G8 Summit 2013

The United Kingdom has assumed the presidency of the G8, which will meet in Northern Ireland from June 17-18, 2013. Two thematic challenges that the G8 must address are: economic difficulties in developed and developing countries, and violent conflicts that demand the attention of the international community.

Strengthening International Tax Standards

British Prime Minister David Cameron is urging the G8 to take action on tax evasion and avoidance – issues that national action alone cannot address. In particular, he has highlighted the need to: 1) Consider creating a multilateral automatic information exchange to catch tax evaders, and 2) Improve the tax collection capacity of developing countries.

Promoting International Trade and Transparency

As part of a new agenda to boost economic growth, the G8 summit will also focus on expanding international trade. This includes pushing for an U.S.-EU free-trade agreement, promoting freer trade among developing countries, and working with the WTO to reduce bureaucratic barriers to trade. Additionally, the G8 will focus on promoting transparency in the developing world as a complement to direct aid.

Addressing Extremist Violence and Conflict

Global security will also be an important theme at the G8 meeting. Extremism and terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa are likely to receive significant attention. Cameron has argued that the G8 can counter this threat by addressing violent narratives, closing down ungoverned areas, and addressing grievances. He has also stated his intent to open a new debate on burden sharing among G8 members to address these issues.

Tackling Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict

British officials, as well as government officials in other G8 countries, have become more vocal about the global problem of sexual and gender-based violence, particularly during and after conflicts. British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said that he will make this issue a priority at the G8 meeting.

Global Poverty and Health

At the 2009 G8 summit, member countries pledged to contribute $20 billion over three years to improve global food security. At the 2012 summit, they created the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a plan that built upon the original agenda from 2009. The New Alliance was created to work in conjunction with UN institutions, African partner countries, and the private sector to provide financial aid and investment in sustainable agriculture projects. At this year’s meeting, G8 countries will have to report on the group’s work since last year, as well as its other commitments related to global poverty and health.

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/g8-2013

http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/prime-minister-david-camerons-speech-to-the-world-economic-forum-in-davos/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/18/fact-sheet-g-8-action-food-security-and-nutrition

http://www.g8.utoronto.ca/summit/2013lougherne/road.html

http://www.g8.utoronto.ca/summit/2012campdavid/g8-declaration.html

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/41f2c1ee-54b5-11e2-a628-00144feab49a.html#axzz2KhWBInh4

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-hague/sexual-violence-in-war-is_b_2551284.html

http://blogs.wsj.com/davos/2013/01/24/cameron-tackling-extremist-violence-is-g-8-priority/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/house-of-commons-21444051


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