M A I N   N E W S

G-8 discusses climate control under shadow of terror
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

Gleneagles, (Scotland) July 7
Eight developed countries of the world today deliberated here on climate control and global economic situation as the G-8 summit was overshadowed by an unprecedented wave of terror attacks in London which coincided with the event.

Because of the bomb blasts in London— perpetrated supposedly by “The Secret Organisation of Al-Qaida in Europe” in retaliation for Britain’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan — British Prime Minister Tony Blair cut short his stay here and rushed back to London. Mr Blair read out a statement on behalf of the G-8 leaders before leaving for London and said “ We’ll not allow violence to change our societies or our values nor will we allow it to stop the work of this summit.”

Mr Blair briefed the heads of state/government of the 13 nations that participated in today’s deliberations about the terror attacks in London. Leaders of all 13 countries condemned the attacks as an attack on the entire civilised world.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his sense of outrage at the terror attacks in London. “This only underscores our contention that terrorism is a global scourge that needs to be tackled with concerted efforts.”

The Prime Minister took this opportunity to remind the world about the “major terrorist attack” in Ayodhya a day before he set out for attending the Gleneagles G-8 Plus Five Summit, though he did not refer to the Ayodhya incident by name. “Just over a couple of days ago, India had faced a major terrorist attack. These incidents show that global terrorism does not recognise international boundaries and we all have to work together to counter it,” Dr Manmohan Singh said.

At the outreach session between G-8 countries (US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia) and G-5 special invitees, Dr Manmohan Singh underlined the need for a balance between imperatives of development and need to safeguard environment. He told the gathering that India was doing a lot in adoption of clean technology and pointed out that India had a Ministry specifically dealing with renewable energy.

On the G-8 Action Plan on Clean Technology, Dr Manmohan Singh said it was important that the G-8 countries and the developed world should not impose standards which does not deviate from reality, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said. He said India, like many other countries including the US, had begun to look forward to nuclear energy for clean sources of energy.

President George Bush referred to Dr Manmohan Singh’s remarks and said he agreed that the developed world should not neglect imperatives of development while dealing with environment. Leaders of France, Mexico, South Africa and Mexico also agreed with the Indian Prime Minister’s observations.

From the Indian and developing world’s point of view, an important event took place before the G-8 countries held an “outreach session” with leaders of the five special invitee countries — India, Brazil, China and Mexico. There were signals of yet another grouping emerging on the radar screens of international relations, comprising of these five developing countries.

Leaders of these five developing countries met for nearly an hour, a meeting which is being described in diplomatic circles here as an informal exchange among “G-5”.

A Joint Declaration of the leaders of this “G-5” meeting, however, refrained from using the terminology G-5. Nonetheless, the five countries deliberated on the possibility of instituionalising a mechanism for holding regular meetings of G-5.

The G-5 Joint Declaration urged the G-8 leaders and the international community to devise innovative mechanisms for the transfer of technology and to provide new and additional financial resources to developing countries.

It said: “For this purpose, we propose a new paradigm for international cooperation, focussed on the achievement of concrete and properly assessed results, taking fully into account the perspective and needs of developing countries. Such a paradigm must ensure that technologies with a positive impact on climate change are both accessible and affordable to developing countries... Additional financial resources, apart from those already available through ODA, should be directed to developing countries to enable them to access critical technologies. Collaborative research for new technologies, involving both developed and developing countries, also needs to be encouraged.”

The Joint Declaration underscored that the millennium development goals could not be timely and fully implemented with the current levels of ODA, which remain focussed on short-term projects only and vary according to budgetary and policy priorities of donor countries.

It stressed that the donor countries should fulfill their commitments and reach the target of at least 0.7 % of their GDP’s allocated to ODA. This would greatly assist, the Joint Declaration argued, the funding of national and regional initiatives to combat poverty and hunger.

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