For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 22, 2001
Accomplishments of G-7/8 Summit in Genoa, Italy
Attacking Global Poverty has been the focus of the G-7/8 Summit and is a Priority of U.S. Foreign Policy. President Bush has committed the United States to a true partnership with developing countries to remove obstacles to development: poor governance, trade barriers, unsustainable debt, illiteracy, hunger, and disease.
To achieve these ends, President Bush and other G-8 leaders agreed to action in the following areas:
World Economy: President Bush believes a dynamic, growing global economy is the ultimate poverty reduction strategy. Each of the G-7 countries committed to putting in place pro-growth policies. The U.S. is leading the way with dynamic and flexible markets and decisive action, including tax cuts that will inject $40 billion into the economy in the third quarter alone.
New Trade Round: President Bush believes that one of the most important things we can do to ignite a new era of global growth is to expand world trade. Thus, he and the other G-7 Leaders pledged to "engage personally and jointly" to ensure a successful launch of an ambitious new round of global trade negotiations in November.
A New Partnership with Africa: President Bush and the G-8 Leaders committed themselves to forging a new partnership with Africa to alleviate poverty. They welcomed the "New Africa Initiative," which embraces the same principles the President has emphasized -- responsibility and ownership. The President has made Africa a priority: he has met with 7 of the major African leaders in his first half year in office; he has instructed his Secretary of State to develop an education initiative for Africa focused on teacher training; and he will inaugurate in October the first U.S. - Sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum involving 35 African countries.
Global HIV/AIDS Fund: In May, President Bush pledged U.S. support for a global fund to fight the AIDS pandemic, laid out principles to ensure its effectiveness, and announced a founding contribution of $200 million; the Administration's FYO1 supplemental budget adds another $100 million to the fund. The Genoa Summit formally launched the fund, which will operate according to the principles laid out by President Bush, with a combined contribution of $1.3 billion. The U.S. contributes nearly $1 billion annually to international efforts to combat AIDS and other infectious diseases -- more than twice the second largest donor.
Debt Relief: President Bush believes it is important to provide the poorest countries with relief from unsustainable debt as part of an integrated program to enact reforms and invest the savings in poverty alleviation. The G-8 affirmed their support for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative, under which 23 countries have received $54 billion of debt relief.
World Bank Grants: President Bush believes debt relief is often a temporary solution. Thus, he has called for the World Bank to make up to 50 percent of the assistance it provides to the poorest countries available as grants, not loans, which will permanently "stop the debt." Cardinal Bernard Law of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has welcomed this initiative and commended the President for placing "the freedom of the market in the service of human freedom." The G-8 agreed to explore the increased use of grants for priority social investments, such as education and health.
MDB Reform: The President believes the World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) must refocus their efforts on activities, such as education, that raise living standards by increasing productivity growth. The Genoa Summit embraced significant MDB reforms, including enhancing their internal governance, accountability and transparency. The G-8 also urged the development banks to "sharpen their focus on education."
Education: Literacy and learning are the foundations of democracy and development. The G-8 agreed to highlight two education priorities emphasized by President Bush: assessment to ensure accountability for results, and support for teacher training. The U.S. has raised its FY02 budget commitment to international education assistance by 20 percent, and called upon the World Bank to increase its commitment, as well.
Biotechnology: President Bush believes the world must utilize the enormous potential of biotechnology to end hunger. Biotechnology can help developing countries substantially increase crop yields, while using fewer pesticides and less water than conventional methods. The G-8 Communiqui acknowledges these benefits and commits the G-8 to facilitate the use of biotechnology to meet the needs of the developing world.
Environmental Standards for Export Credit Agencies (ECAs): The U.S. Export-Import Bank is an environmental leader, subjecting potential projects to high environmental standards like those used by the World Bank. The United States has been urging other countries to adopt similar standards. At the Summit, the U.S. secured the commitment of its G-7 partners to negotiate an agreement by the end of the year to establish strong environmental guidelines for ECAs.
DOT Force: The G-8-initiated DOT Force established a unique public-private partnership to help LDCs adopt policies needed to apply information technology to the problems of education and health. The DOT Force Action Plan reflects several of President Bush's priorities, including the use of information technology in establishing teacher training centers in developing countries.
Global Climate Change: President Bush has made it clear that the U.S. believes climate change is a serious problem requiring a global solution. He is committed to working with friends and allies to develop effective, science-based responses that both protect the environment and ensure economic growth. The G-8 Communiqui notes that the Leaders are determined to work intensively together toward the shared objective of reducing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In keeping with the President's June 11 commitment to provide international leadership on this issue, the U.S. and Italy have agreed to cooperate on climate change science and technology; the U.S. and Japan recently held the first of a series of high-level consultations; the U.S. and the EU have agreed to similar consultations; and the U.S. and Central America have agreed to intensify their cooperation on climate change through the Concausa Declaration.