G8 Nations to Stem Nuclear Proliferation, Encourage Recycling
SAVANNAH, Georgia, June 11, 2004 (ENS) - While much of this year's G8 summit on Sea Island, Georgia concerned Iraq and combatting terrorism, the leaders of the world's eight most industrialized nations signed off on several measures to safeguard the environment and stop the spread of nuclear materials. The leaders of the United States, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Canada, United Kingdom, and Russia pledged to reduce waste, encourage recycling, and reduce trade barriers for recycled and remanufactured products.
President George W. Bush said, "G8 nations have agreed to my proposal to establish a special committee within the International Atomic Energy Agency that will focus intensively on safeguards and verification. We're calling on all nations to sign and implement the additional protocol which will expand the IAEA's ability to inspect nuclear activities and facilities."
"We agreed that over the next year, our nations will not initiate any new transfers of uranium enrichment and reprocessing technology to additional nations, as we work toward a permanent means to keep these materials out of the hands of outlaw nations seeking nuclear weapons," the President said.
"And the G8 agreed for the first time," he said, "to take concrete steps to expand national and international capabilities to prevent, protect, and respond to attacks with biological weapons."
The G8 Leaders committed to:
The G8 leaders said they will strengthen International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by supporting universal adoption of the IAEA Additional Protocol, which expands the UN agency's tools to verify nuclear activity, and making it an essential new standard for nuclear supply.
The G8 agreed to expand the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction by welcoming Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea as new donors and reaffirming the commitment to provide up to $20 billion for the Global Partnership through 2012.
They will be working to bring other former Soviet states into the Global Partnership, and using the Global Partnership to coordinate nonproliferation projects in Libya, Iraq, and other countries.
Three countries were considered to be "nonproliferation challenges" that the G8 leaders stated common positions on:
And for the first time, the G8 declared that they will take concerted action against bioterrorism and radiological weapons. They intend to expand and improve national and international capabilities to detect, prevent, and respond to biological attacks. And they will be strengthening export and import controls on radioactive sources that could be used to make a "dirty bomb," they stated.
The G8 leaders met with the heads of government from six African nations to discuss their ongoing work to improve health care, institute reform and build prosperity for their peoples, as reflected in their commitment to the New Partnership for Africa's Development.
Wrapping up the summit, President Bush told reporters Thursday, "We moved forward on our common efforts to make the world not only safer, but better. We launched a new effort to train and equip 75,000 peacekeepers over the next five years to help bring stability and security to troubled regions, with an initial focus on the continent of Africa.
The G8 agreed to establish the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise to accelerate the efforts of scientists to defeat HIV/AIDS, and pledged to rid the world of polio, which this year surged back into African countries from which it had been eradicated.
The G8 leaders pledged to break the cycle of famine in the Horn of Africa where civil strife, and cycles of drought and flooding have created an ongoing sitution of food insecurity.
"Over the long-term," said President Bush, "trade is the most certain path to lasting prosperity. Free and fair trade is the key engine of growth in the world. And as with spur growth in our own countries, we must continue to reduce the trade barriers that are an obstacle to growth in the developing world."
"G8 nations reaffirmed our commitment to the success of the Doha Round of WTO trade negotiations," the President said. "We directed our trade ministers to take action to get the negotiations back on track toward a successful conclusion."
The G8 leaders say they will launch a plan in 2005 that will encourage the more efficient use of resources and materials.
The "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Initiative" will seek to reduce waste, encourage recycling, reduce barriers to trade in goods and materials for recycled and remanufactured products, and promote science and technology on these transformation technologies, the G8 said in a statement issued Thursday.
The leaders will encourage their peoples to reduce waste, reuse and recycle resources and products "to the extent economically feasible," they said in a statement. They pledged to promote science and technology that will further the 3Rs.
They stated their intention to reduce barriers to the international flow of goods and materials for recycling and remanufacturing, recycled and remanufactured products, and cleaner, more efficient technologies, as long as these measures are consistent with existing environmental and trade obligations.
Cooperation among central governments, local governments, the private sector, NGOs and communities will be encouraged, including voluntary and market-based activities.
These leaders of wealthy countries promised to cooperate with developing countries in such areas as capacity building, raising public awareness, human resource development and implementation of recycling projects.
The leaders noted progress made over the last year on their previous commitments to encourage cleaner and more efficient energy, eliminate trade barriers to environmental goods and services, and provide global solutions to global agricultural problems.
In the year since their last summit at Evian, France in 2003, the G8 leaders said they have made progress towards sustainability.
The leaders said they intend to work ongoing through the World Trade Organization's Doha Development Agenda to reduce or eliminate trade barriers to environmental goods and services.
The Global Observation System is considered a powerful tool for gathering environmental information. In the year since the last G8 summit, much has been done.
The G8 nations, among other countries, are planning to adopt a final 10 year strategic implementation plan on GEOSS at the Third Earth Observation Summit in 2005 and are working to identify the international mechanism to pr
ovide coordination and oversight for a Global Earth Observation System of Systems.
In matters of agriculture and biodiversity, the leaders say they have made progress such the Evian Summit. They have:
The Presidency of the G8, and responsibility of hosting the G8 Summit, rotates each year. Italy hosted the G8 Summit in Genoa in 2001, Canada hosted in Kananaskis in 2002, and France hosted in Evian in 2003. The United Kingdom will host the G8 Summit in 2005 and Russia will host in 2006.