The world's major industrial democracies have worked together through Group of Seven/Group of Eight summits to strengthen the world economy, support new democracies, address common security threats, and reduce poverty. Since 1993, the United States has moved from having the largest budget deficit in the G-7 to the biggest surplus, and has helped lead the way to build a strong global economy with an unprecedented economic expansion.
TOKYO, JAPAN: JULY 7-9, 1993
The 1993 Group of Seven Summit marked the first time in more than a decade that the conference communique was not implicitly or explicitly critical of the United States for failing to address its deficits. Instead, the communique, titled "A Strengthened Commitment to Jobs and Growth," specifically said that the U.S. economy was on the right track and reflected the U.S. emphasis on the G-7 meeting as a jobs summit.
Key Issues: -Supporting the Clinton Economic Plan: The conference communique explicitly upported President Clinton's economic plan to reduce the deficit and to bring growth and investment back to the U.S. economy. The summit also endorsed President Clinton's proposal for a jobs summit to be held in Washington in the fall of 1993.
-Reducing Tariffs and Promoting Trade: The Group of Seven leaders reached agreement to reduce tariffs and open markets for manufactured goods under Uruguay Round talks, and the communique said the conclusion of the Uruguay Round would be given the "highest priority."
-Supporting Reform in the New Independent States: The G-7 agreed on a $3 billion aid package to encourage market reform in Russia.
NAPLES, ITALY: JULY 8-10, 1994
In 1994, the G-7 Summit focused on strategies to create jobs and better prepare people to fill them; to develop infrastructure for the new global economy; to commit to sustainable development for all nations; and to continue the economic, the political, and the integration of the new democracies into the family of free nations. As a signal of G-7 support for Russian reform, G-7 leaders invited Russian President Yeltsin to participate in the political discussions. The summit also addressed pressing security challenges, including the war in Bosnia.
-Building the Global Economy: To keep the global economic recovery moving, the G-7 leaders pledged to ratify GATT before the end of the year, and pledged that the World Trade Organization would be up and running by January 1, 1995. For the first time, the G-7 committed to work together on the issues of lifetime learning and job training. The leaders agreed to take steps to build a new infrastructure for the information economy, and agreed to hold a conference on telecommunications issues to lay plans for a global information superhighway.
-Reform of Global Institutions: The G-7 leaders agreed on an open-ended review, to consider how "the global economy of the 21st century will provide sustainable development with good prosperity" and "what institutional changes may be needed to meet those challenges."
-Supporting Reform in the New Independent States: The G-7 deepened its commitment to encourage the transition from communism to free market economies, and agreed that the international community would provide more than $4 billion in financial assistance to Ukraine in support of economic reform. The leaders also pledged $300 million to help pay for the initial stages of shutting down and cleaning up the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl.
-Preserving the Environment: The G-7 continued its commitment to the environment and sustainable development, agreeing to report back the following year on respective successes in living up to clean air agreements and other environmental treaties.
HALIFAX, CANADA: JUNE 15-17, 1995
Against the backdrop of conflicts in Bosnia and Chechnya and recent bombings at Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center, the 1995 Group of Seven conference addressed a number of emerging global economic and security challenges.
-Strengthening the Global Economy: The G-7 leaders called on the International Monetary Fund to improve surveillance procedures, increase transparency, and create an early warning system to enable swift action when one nation's economic crisis threatens the world economy --as was nearly the case with the 1995 financial crisis in Mexico. The leaders called for an emergency financing mechanism that could provide large-scale assistance rapidly if such support is necessary. They also called on the IMF, the World Bank, and regional development banks to begin a comprehensive program to address the debt problems of the world's poorest countries.
-Focusing on Human Needs: The G-7 agreed that the World Bank, the IMF, and United Nations agencies must focus on addressing basic human needs, such as the alleviation of poverty, supporting private sector development, promoting sustainable development, and environmental protection along with economic growth.
-Addressing New Security Threats: The G-7 leaders agreed to work together more comprehensively to counter the growing dangers posed by terrorists, international criminals, nuclear smugglers and drug traffickers.
-Statement on Bosnia: In a joint statement, the leaders expressed strong support for the Contact Group's efforts to end the conflict in Bosnia and called upon the parties to refrain from all military action and resume the negotiation process.
MOSCOW, RUSSIA: APRIL 19-20, 1996
In April 1996, the G-7/G-8 met in Moscow for a summit on nuclear security issues.
-Working to Ban Nuclear Testing: The leaders issued a statement on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) calling for concluding and signing the CTBT by September, 1996. Participants also agreed that the CTBT must be comprehensive and ban any nuclear explosion.
-Stemming Nuclear Smuggling: The leaders announced measures to stop smuggling insensitive nuclear technologies and materials, including the sharing of intelligence and collaboration on customs and law enforcement.
-Supporting Chernobyl Closure: The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to provide $3 billion in exchange for Ukraine's promise to close the Chernobyl complex by the year 2000.
LYON, FRANCE: JUNE 27-29, 1996
The Lyon summit focused on three key areas: the fight against terrorism and crime, strengthening the peace in Bosnia, and advancing the nations' common agenda for continued economic growth. The summit included a special session on new global challenges facing the world's nations. The Lyon Group on Transnational Crime, still active, grew out of this Summit's efforts.
-Safeguarding the Global Financial System: The G-7 leaders outlined priorities to safeguard the global financial system, including strong risk management and transparency in innovative markets in the major financial centers. They called for a review of the implications of electronic money in order to ensure we reap the most benefits from these innovations while avoiding problems. The leaders reaffirmed a partnership for development emphasizing the importance of sound economic policies and good governance and again emphasized the need for development organizations to focus on alleviating poverty and fostering private sector development.
-Working Toward Debt Forgiveness: The leaders reached broad agreement on the need to strengthen efforts to promote development in the world's poorest nations by forgiving their foreign debt.
-Fighting Terrorism and Transnational Crime: In the wake of a bombing of an American base in Saudi Arabia, the leaders pledged cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The Leaders endorsed a U.S. package of 40 measures to address terrorism and crime, including measures intended to make it more difficult for criminals to cross borders, hide money and purchase weapons.
-Working for Peace in Bosnia: The G-7 leaders committed their full support for the elections to be held in September, and for accelerating the civilian reconstruction that was already underway. The leaders also made it clear that the parties in Bosnia must live up to their obligations under the Dayton Accords.
DENVER, UNITED STATES: JUNE 20-22, 1997
The Denver meeting continued to focus on the challenges and opportunities the world's nations faced as the 21st Century approached. The G-7/G-8 leaders worked to prepare their economies to meet new transnational threats to security and to integrate new partners into the community of free market democracies -- with an increasing emphasis on dealing with problems that matter to people.
-Preventing Global Financial Crises: To prevent financial crises in one country from sending shockwaves around the world, the leaders strengthened the network of banking and market officials to monitor financial policies and police risky practices. The leaders explored strategies to create more jobs, and planned to continue those discussions at upcoming employment conferences in Japan and England. They also discussed challenges associated with aging populations, and how to keep senior citizens living productive lives well into their later years.
-Improving Global Health: In an age where infectious disease can span the planet in the space of an airline flight, the leaders agreed to create a global early warning system to detect outbreaks and to help quickly get the right medicines where they are needed. They also pledged to accelerate efforts to develop an HIV/AIDS vaccine.
-Addressing Global Warming: The leaders recommitted themselves to the principles of the Rio Summit, and agreed to work to reach an agreement in Kyoto to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to respond to the problem of global warming.
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND: MAY 15-17, 1998
The 1998 Group of Seven/Group of Eight meeting included discussions on employment issues, environmental issues, crime issues, and on how the nations could work together and with smaller countries to prepare for the "Y2K" conversion of computers. The summit also focused on two breaking political events -- nuclear tests in India and political violence in Indonesia. On October 30, 1998 the leaders put out a joint statement on the World Economy, highlighting measures announced by G-7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to address both the immediate and the longer-term weaknesses in the international financial system, particularly in light of their impact on the poor and most vulnerable.
-Meeting the Challenge of the Global Economy: The Asian financial crisis demonstrated how financial sector flaws in a few developing countries and inadequate risk assessment by international creditors and investors can impact economies around the globe. To prevent future crises, the G-7/G-8 leaders overwhelmingly agreed on the importance of global capital markets to growth around the world. At the same time, the leaders agreed to work toward increased transparency; to establish a system of multilateral surveillance of national financial systems; to strengthen the mechanisms that allow international and national regulatory authorities to ensure their systems are sound; and to call for broad measures to ensure that the private sector takes full responsibility for its decisions.
-Bringing Africa into the Global Economy: The leaders discussed the need to integrate all people and all nations into the global economy, with a particular emphasis on Africa. The G-8 leaders committed to assist Africa participating in international trade and investment, in ensuring that all children receive primary education, and in decreasing child and maternal mortality rates.
-Condemning Nuclear Tests: The leaders issued a strong statement condemning the nuclear tests in India, and called on India to join the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
-Working Together to Fight International Crime: The G-8 leaders continued the work begun at the Lyon summit, setting up a series of actions to create the ability for governments to transcend borders to fight crime, including high-tech crime, through the development of common approaches, common rules, and common standards to create law enforcement systems that can easily operate together.
-Fighting Infectious Disease: The leaders renewed their commitment to combat infectious disease, particularly HIV/AIDS. They also announced a new effort to reduce the death toll from malaria and other parasitic diseases.
COLOGNE, GERMANY: JUNE 18-20, 1999
The Group of Seven/Group of Eight summit in Cologne continued to focus on strengthening the global economy while preventing future financial crises and working together to address common security threats. Discussions included an increasing focus on strengthening developing nations, alleviating poverty, and protecting the world's most vulnerable citizens. The meeting also included a considerable focus on rebuilding the peace in Kosovo.
-Strengthening the International Financial Architecture: Following up on work begun in Birmingham, the leaders agreed on new steps to strengthen the international financial architecture and prevent financial crises in one country from reverberating in markets around the world. The leaders agreed to develop stronger international financial institutions and to give a greater voice to emerging markets, to enhance transparency, to support stronger regulation in lending countries, and to share responsibility for crisis resolution.
-The Cologne Debt Initiative: The G-7 leaders endorsed a new initiative to enable Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) to receive deeper, broader, and faster debt relief in return for firm commitments to channel the benefits into improving the lives of all their people. The initiative will help free the resources of poor countries so they can invest in health care, education, the fight against AIDS, and the alleviation of poverty, and future prosperity.
-Protecting the World's Most Vulnerable Citizens: The leaders resolved to work with the International Labor Organization to eradicate abusive child labor and enforce good labor standards around the globe.
-Education Charter: The leaders expressed their commitment to greater investment in education and lifelong learning, agreeing on basic principles central to this effort.
-Safeguarding Nuclear Materials: The G-8 partners agreed to increase support for President Clinton's Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative, which is aimed at increasing cooperative programs to keep nuclear materials and other sensitive technology and expertise in Russia, Ukraine and the New Independent States (NIS) from falling into the wrong hands.
-Rebuilding Kosovo: Shortly after NATO ended its air offensive against Yugoslavia, G-8 leaders announced an effort to rebuild Kosovo and pledged to cooperate with the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the United Nations in forging a stability pact for Yugoslavia and its neighbors to strengthen democracy, promote human rights, encourage investment and growth, foster regional cooperation and counter transnational threats.
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