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 Home > News & Policies > July 2001

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 21, 2001

U.S. Summit Report
G-8 Meeting
Genoa, Italy

"In all these areas -- health, education, hunger, and debt -- America is committed to walking alongside leaders and nations that are traveling the hard, but rewarding, path of political and economic reform: nations that are committed to rooting cronyism and corruption, nations that are committed to building the institutions of freedom and good government. "

- President George W. Bush
July 17, 2001

Attacking global poverty has been the central focus of the Genoa Summit, and is a priority of U.S. foreign policy.

President Bush has committed the United States to working in partnership with developing countries to remove obstacles to development: trade barriers, illiteracy, infectious diseases, unsustainable debt, and hunger. He believes this partnership must be based on a sense of mutual respect -- and mutual responsibility.

Forging a New Partnership with Africa

  • Forging a new partnership to alleviate poverty in Africa was the focus of the discussion at the G8 Outreach Session last night, with Leaders from Africa and around the world. As a result:
  • President Bush and the G8 Leaders welcomed the "New Africa Initiative", which embraces the same principles the President has emphasized: responsibility and ownership.

  • The Leaders agreed to develop a concrete Action Plan to address issues such as hunger, disease, governance, corruption, and education by the time of the next G-8 Summit in Canada.
  • President Bush has made Africa a priority of his administration, having met with 7 of the major African leaders in his first six months in office. Secretary of State Powell recently returned from Africa, where he investigated first-hand the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on the region.
  • President Bush has invited 35 African leaders to inaugurate the U.S.-Sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum in Washington this October to discuss further measures we can take to stimulate trade, develop prosperity and enhance democracy.
Helping Developing Countries Benefit from Trade

  • President Bush believes the best way to re-ignite an era of global economic growth and reduce poverty is through a world trading system that is dramatically more open and free. That is why President Bush is pleased:
  • The G-8 Leaders committed to launch a new ambitious Round of global trade negotiations in Doha in November 2001.
  • President Bush is committed to reaching out to developing countries, especially the least developed, to ensure increased market access through:
    • The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
    • The Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)
    • The Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA)

As a result of these initiatives, the U.S. is the fastest growing market for developing countries, taking in more of their exports than the 15 nations of the EU combined.

  • President Bush believes that increased market access must be coupled with the capacity to take advantage of it. That is why he is pleased:
  • The G-8 will help developing countries build the capacity to benefit from open markets by providing assistance on technical standards, customs, legislation needed for World Trade Organization membership, the protection of intellectual property rights, and basic human resource needs, among other things.
Combating HIV/AIDS and Other Infectious Disease

In May, President Bush, accompanied by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Nigerian President Obasanjo, pledged U.S. support for a global fund to fight the AIDS pandemic, laid out principles for it to follow, and announced a founding contribution of $200 million. At the Genoa Summit:

  • The G-8 formally launched the global fund to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The fund will operate according to principles of proven scientific and medical accountability and will promote an integrated approach, emphasizing prevention in a continuum of treatment and care.
  • The President's FY01 supplemental budget request includes an additional contribution to the global fund of $100 million, bringing the total U.S. contribution to $300 million.
  • The U.S. contributes nearly $1 billion annually to international efforts to combat AIDS and infectious diseases -- more than twice the second largest donor.
Advancing Literacy and Learning

  • More than 113 million children do not have access to primary education. President Bush believes literacy and learning are the foundation of democracy and development. Accordingly:
  • The G-8 agreed to highlight two key areas in the Communiqui -- assessment to ensure accountability for results, and support for teacher training.
  • The United States has raised its FY02 budget commitment to international education assistance by 20 percent to over $123 million this year. The President has also proposed that the World Bank and other development banks increase by 50 percent the share of funding provided as grants rather than loans to the poorest countries - particularly in the area of education. Only about 7 percent of World Bank resources are currently devoted to education.
  • The President has directed the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the Agency for International Development to develop an initiative to improve basic education and teacher training in Africa, where some countries are expected to lose 10 percent or more of their teachers to AIDS in the next five years.

Ensuring Food Security for a Hungry World

  • President Bush believes that we must not turn our backs on the over 800 million people, including 250 million children, who are severely malnourished worldwide. The President is pleased that:
  • Developing country leaders attending the Italian Presidency's Outreach Session stressed that food security is the essential foundation of growth, development and poverty alleviation.
  • The world needs to begin realizing the enormous potential of biotechnology to help end hunger. The U.N. recently confirmed that biotechnology can dramatically improve crop yields in developing countries, while using fewer pesticides and less water. G-8 countries need to work with developing countries to expand the use of biotechnology to reduce hunger and malnutrition.
Seizing Digital Opportunities

  • The G-8's Digital Opportunities Task Force (DOT Force) established a unique public private partnership that will help developing countries adopt the policies and practices needed to apply information technology (IT) to the problems of education and health. These policies will assist developing country economies to become more attractive to private investment. The Dot Force's Action Plan includes IT initiatives that correspond to a number of the President's and the G-8's priorities. For example:
  • Establish Information Technology teacher training centers in developing countries and place internet portals in each center, so teachers can access global best practices,
  • Develop IT based programs to provide health officials with access to the latest medical information and to share best practices on HIV-AIDs, malaria and TB.