeting the financial and economic interests of criminal organizations) inspired principles and methodologies embodied in the Palermo Convention. Our Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs have paid homage to this courageous magistrate on the occasion of their meeting in Rome last May 28-30. In recognizing Judge Falcone and other champions of integrity and security, we affirm our strong commitment to further promoting the full implementation of the Palermo convention and its additional Protocols, with particular reference to those provisions (e.g. confiscation and liability of legal persons) that focus on criminal patrimonies. We also reaffirm our determination to fully implement the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and utilize its framework to prevent international criminal networks, kleptocrats and terrorists from corrupting public institutions to advance their criminal goals, as well as to strengthen international cooperation in fighting corruption, including the return of assets. We support the initiatives adopted on these issues in the framework of the Roma/Lyon Group, the G8 forum for counter terrorism, and the global fight against organized crime, corruption, and impunity from justice.

We also reaffirm our commitment to implementing capacity-building initiatives in order to help countries that require assistance in their fight against transnational organized crime, particularly in cooperation with UNODC and other relevant international organizations.

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Piracy and Maritime Security

We agreed that, because of the destabilizing factors behind it and the broad regional and international impacts entailed, piracy must be addressed through coordinated efforts by the international community. Counter-piracy activities should be carried out in the context of a strategic and comprehensive international undertaking to build and promote maritime security in and around the Horn of Africa and the African continent more broadly, while we protect maritime shipping and take active measures to prevent acts of violence at sea and piracy. We recognize the critical role of maritime security for delivering international assistance, trade, development and regional stability.

We support international initiatives undertaken to that end, to which G8 members are already contributing, including those aimed at ensuring the development of adequate legal frameworks to fight piracy and other maritime-related crimes, and at attracting resources, commitment and action to build the capacity of regional states to better control their coasts and territorial waters, contribute to maritime security, as well as to judge and detain the pirates. We commended the leadership role of Kenya in the prosecution and detention of pirates. We intend as well to improve coordination and cooperation with industry to ensure best security measures and practices are in effect to prevent these acts.

Fighting piracy requires both near-term countermeasures and longer-term assistance and structural interventions to target its root causes. While we stand committed to reinforcing the success of international counter-piracy patrolling missions, we recognize that a sustainable solution to piracy will also require strengthening rule of law and law enforcement capacities in Somalia and the region, as well as helping those countries meet other challenges such as poverty and ongoing conflicts. This includes urgently addressing: the lack of basic security and fragility of state authority in Somalia; port security improvements; trafficking in drugs, arms and persons; illegal dumping and illegal fishing. We confirm that vessels entitled to fly the flag of any G8 member are required to respect the legal regime in Somali waters, and commit to fulfil our international legal obligations in this respect.

We commit to contributing, through cooperation with international partners and coordinated bilateral programs, to achieve the goals defined by the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia — and related multilateral efforts, including the Djibouti Code of Conduct facilitated by the International Maritime Organization — and the International Contact Group for Somalia.

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We condemn in the strongest terms the DPRK’s nuclear test on 25 May and the launch using ballistic missile technology on 5 April in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718/2006. We also strongly condemn the most recent launches by the DPRK on 4 July, despite UNSC Resolution 1874/2009. These activities pose a danger to peace and stability in the region and beyond.

We urge the DPRK to fully comply with its international obligations. In this context, we support the unanimous adoption of the Resolution 1874/2009 of the Security Council which reinforces international sanctions towards the DPRK and call upon the international community to implement fully and transparently the provisions of that Resolution.

We urge the DPRK to refrain from further violations of relevant Security Council Resolutions and to engage in dialogue and cooperation, including the early resumption of the Six Party Talks. In this regard, we emphasize the importance of the full implementation of the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005, including the abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs by DPRK. We recognise the need for all participants to take measures as agreed in this format.

We also urge the DPRK to take prompt actions to address the concerns of the international community on humanitarian matters, including the abduction issue.

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Middle East

The achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East remains crucial for the international community. We reiterate our full support for the two-state solution and affirm that Arab-Israeli peace, the state of Israel living in peace and security and the establishment of a state of Palestine, in which the Palestinian people can determine their own destiny, is in the fundamental interest of the international community. We welcome the initial steps taken by both parties in this direction in recent weeks. We urge the Parties to rapidly resume direct negotiations on all standing issues consistent with the Roadmap, the relevant UNSC Resolutions and the Madrid principles to result in an agreement that resolves all permanent status issues and in an end to all claims. We call on all concerned to take meaningful steps

to support this objective. We also call on the Parties to fulfil their obligations under the Roadmap — including the unequivocal rejection of violence, terrorism and incitement, and a freeze in settlement activity, including “natural growth” — and on Arab states to take meaningful steps toward normalization with Israel and to provide political and economic support to the Palestinian Authority. We underscore the need to restore Palestinian unity, on the basis of the Quartet principles, and we strongly reaffirm our continued commitment to these principles.

We call for the immediate release of the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. We also call for the immediate opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza, in a manner that respects Israel’s security. We remain engaged to fully support the Palestinian Authority and to play an active role in promoting the commitment of the international community for the development of the Palestinian Territories in the framework of a wider regional approach. To that end, we stand ready to support politically, economically and in the security field the implementation of the future peace agreement once reached, including through the launching of an ambitious and comprehensive plan for Palestine that would develop infrastructure and foster economic activities in the future Palestinian State, thereby favouring its progressive integration in the region. We also express support for efforts to improve economic conditions on the ground now. In this regard, we welcome recent steps by Israel in the West Bank which, if expanded and sustained, can have a significant impact on Palestinian freedom of movement.

We look forward to a comprehensive peace between Israel and all its neighbours, also building upon the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which will be a key element of this regional process. We stand ready to assist the Parties to that end. Within that context, we urge a resumption of peace negotiations also on the Syrian and the Lebanese tracks. 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 underscore the importance of regional partnerships in areas of education, economic development, science and technology, and health, as outlined in President Obama’s speech in Cairo. We reaffirm our common commitment to broad regional partnerships, particularly through the BMENA initiative.

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Afghanistan and Pakistan

Regional dimension

Afghanistan and Pakistan remain a top priority for the G8. Though each country faces different conditions, both are presented with grave challenges to their security and stability, driven in large measure by the threat from violent extremists and terrorists and sustained by narcotics trafficking, poverty and uneven economic development. We reaffirm our commitment to promoting stability and development in both countries and the wider region, also by strengthening their capacity to counter terrorism, illicit trafficking and crime.

Strengthened regional cooperation is a prerequisite for success in both countries and is an essential pillar of the international strategy for stability in Afghanistan. We welcome the outcomes of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization conference on Afghanistan in Moscow and the March 2009 conference in The Hague, as well as trilateral talks involving Afghanistan and Pakistan. In this regard, the G8 Outreach Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan, Pakistan and the regional dimension, held in Trieste under the Italian Presidency on 26 and 27 June 2009, marked another step forward in the process of building trust and fostering actual cooperation toward creating a more secure, democratic, integrated and prosperous region. Participants particularly welcomed improved relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan and ongoing bilateral confidence-building and cooperation projects between the two, as well as concrete negotiations on concluding a transit trade agreement before the end of 2009. We welcome the conclusions achieved in Trieste with regard to closer cooperation in border management, illicit trafficking in narcotics and weapons, trade liberalization and facilitation as a driver for economic growth, the return in dignity and the reintegration of refugees and IDPs, agricultural development as a key to Afghan and regional progress and stability, infrastructure links and energy cooperation for greater integration, role of civil societies, enhancement of human capital and effective access to economic and social opportunities.

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Next month Afghanistan will be holding presidential and provincial elections. We call on Afghan authorities to ensure credible, inclusive and secure elections, reflecting the actual will of Afghan people. We confirm our commitment to the electoral process through provision of technical, logistical, financial and security assistance. We stand ready to assist the new Afghan Government in its efforts and urge the government to continue to: strengthen democratic institutions, strengthen accountability and good governance, bolster the rule of law, honor its international human rights obligations at national and local level, actively combat corruption, terrorism and narcotic trafficking, and provide basic services and alternative economic opportunities to its people. Affirming the critical importance of Afghan ownership, we support capacity-building at all levels, including in governance, customs, the Afghan national security forces and counter narcotic services. We reiterate the need for effective implementation of a whole-of-government approach through greater integration of civilian and military efforts and increased aid coordination. UNAMA’s role as the lead international assistance coordinator remains essential.

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The G8 stands with Pakistan in its fight against terrorists and violent extremists. We commit to working closely with Pakistan, the UN and humanitarian agencies to support a comprehensive strategy for providing relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance to civilian populations displaced by the fighting, as well as to work with the government of Pakistan in fostering economic and social development and enhancing governance. In this regard, we welcome Pakistan’s efforts to meet its commitments under its IMF Stand-By Arrangement and encourage the government to continue critical economic reforms, which will allow for sound and transparent fiscal management of its resources. We are committed to further support the Pakistani government in its endeavours to strengthen its democratic institutions, human rights and civil society and we urge the government to further combat corruption and to protect and promote the human rights of all persons. To this end, we will continue to support the government of Pakistan through various fora such as the Group of Friends of Democratic Pakistan.

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We welcome the recent visit to Myanmar of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. We underline our long-standing support for his Good Offices Mission and strongly welcome the leadership he has shown on this issue, conveying the messages of the international community. We share the Secretary General’s view that the Government of Myanmar did not take this important opportunity to respond fully to the concerns of the international community, and will closely consult on our collective and individual response. A fully inclusive process of dialogue and national reconciliation is urgently needed, leading to transparent fair and democratic multiparty elections. We reiterate our 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 elections planned for 2010. We continue to support UN Secretary General’s active engagement with Myanmar and remain prepared to respond positively to substantive political progress undertaken by Myanmar.

Source: Official Italian G8 website

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