G8 2013 - An Opportunity for Change
The UK hosted the 2013 G8 summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, 17 - 18 June 2013.
David Cameron said that the UK’s priorities for this year’s G8 summit were: "ways in which we can support the development of open economies, open governments and open societies to unleash the power of the private sector, advancing trade, ensuring tax compliance and promoting greater transparency."
2013 G8 summit
The conditions for the development of open economies and open societies that David Cameron speaks of include the need to commit to increased aid volumes and the strengthening of institutions, to tackle corruption and conflict in developing countries, including rule of law, reduction of corruption and conflict, presence of property rights and strong institutions. Moreover, there is a requirement for essential improvements on transparency and accountability.
Lough Erne Accountability Report
On 7 June, the 2013 accountability report was released ahead of the summit.
It shows the G8’s own assessment of progress made on development promises. The report tracked 56 development commitments in nine thematic sections. According to the findings, “good” progress is being made in six areas – economic development, health, water and sanitation, food security, governance and peace. The other areas – aid, aid effectiveness and debt, education, and environment and energy – received a “satisfactory” grade.
Several events directly informed and fed into the G8 summit.
G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting
The G8 Foreign Ministers met in London on 10-11 April 2013. They addressed a number of international issues, challenges and opportunities that impact on global peace, security and prosperity.
The strongest outcome was the endorsement of a Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Other priorities included:
- North & West Africa, e.g. Mali, Somalia, DRC, Sudan and South Sudan
- The Middle East and in particular Syria and the MEPP
- Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition
- Non Proliferation and Disarmament in connection to Iran and North Korea, Burma/Myanmar and Afghanistan
- Transnational challenges and opportunities, such as cyberspace, climate change, maritime security, human rights, counter terrorism and illicit drugs
G7 Finance Ministers Meeting
The finance ministers from the G7 group - US, Germany, UK, Japan, Italy, France and Canada – met on 10 May and looked at banking reforms at the top of the agenda. George Osborne's closing remarks included a discussion of "the need to ensure that international tax rules are fit for the modern global economy."
Nutrition for Growth Summit
The UK government, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and the Government of Brazil hosted a high-level meeting to tackle hunger and malnutrition on 8 June in London.
The signees of the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact made the following commitments:
- To improve the nutrition of 500 million pregnant women and young children'
- To reduce the number of children under five who are stunted by an additional 20 million, and
- To save the lives of at least 1.7 million children by preventing stunting, increasing breastfeeding and better treatment of severe and acute malnutrition.
To achieve these, donors have secured new financial commitments of up to £2.7 billion ($4.15 billion) to tackle undernutrition up to 2020. An estimated £12.5 billion ($19 billion) committed for improved nutrition outcomes from nutrition‐sensitive investments between 2013 and 2020.
Tax, Trade and Transparency
On Saturday, 15 June, the UK Government hosted a high-level pre-G8 summit event ‘Open for Growth’ focusing on trade, tax and transparency in London.
It was announced that Prime Minister Cameron has secured an agreement by the UK's Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies to sign up to an international initiative against tax avoidance and evasion. Further plans will require all UK companies by law to register full details of their beneficial owners, including offshore subsidiaries. The prime minister is expected to ask G8 leaders to sign up to a new set of core principles on tax on the final day of the summit.
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude in a separate speech highlighted some of the main challenges for open data.
The G8 and development
These summits deal with broader global challenges and development policy. Since the late 1990s, international development has been a major issue at almost every summit and G8 countries have made strong commitments on more and better aid and development policies in the areas of health, water and sanitation, education, peace and security, governance and others.
In recent years, summits have been accompanied by public campaigns to make use of the unique opportunity to advocate the leaders of some of the wealthiest nations in the world.
The Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign aims to tackle global hunger and its causes. It is a powerful coalition of more than 200 organisations who have come together to mobilise millions of people across the UK to take action towards ending the global hunger crisis.
What has happened since Gleneagles?
In 2005 the UK last hosted a G8 Summit. Gleneagles is considered perhaps the most successful of all G8 summits.
The outcomes and impact the decisions made in 2005 have made a recognisable difference to the lives of millions of people.
As a recently published ONE report Summit in Sight highlights, the following has happened since 2005:
- Debt: 35 countries received a total of $35.5 billion in debt relief
- Health: By 2011 more than 8 million people were receiving life-saving treatment for HIV/AIDS, 6.2 million of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa and new HIV infections have decreased by 37%
- Education: Twenty-one million more children are now enrolled in primary school across sub-Saharan Africa
- Economy: Annual GDP growth has averaged 5% across sub-Saharan Africa
- Technology: The number of internet users has increased by 547% to 110 million
The political and economical environments have since changed. With the outlined priorities, the UK government has set itself yet another ambitious target.
Bond G8 engagement
In support of the UK’s 2013 presidency Bond is involved in a range of policy and advocacy campaigns that accompany the G8 summit. Bond members are lobbying the UK and other G8 governments on sticking to their commitments and introducing progressive policies and inititiaves for this year's G8 Summit.
Bond is organising high-level advocacy meetings with the UK Government including with DFID Minister of State Justine Greening and the UK Sherpa Ivan Rogers. It has also contributed to the G8 Civil Society Summit Briefing, which sets out recommendations for G8 leaders on how to end hunger and poverty.
For more information on Bond G8 Advocacy work, please contact Bond Policy and Government Relations Manager, Joanna Rea on +44 (0) 20 7520 0255 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Enough Food For Everyone IF
Read more about the IF campaign that is targeting the G8 on our Enough Food For Everyone IF page.
- G8 (official government website)
- 10 Downing Street
- Cabinet Office
- Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign
- G8 on the BBC
- G8 in the Guardian