Transcript of the plenary session with the sherpas, March 9, 2006
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Everybody is here. I would like to introduce, please, put on your headphones, the Sherpas of this European Commission and G8 countries, the people who are responsible for the process in the framework of presidency of this or another country in G8 and get prepared the meeting of the highest level. So, basic issues, political and of other kind are being solved by these respected people who got collected here. I hope for these two hours that were given to us we should organize a constructive dialogue and feel what might be necessary from each of us and the way we should build up our future activities. I would like to introduce the Russian Sherpa Mr. Igor Shuvalov to begin with.
Thank you, Ella Alexandrovna that you are not sending me to the chair. I am sitting here. Good day, ladies and gentlemen. First of all let me hail you. Welcome you here in Moscow, in this hall, in this Forum, which was organized by Ella Pamfilova. Many thanks to her. It was organized according to the promise given during last year’s presidency of Great Britain when the international and domestic NGOs asked us to sponsor organize the meeting in the future presidency of our country in order to discuss the issues of the agenda and highlight the real needs that might be proposed by NGOs on behalf of various communities. Last year in Great Britain we got together twice for such public forums when Sherpas were invited. They were telling us what documents were being drafted to the summit and how the governments were getting prepared to implementing of the leaders’ decisions. That time we decided this year this dialogue would be ever more intensified and we should invite more entities, especially since Russia is being very much looked upon attentively. Now, our presidency these days is very important for us and in the scope of our presidency we are ready to respond various questions and issues on our agenda. I would like to tell you something briefly about how the agenda of our presidency was formed; then rather listen to you and answer your questions since we are here as to narrate stories but rather to hear from you. Of course, in case of your questions we shall try to answer those. So, the process of drafting the agenda of the Russian presidency we started from the premise that the topics advanced, put forward by Russian presidency would not be novel, and rather they should be historically based and priority meaning for all countries of the G8. You remember that at the time when the G8 club was being incepted, the problems of energy security were the most important and crucial. We understood that Russia was implementing the role in world economy with our energy resources available and while discussing this old type of energy security a new meaning fullness would be brought up to it. We understood that the energy issues had such a pivotal meaning for the entire world and concerned individual citizens as well who certainly feel by their family budget increasing prices of energy resources. We decided this issue should be properly propelled at the summit and Russia would be playing at this stage such a very responsible role. We started from the premise that the energy security issues should include not only various phenomena facilitating the global economical development, but the matters as well that are important for everyday life of ordinary people. For us it was very important that all the subjects, all the issues on the agenda of the Russian presidency and issues of energy security as well would have specific meaning for all individuals and citizens, that in the global development scope everyone should understand the leaders of G8 to be able to change his life and specific respect based on those decisions that would improve their everyday life. So, we also suggested the fighting infectious diseases and we have viewpoint and attitude in Russia towards this issue as we have potentially leading role to become a leader as we have a long standing school of treating infectious diseases. The soviet Russia we have been investing a lot in this branch and ……..a facing today and the problem that is being treated in case of pandemics and avian flue we realize the perils, the threats that originate from infectious diseases for entire world community and the way individual citizen may suffer and the entire global economies may be at a loss as a result of such phenomenon. It is also an issue of discussing for the summit.
Another important subject is the development of professional education as key factor to ensure innovative advancement of our economies in the 21st century. The topic of education is a domestic important issue for all countries of G8 and for those who do not belong to the G8 as well. The modernizing professional education for Russia is very important issue. It will be touched upon very seriously. We understood that since this was important for all states which implemented domestic programs and since all across the world the topic was meaningful Russia may contribute and find solutions to certain global challenges. Traditional subjects, such as nonproliferation mass destruction means, fighting terrorism and fighting piracy as well will be covered by the summit. That is a traditional agenda; it will not be basic. The basic one includes the energy security, fighting infectious diseases and development of professional education to ensure innovative development in the 21st century. Other topics will be also discussed by leaders in English - follow-up; this is continuation mechanism that will follow previous decisions and previous implementations. So, this is also a traditional attitude. That is what I can say in general regarding our agenda. If details are more specific for you, you may clarify asking questions. But you should understand properly, directly as representatives of NGOs that the key issue for us is that citizens in all G8 countries as well as in others should understand it is not a political exercise where upon global problems are being tackled which are very far from everyday needs of individuals. All issues that will be discussed at the summit in Saint-Petersburg have direct relevance to the everyday life of ordinary citizens. All the people relate the improvement of their lives with the high-quality professional education. Or at the least they understand that the better future of their children shall be based on a good education and secured health. So, health and the elimination of infectious diseases is something that concerns our everyday life. Besides, the energy security includes not just oil and gas matters. It is also something that could be an infrastructural limitation or - on the contrary - could be something that facilitates the development of our economies and households. These are the questions that tightly connected to the everyday life of each ordinary citizen. We were led by the principle when the agenda was being determined. This agenda has been discussed and approved by our G8 partners. The president country has got the right to determine the agenda on its own, but we have determined it on the base of consensus having coordinated the approaches with our partners. Thank you.
Thank you, Igor Ivanovich. We have in our guests also disposed of this agenda the way working groups were operating. They also tried since morning to find out, to coordinate their viewpoints and positions. At least they did it in some way. And if you do not mind I would like to give the floor to the representatives of each working group to present their vision of problem. Once somebody of the respected Sherpas would like to intervene for speaking, please, let me know at any time. Well? As soon as you have an inclination I will give you the floor immediately. For energy security as far as I have been informed by the coordinators – Skuratovskaya Larissa and Jurgen Maier. Please, briefly.
Good evening. Thank you very much to Sherpas for the opportunity to come here and talk to us and hear our visions of the problem. The section of energy security has drafted four questions, two of which concern nuclear power and climate. I shall read out. The first question in terms of nuclear power. We know that in the final documents a special chapter is being prepared on the development of nuclear power; and the approaches of the countries are quiet different. How will you reflect the problem in the final document considering the existence of objective limitations for this kind of energy? The first limitation is economic while the share of nuclear power in general energy balance is inessential. Then, nonproliferation problem, the crisis around North Korea and Iran. Technological one – non solved problems of radioactive wastes and security of reactors which is very meaningful for the risks that have taken place in Chernobyl and other places. The limitation of raw materials, the limited resource of uranium. Finally the social one – reluctance of the people to live near reactors and spent-fuel storages. This question concerns the nuclear power. And the second one concerns the climate change. The anthropogenic changes take place much faster than it was expected 5-10 years ago. In 10-20 years the necessity to reduce the ejection of greenhouse gases will be much more sensible. It will seriously influence the countries with high developed energy systems and economies as well. This is very important for Arctic and autochthon populations of the North. When, in what year the countries of the G8 will formulate clear objectives on reducing the ejection of greenhouse gases? Thank you.
Considering the importance of this issue, please, Jurgen Maier who presents Germany. Then we are going ahead briefly.
I present here German NGO Forum. From the energy security group there are two questions. The first question is – in 1975 in France at the very first G7 summit you agreed on the need to cooperate in order to reduce our dependence on imported energy, for conservation and the development of alternative sources. Subsequently at the further G7 and G8 summits you agreed on the need to promote renewable energies in Bonn 1978, in Tokyo 1979, in Venus 1980, in ….1981, in ….1982 and so on until Gleneagles 2005. That means not much has changed since then. Only once, after one of the G8 summits action resulted. That was Okinawa 2000, when you established a G8 task for the renewable energies that came up with a list of very concrete and I argue very good proposals. But you refused at the next summit to discuss that report. It was never discussed at the G8 summit. So, many words, little action. Our question is – in what way will the Saint-Petersburg summit be different from all the previous summits? Will there be action after Saint-Petersburg summit or will there be again only words? The second question is the following. In the draft text that you are circulating for the Saint-Petersburg summit there are a lot of proposals (very expensive proposals) about expanding oil and gas production, expanding refinery capacities, development of electric power facilities, large-scaled development of nuclear power up to fusion and also a promotion of renewable energies. While that is going to be very expensive our question is – where will all the money come from for all these big grants, large-scaled projects? What are the priorities if you do not have the money for everything? And finally, have done a cost-comparison to alternative scenarios for that?
Thank you very much. Since there is nobody who would like to speak maybe you could answer so forth?
I decided to start because I feel rather comfortable with those questions in my country, say so. On the other hand I must show and I certainly will show complete solidarity with my colleagues here in my neighborhood. I want to say that with regard to nuclear we have made a decision in my country not to continue with the nuclear energy in these days, because we thought it might be better to go another way, exactly the way you just indicated – to diversify our resources, to do more for conservation, to do more for renewable energies and so on. On the other hand, I fully respect, of course, most of the other countries of the G8. I think what is most important that we have a mix of energy sources and that we have a good climate between producing and consuming countries. So, that we understand that the recourses (like were in the first statement) are limited and every country being ….. or a consumer has to look at its social responsibility, and beyond that not only the industrial countries in these words, but also developing countries. And that we have to share resources among all the participants in this world. This is not an easy task, of course. And, so, when we work on this energy issue and I only can congratulate the Russian presidency in this instance that they look very careful ahead and very respectful and responsible into the future. So, what we try to do is to mix our opinions in a way that each of these aspects is taken care of. I can assure you, for example, Russia is a large producer of energy, particularly oil and more gas, and we have very close relationship with Russia in this respect. Russia also reminds us here, us the participants of the G8 to be respectful with this and to look for other sources. So, we can not exploit only the recourses of this country. We have to look for other things; this means renewable energies, this means conservation and maybe also nuclear. Even though we in our country have decided not to go this path I understand that it is also effective in the sense of the quantity of supply, that it is necessary to have a mix of energy sources in the world. Of course, you asked where the money comes from for the programs we have discussed so far in other summits. There are two sources. One source is from governments and the other source, of course, comes from the private sector also. It is our task in the governments to provide framework conditions, so that private sector feels attractive enough to do conservation, to do renewable energies and so on. All in all and natural I want to say even so you get a think now. We sometimes have very different things in mind; we have common responsibility being confronted with the world, with limited source of energy. And we have to do it from the both sides: from the side of production, from producing countries and from the side of consuming countries.
Round table on education – Anton Lopukhin. Then – Pietro Vittorio Barbieri, a representative from Italy.
When we started our work within the round table on education we had a lot of different attitudes. As matter of principle we decided not to start from the agenda that was proposed by Russia and G8 countries. Not because we dislike it. We think these questions are very crucial. But also we consider at the other issues. I will show you the list and you will see as a result of discussion have popped up. There are four basic issues which to the civil society institutions seem to be very important. Civil education, participation of citizens in governance and development of education, education for all, education in multicultural society as an instrument for integration of different nations and people. With these four branches we have some very brief proposals to be made. We would wish very much the countries of the G8 to announce the next year, 2007, as the year of civil education and to undertake special efforts (we are ready to propose a large list of measures) not to make it a mere words, but for the civil education will arrive to all schools, to every country. It seems to us that the participation of citizens in the governance of education must develop and increase. This problem is being solved in different countries in different manner, but as it seems to us, in all the countries, it is being solved insufficiently. The participation of the citizens can make the education more exactly meet the needs of the society. Unfortunately, now this occurs not in any case. It seems to us that the education today should be accessible to all the people. Unfortunately, now this for different reasons is not the case. We would like to undertake certain steps in order to ensure the education become universal and accessible for all. We think that the education should serve the means of consolidating society, consolidating all the peoples. We think it is very important the national language to be taught at school. All children in all the countries should know it. But it seems to be very important as well that the languages of minorities should be preserved in order of each nation to be able to retain its own identity. It seems to us the history at school should be spelled out in a way that never textbook written in one country would not degrade someone in another country. We think that municipal and state schools should enlighten people in terms of religion, but should not fulfill a missionary function. The state must provide for all immigrants arriving from different countries an opportunity to learn national language in order to make them integrated into its live. Thank you very much. I think my colleagues will continue.
Thank you, Anton. Please, Mr, Pietro Vittorio Barbieri, representative of Disabled Society, Italy.
Good day. We want to say that inclusive education is strictly related to 150 million children out of school, 40 million of which are children with disabilities. We are talking about children with HID and AIDS, orphans, institutionalized and strict children, and children with disability. Talking about disabled people 98% of children with disability do not attend school as UNESCO said; 99% of girls with disabilities are believed to be illiterate. A population approximately of 600 million people has disability. What we are asking is to commit, to include all children in educational schools, to create an intergovernmental agreement among G8 countries to promote cooperation, to promote inclusive education; to commit in 10 billions per year to the fast truck initiative on education. This is something which is related to human rights and in some countries has been trying to put forward inclusive education is the first step to build up a citizenship, to build up participation in all aspects of life. People with disabilities are asking, people and parents with disabilities are asking to be part of the life as anybody else. Thanks.
Thank you very much, Pietro. We could be absoluse ……………
Thank you very much, Ella Alexandrovna. We actually had two sessions in our round table discussion and we did not manage to complete the discussion of all the issues in our agenda. In fact we have five issues altogether on the agenda. And this is more than they have in education, which is clear because this is about health, about public health. In a fact what we are concerned about today is not the fact that the G8 leaders are going to talk about infectious diseases and that they are investing a lot of funds into infectious diseases prevention and treatment; because today it is clear that today the health, public health is the key goal for which education and nuclear energy are working. We understand this completely and yet we believe it is critical that today the society remember the following important conditions. Today we are witnessing the ongoing processes; we have a lot of marginalized groups, which are beyond the scope and the coverage of public health. It is people who become homeless as result of military conflicts. It is a lot of street and abandoned children. It is a lot of people who have restricted or limited access to prevention and treatment facilities and services. So, these were the issues we raised and we discussed them. Our final goal was drawing the attention of the G8 leaders to these vulnerable groups of the population as the groups of the population most of all need our involvement and participation in people who leave prisons, the former prisoners. And they still have the right to health; however the integration back into the society takes a very long time, which leaves them beyond the scope and the coverage of public health systems and mechanisms. We have a very vast number of issues like this today, but this is one of our most important issues in terms of public health. We are concerned about the fact that the investments into public health administration and organization are not sufficient. The recourses are still quiet scarce, because there is a huge imbalance in terms of the funds allocated. Some states allocate a lot of funds,…… but some still have very scarce resources. So, a lot of population groups do not have access to treatment and care. The drugs are often times inaccessible and unaffordable for a vast number of population groups. Another issue we are very concerned about as a civil society is the emergency of new challenges, new infections. H5N1 avian flu viral infection has again highlighted the fact that there are such challenges; there are such infections that do not recognize divergences and political systems, the do not recognize divergences and geographical and political borders. Not a single state is able to guarantee full and absolute safety and security to its citizens. These are truly global challenges. That is why we are primarily concerned about focusing coordinated efforts of all countries effectively to respond to these global challenges. So that we can counter them with our good will, interaction and cooperation on governmental, international level. These were issues we addressed and alongside these themes we also motioned a critical importance of mutual understanding at all levels. Unfortunately Mary Collins had to leave us early enough; she had to attend to some emergencies. So, she is not able to represent us at this final meeting, But Mr.Egorov, who is here with us in this hall, would like to ask the panel one question that emerged in our discussion.
Thank you. Could you kind ask it very briefly? After the round table speakers have made their presentations we will all have a chance to ask more questions if needed.
As we represent the non-governmental sector, we believe, it is critical for us to cooperate and coordinate with governmental sector. However, discussing in detail wide range of issues we do not have an agenda proposed by the governments for the discussion at the summit. We would like to specifically know what events exactly going to be yield before the summit. Are they going to be accessible by Internet and by the media? We can have a better understanding of the range and the nature of the issues raised by the ministry of health, by the government. And the ones that we are proposing for the summit. So our, civil society point of view can actually compliment the official one
Well, the official G8 web-site and the civil G8 web-site have a full list of activities and events that are taking place by preparation to the G8 summit. We will certainly post additional information as soon as we have any, but otherwise all information is already available on-line. Please, if you have a question, go ahead. About education, right?
Well, actually I just wanted to belong to what we have just heard. We had an international group; so we had some difficulties with interpretation. It may not be clearly formulated. The goals of the intergovernmental agreements which were extremely interested in is not a propaganda promotion of integrated education, it is the development of integrated education in the G8 member states. Within the framework of the proposals put forward by the NGOs we are talking about broad cooperation between the authorities, the governmental organizations, education universities that will upgrade the qualifications and the training of teaches, trainers and educators. The formats of doing this can be discussed further on. The essence of this proposal is to get signed an intergovernmental agreement that will stipulate a broad international intergovernmental cooperation and we would very much like to hear your feedback. Thank you in advance.
Thank you very much. Now the round-table for countering terrorism and …….. regional conflicts. Mr. Martin and Mr. Dzhibladze, Russia, Human Rights Institute. Nina, you will have a chance to ask a question after the speakers have made their presentations. Let us just listen to the round-table presentations at first. Please, Mr. Martin.
…questions, which I think capture most and the major issues that emerged, we will subsequently provide a fuller report. I am going lead after three questions for you. What is your vision of the role that civil society institutions such as NGOs, academy etc. what is the role in working at strategies of global security? What is the passedfol areas for interaction between civil societies and your governments in these issues? It is a first question. Second question. Have you discussed or have you thought about the fighting security issues as human security rather than through only a states security approach? The third question. What is your view dealing the erosion of the nonproliferation regime? And how do you intend to respond the public concerns about double standards in this area?
I would like to give the floor to Mr. Yuri Dzhibladze, well known human rights activist, the member of the national working group. Please.
Thank you, Ella Alexandrovna. Why all sherpas are men? I mean let’s be serious, but this gender issue is certainly serious one. Our human security group covered three areas: countering terrorism, non-proliferation and regional conflicts. We clearly think that human security needs to be one of top priorities and not to be secondary wins. We strongly hope that at the next summit it really will be in a lime….. light of attention. We have also mentioned that there are some critical issues in human security. We perhaps need to introduce mechanisms of civil control over how the G8 member states are tackling and succeeding in tackling security issues. So, this is the other area we covered now as to the three questions we have just heard. Are the G8 member states ready to take the leadership at the global level especially at the UN level in working out very clear criteria for humanitarian intervention? Right now these criteria do not exist and there are double standards. Second issue and question is the following. Do you agree that it is critical the universal single definition of terrorism to be developed? If you do agree, what steps have you already taken in this direction? And the last issue we addressed, the question emerging from it is: do you agree that as a result of the development and implementation of the antiterrorism measures we have witnessed certain erosion in terms of human rights and humanitarian law? And if you do agree, what are you planning to do to restore the balance between observing human rights and ensuring state and interstate security? Thank you.
Thank you. Our next speaker is going to be financing for development and international trade. Who is going to present your group? Mr. Emmanuel Argo, please.
… in our group of the sherpas was: can the sherpas confirm they will report on progress to deliver the extra 50 billions USD in head? This aid has been promised at the last year summit in Gleneagles. And also particularly will you agree to implement new sources of financing such as IFF also for the airline taxes? In order to promote the representative system of government can sherpas state that developing countries will be able to sit in their parliament or also can they approve which to change or if you the aid package offers to them? Also said that the development trading system should provide more flexibility and policies basis for governments to comply with the development needs for example to protect what we can say the small farmers, the small industries and we can say also generally for the esemies and the microenterprise. This should also be recognized for countries exceeding WTO. Transition early economies should enjoy the same kind of flexibilities as developing countries and LDC. Our last remark is - trade should soft the environment for example basis service, water, electricity etc. and also should not be part of the gats negotiation. Biltenateral environment agreement and ILO condition should over light trade wars. So, sherpas, can you agree in this position? Thank you very much.
Thank you. So, we take to the business and intellectual property, Tatiana Monegen, the ICC representative, you are welcome. Then Mr. Shokhin and Litovchenko. Please, be breaf.
Thank you, Ella Alexandrovna. We tried to state our proposal briefly not in the form of question but in the form of some items. We shall be considered by the international agencies and we shall take out different exports and specialists from different NGOs we shall not set administrative barriers which lower different legal regulations. We shall teach law enforcement agencies to fight violations in property. We shall strengthen fighting Internet piracy and we shall say that the developing countries ….. as regards the intellectual resources these all issues should be taken into account under development and drafting of legislation and law. So the amendment should also be revised to provide easy access of population to drugs against malaria and other infectious diseases. Simplified licensing for the poorest countries in order to provide the access to expensive intellectual property. These are most critical issues which we thought would be most important in the global aspect. So, we shall formulate them and writing and then pass it to our representative. Thank you.
Thank you. Alexander Nikolayevich Shokhin. We would like you to share with us your opinion about the critical issues.
Thank you very much, Ella Alexandrovna. I would like to say that business community, which I represent as chairman of the Russian Union of Entrepreneurs is very much interested in promoting of whole range of problems which is to be discussed during the G8 summit and which have already been discussed during the preparation phase. We are very much concerned about the energy security and safety. The fact that the whole number questions and issues was raised is very welcome for us. I understand that tomorrow more broader recommendations will be proposed and developed during the round tables on the atomic energy, issues concerning climate change. And also some other issues would be raised such as the balance between the safety and security of supplies and safety and security of demand the issues of the global policy development are very important. I think we shall have time to discuss them tomorrow. A general approach to the role of nuclear energy will be developed. We would like to see the change if not in the general approach within each country, in its policy to these issues, but we would welcome very much the change in the general approach of all the countries to the issue of nuclear energy. We would like to impose very strict limits and requirements on fighting terrorism and use of the nuclear power. I also participated in the work of the working group of the Russian Federation State Council on the innovative educational systems. It is aimed at providing certain recommendations report for the reforming system of education in Russia. It should be discussed very in two weeks and many topics, which were raised by the working on education, are accord by the resolution draft project. We are very much concerned about the professional education and about the orientation of the professional education on innovative processes. Certainly this problem is very relevant for Russia; it is very acute for Russia. It should be not only market oriented, but it should be social oriented as well. It is very important… this topic is very acute for Russia and supported by other countries, by the countries which are generally interested in developing international educational standards. The standards should be very much linked to the innovative processes, but we would like to see these standards äð ñòîðîíà êàññåòû imposed not in order to support brain drain from Russia, but in order to facilitate development of such systems, which enable us to create such educational systems, which would support a training of real experts. I would also like to stress that business community is very interested in all these issues and ready to discuss them, to discuss the processes which may be responsibility of business. For instance, education means the readiness of a big business not only participate in developing, but develop itself a number of competencies, which may be included in educational standards. I think that this work may be started within several weeks when for example our civil society submits its recommendations to our sherpas. I think that this work will be done. We shall submit not only our general proposals, but also we shall probably provide the notion of our own responsibility as big business. Thank you.
Please, Nina Baliaeva. Then Auzan, “Social contract”. Afterwards, please, name yourself as I do not know everybody. Please.
Thank you very much. My name is Beliaeva. I represent a coalition “We are citizens” and the Highest School of Economics. I think that is very successful because it develops Russian and international traditions. That is why since February, 16th our working group continues this work. We stressed on the issue of challenges which globalization poses before the education. We have set two main challenges or problems, if you would call them so. First of all is that the educational space becomes a global one. It goes beyond the limits of the school, beyond the limits of the region. It becomes unique, single. And teacher which is not the only a conductor of knowledge, a trainer is not so to say an absolute truth, because there are much more resources of knowledge, for example Internet and television. That is why a trainer or teacher is a very responsible position; that is why we think that for example the educational process may be shifted to the learning process, which is an independent learning by a creative individual of different living space of the world, learning more about its role in the world. But this is impossible without humanitarian values. A person should be limited by respect to the interests of other free and creative individuals. A person should think not only about himself, but about future generations as well. So, our proposal is probably the same and it accords very much with the statement made by the leaders of G8 countries before. We would like to stress more the humanitarian principals of our work, that the principals are developed more and implemented more. The system of education should be free and it should facilitate the development of creative personalities, creative individuals, where all people – students and adults may implement themselves, implement their goals. The question is: are your countries ready to build its work within the frame of the educational system so that it provides free space for mobility, free space for individual to develop as a creative personality and facilitates the sustainable development? Thank you.
Mr. Auzan. Our colleagues from other countries, you are very welcome to take the floor, because otherwise it may seem that only Russian speakers speak. We would like to avoid that. We shall be abused; we shall be criticized for this by our colleagues.
Thank you. Dear ladies and gentlemen. I would like to ask two questions, which relate not to the content of the agenda, but to the mechanisms in which our relation is going on. The first one is complex, and the other one is rather ticklish. It is a common knowledge that if the government has more than one viewpoint on an issue it is abnormal; and on the contrary - if civil society has got a single opinion on a matter it is abnormality as well. Here we come to the procedural question. Sure, we shall try to make our groups propose some joint position. But if you happen to receive two alternatives on an issue or some alternative issues on some details, how are you going to handle that? Are you going to deny such proposals, since there is no common viewpoint, to accept just one of them or maybe synthesize the proposed suggestions? Now, the ticklish question. We would like that every year we improve our interaction mechanisms. In particular, we would like that civil organizations can take more active part to join up the agenda for 2007. Is it possible that one issue, at least one, of the agenda for G8 2007 was determined by G8 based on the civil organizations proposals? For instance, choosing one of three suggestions, which we may offer to the agenda 2007. Thank you.
Thank you. You have got one minute each. Galina Bodrenkova.
I am Galina Bodrenkova. Here I represent the International Association of Free Will and we unite over one hundred countries. We have discussed different relations and I have two questions to the distinguished sherpas. We said that the mechanisms which interconnected all issues were very important. We shall as well use mechanisms which will enable our further cooperation. As I said regarding volunteerism in the Maastricht meeting in 2005 we have raised such a point. It seems to me that all the G8 countries regard and do use the UN regulation unlike Russia, because volunteerism is no used in Russia. In this connection I would like to ask a question. Probably, the new innovational method to teach, to train can be used or not? This is the particular method, which will involve more teenagers, more students into the process of education. They may for instance implement the elements of education as well as elements of learning or enlightening so to say. That is why we would like to put into recommendations these aspects.
Thank you, Galina. In terms that we have a lot of questions, then please take about a minute for speaking. Then we shall advise with sherpas if somebody of them would like to answer. Please.
Thank you. I am Neil Davis. ……….governors association back in the UK. I think that everything is being one way so far and it will be very nice to get some answers or some feedback from the platform back to the delegates. (Applauding). However, that is said, I think we from the international NGO community applaud you on the platform for your willingness recognize the importance of consulting us, the experts and professionals within our fields. My field is education. In our round-table we came up with three themes. We would like the G8 countries to provide the mechanism for transparent education system, where information and access is available to everyone, including financial ……. for schools, universities and other educational institutions. The second point. We think the G8 leaders will agree that we are …. only to develop a mechanism by citizens of the education establishments, children, parents, teachers, people from the wider business community have a little input into policy making decisions at all levels from kindergartens and schools right way to the universities unknown to the level of national policy makers. And my last point that the G8 countries need to develop international exchanges of the sharing of best practice in the field of education governance. Thank you.
Thank you very much. Just one minute. We are listening to you.
My name is Budashkaeva Svetlana, Buriatia, coalition “We are citizens”. I worked in the round-table which discussed the issues of combating or fighting terrorism. So, I am convinced very much, that the regional conflicts should not be allowed; they should be prevented. That is why having a risk to incur an anger of our group leaders I would sound however a question that I put to them for transmitting to the audience…
We do not have any chiefs or leaders, only coordinators. All are equal.
OK. Excuse me. So, not to allow regional conflicts first of all we should very attentively regard the approaches of preventive measures. First of all it concerns the national policy. These are the events in France, you remember them very clearly; these are religious conflicts, probably; these are problems of the tolerant upbringing of the youth. So, my concrete question is: what will the g8 countries do in order to prevent regional conflicts regarding the development of the national policy, peace culture and tolerance? Thank you.
Thank you. Please you, then Peter Ritchie.
Thank you, Ella Alexandrovna. First of all I will be very brief. Thank you very much for the floor. I would like to thank the esteemed sherpas for their coming and listening to us. My name is Vladimir Chuprov, I represent here Greenpeace Russia. Unfortunately we did not get any answer regarding nuclear power. I would like to take the chance and visualize the problem providing the materials about the social and environmental consequences of the problem in the Russian Federation. Thank you.
Mr. Ritchie, please.
Thank you for this opportunity. Sherpas you further to men………… information in the last hour. So, lots of questions. These delegates and these participants have another day of dialoging with each other to provide you with recommendations by the end of business tomorrow. It will be really helpful at this. …. to hear from you, some of the responses to the questions raised. So, I would like to suggest for Chair, please, with your permission that we stop this talk from this side and hear from the panel. Thank you.
Thank you. Three people I see there in the rose. Just one minute and after that we shall pass the floor to sherpas. Please.
My name is Alexey Toropov, I represent here Tomskaya area. This is Western Siberia, the very centre of Russia. As it is known a question on utilization of nuclear wastes in Russia and in US is being discussed. The wastes are supposed to be utilized by producing uranium-plutonium fuel or mox-fuel. It is also known that the Russian mox-fuel program should be financed by the other G8 countries. I would like to ask the representatives of these countries, the sherpas, to pass to their leaders the opinion of Tomskaya area inhabitants, 80% of which are against building up mox-fuel producing plants in their region. Thank you. I also take this chance (I only have in Russian version) and I will pass this to the chair sherpa of this year…
Excuse me. Not everybody understands what fuel you are talking about. Decipher, please.
This is a mixed uranium-plutonium fuel which is more known as mox-fuel. That is a special form of plutonium utilization which is being lobbied today by the nuclear power adherents. I shall pass to Igor Ivanovich the Russian version of our analysis of the problem. Thank you.
My name is Irina Kocherbaeva. I am from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. My question is: will the principles of biological security be considered during analyzing these issues? Thank you.
I am Carina Danielian, Association “For Sustainable Development”, Republic of Armenia. Today I have worked in the round-table on education. I can say that these issues are closely related to the development of science. I am very grateful to Mr. Shokhin, because he raised the question of the brain drain. The question is very acute for our countries. If it is score for Russia you can imagine how catastrophic it is for small countries of CIS, for us. We have accumulated a great intellectual potential in times of the Soviet Union, which we are loosing right now. I think the loss and even the erosion of the potential means a catastrophe not only for us, but for the whole civilization. In this connection I have got the following question. Is the G8 going to focus on these issues in terms of support and assistance such intellectual development in our countries? Not picking up separate personalities in the form of brain drain, but real developing and supporting intellectual potential which will contribute not only to the welfare of our countries, but to the welfare of the whole international community. Thank you.
Thanks a lot. Then I shall give the floor to one of our guests. Who is willing? Please, if any of our guests wishes to say something on the matters, which we have discussed, you are welcome.
First of all I very much appreciate all the input that we received. I think it is impossible for me and any of my colleagues to respond in any detail to the multitude of comments that we received. But I want to, may be, probably, on behalf of all my colleagues thank you for your participation and all the input you provided us. I think it is useful for me to talk a little bit and I think my colleagues will share with you what I am about to tell you. That is much of the discussion we have heard and the list of comments that we have got very similar to the type of discussions that we have when we meet on behalf of our leaders. It is a very active and open discussion we have; we have put forward many of the issues that you have raised, many of the perspectives you have raised. We …… very actively with the question one of the earlier commentators raised about the credibility of commitments we made; and ensuring we maintain mechanisms to follow up and implement the promises there made, so, that there is something more the accurse than just high mind the promises directial follow through. And I know for all of us in international systems on behalf of the leaders that we work it is important for us to undertake commitments. There are important and addressed core issues, but even more important that these your commitments that we will see through. An important part of the preparatory process that we have, that I have on behalf of my government and my leader in United States, I think, is very similar to the process that my colleagues have all across the staple. And that is to work very actively with representatives of civil society and NGOs. Many of your organizations who have representatives in each of our national systems, I am sure, have had, may have had or will have opportunities to speak to us and participate in preparatory process to direct dialogue with each of us in our home capitals. So, I appreciate the input you have done. You have to understand we are working very hard towards the preparations for July. Many of questions you have raised are only raising now and beginning to creup with. The results of those and the answers that will come up will ultimately be a product of work that we shall do over the next several months. Thank you again for your comments. We hope you will stay engaged both here to this formal mechanism that the presidency country is hosting, but also through those of you who are representatives in each of our national capitals, directly with us in our home countries.
Thank you, Mr. Harber. Please.
…My comments by first acknowledging and agreeing with…….just spoken comments. This process of engaging civil society has matured over the last number of G8 presidencies. It started in much smaller engagement with just the presidency alone engaging the civil society at the international level. I think this shows the maturation of both civil society and the G8 as an institution. Each of us in own ways has mechanisms in our countries which we have been using for some time of preparing our leaders for G8 summits by engaging in civil society. We are now experimenting with this opportunity, a broader collective engagement of international NGOs. And I thank you for the participation. Just a couple of comments. Jurgen Maier said that the issues we have been dealing with have been on our collective agenda for some time. He asked the question sounding ………it shocking. I would suggest that it is clarifying that they have been, because until the issues of global economic imbalance are addressed, they need to be on the agenda of the G8; and that prior agenda creation comes from our engagement with civil society. The second point I would like to make is that the G8 is not the only forum in which these issues and ideas are dealt with. There are other forums both domestically and collectively where we work on. What is unique about the G8 is that leaders and leaders alone discuss these issues among the context of G8 and identify areas where they would wish to pursuit a collective action or draw a collective attention to. Evaluating the work that has been done at the G8 I think it is very important that we acknowledge not just those issues on which we have committed to fund, can there are many; but also those issues on which there is a policy framework or a direction that G8 is asking of either itself or other international organizations or other like minded groups to move forward on. I also think that the nature of the discussion face has confirmed the wisdom of the Russian presidency for the issues that have been selected. The fact that you have not been able to achieve consensus does not surprise me. This is a journey that we must work on together, but I would inherge to the degree possible; that your working groups achieved a level of consensus. Somebody asked, I forget who, what you will do if you have two different opinions. I guess it depends on what the opinion is; but a stronger opinion is a united opinion. And even among the G8 which works on the basis of consensus, among leaders, where is consensus, there is strength of direction. And that is a challenge for you as certain as it is a challenge for our leaders. Now a number of you raised specific issues. I do not want to comment on each, but they are very worthy of a future engagement. Though I wanted particularly comment on the issues of human security and the responsibility to protect; and to say that these are themes in international discussion which are very important and I welcome them having been raised. Because they are issues that we are grappling with internationally and in G8 discussions of how do you bring about the humanitarian intervention in regional situations that demand international collective action. And I believe it is also a very much part of what we need to discuss. On the issue of nuclear you will probably have as many views on this table as there are in the audience, but I do think the fact we are beginning that discussion and if we can pursuit that discussion with facts and with sincerity on both sides, we can engage in energy discussion that includes the nuclear in a way that will help us our collectively address some of the commitments we have been making in areas like climate change and diversification of energy sources as well. Let me leave at the fact, but I will be happy to engage further.
Thank you, Mr. Harber. Who is ready to speak? Please Mr. Jabunaka, Japan.
Thank you very much. I shall also be very brief, but certainly as others of my colleagues I appreciate this opportunity, because this interaction with civil society is a very important occasion for us to have views, to listen to views. And also this is very early stage in a process through we drigh. We are having meetings and very serious discussions, but at this early stage to listen very directly to the leaders of civil society is very important occasion for us. Second thing is that you are asking us about the commitments we have made as G8 and has it been followed through. That is very, very legitimate question. We are also very mindful that now have just one meeting and then next meeting we forget about the previous commitments. It is not the case. We are very mindful of follow through of all those commitments. For example in 2000 in the G8 summit at Okinawa that for the first time that we have taken very seriously about infectious diseases and about the creation of global fund which is now very important sort of instrument to tackle HIV and TB. Also of course, we can ask ourselves about energy security. True, that in 1970-s, as early as 1970-s, yes, we have been discussing, tackling these issues. Why today? Because we have also entered new sort of other era. We know as well that the participation of enlarging economies and expandure of demands. As global world we have to face with these situations. And how to balance out the great increase of the demands? And how to cope with that? In Japan for example we have one answer, clear answer, very simple answer. What we are talking about is three R: reduce, reuse and recycle. And do not waste what is really valuable is a kind sort of sentiment. This is not just a sort of a simple sentiment. It is now backed with by many of other developing countries and the G8 countries. It is a very concrete sort of our attempt targeting how to reduce this sort of other in the way stepping things. So, many things can be. And this has been discussed in the last three or four G8 summits. Certainly that new ideas, all the ideas we are very mindful how to follow through all those commitments. So, thank you very much for this occasion. Thank you.
Thank you very much. I pass the floor to the representative of Italy, Cesare Ragaglini.
Thank you. Just a few words. As it has been already said, of course, the G8 process is a long process. It started in 1975 in a very much different way than it is today. We start at that time with economic issues and now we are going to promote global issues. Also the relations with civil society have been changed dramatically in the last, at least, ten years. For instance personally I have regular meetings with the Italian NGOs in Italy to know their suggestions and what a day they think about the items which are under the discussion of the G8 sherpas or that could be discussed by the leaders in the summit. Of course, ideas, suggestions and views are not always the same, which is absolutely normal, but I think it is enriching me and also the NGOs that exchange their views on this. I thank you very much for his very loud and qualified participation at this meeting. The three issues that the Russian presidency has chosen this year: education, infectious diseases and energy are issues, which are very important. These issues are very important for our countries, of G8 countries of course, but also for developing countries. And we are discussing the links that must be there in order that development and especially Africa will be at full title within the three documents. As you know, Africa and development have been in the centre of the G8 summits in the last five-six years; and of course, we want to pursuit this way. What is important for the G8 I think it is that they have to be consistent in their approach to the problems, to the global problems and that they must implement their commitments. This is the best way that we fulfill what is our view, what is our work of every day and the results and the decisions of the summit. And the last word of nuclear energy. I know that it is very important for many of you and it is for us, of course. Italy is one of the countries as Germany, which stopped nuclear energy researches and implementation more than fifteen years ago; but of course, we respect those countries, which are continuing research and implementation nuclear energy. It is a loud debate in Italy, in Europe and in the G8 countries. We have to do it in a fair way, in honest way in order that public opinion could make its own mind. Finally, I think that the relations between civil society and the G8 are more and more mature at the point that Italy would not have any particular difficulties in 2009 when we assume the presidency except the one item before the civil society to discuss by the leaders. Thank you.
Thank you. Please, Mr.Roger, Great Britain.
Thank you very much. My colleagues have already said a great of what I would want to say, in response to interventions of the floor more eloquent than I can. I think this has been a fascinating session with a number of extremely incisive and high quality interventions, which we will take in careful model, in which ……..the basis we go forward. I can not emphasize enough, just have invaluable list of sessions are early on the process. And our colleagues have emphasized that we are early in our process. We only met a couple of times of the Russian presidency. We now started to crack with the extremely complex issues, which should be very well chosen by the presidency. And your deliberations will be crucial to us as we go forward in terms of the cully conclusions we would want to come up at the summit. I am just to pick up the point on process that I think was raised from the floor and which Cesare has already alluded the Italian presidency in 2009. I mean all I can say from the point of view of the UK presidency in 2005 is that you can very well argue that …… the issues that we chose, which dominated at Gleneagles summit in 2005, were very much chosen by civil society and informed in …… I think if the prime-minister intends of what do I really want to focus my G8 presidency on, what I really want to talk with other leaders about at the summit, whether I want to spent my time trying to push debates forward and trying to move issues forward. There is very much came from civil society and not civil society inside the G8. That is precisely why the prime-minister chose both Africa and why the development issues and climate change. Both extremely complex and attractable issues as worthy of G8 attention, which is not ……I mean Africa. If you look at the evolution of G8 over last thirty years, it is almost unimaginable that we would had as much attention 20 years ago, 15 years ago even, on the problems and the issues facing African continent as we have had over the last five years; but even so, if the prime-minister very deliberately chooses as a core issue in 2005 the issue of Africa, development, financing, trade, debt, because he thought that despite the attention maybe given in the previous four summits there is still more to do. I suppose that brings me on to the points which were raised not only in Africa, but more generally…And quite rightly, quite fairly and you should hold our fit to the far on this; and you know, I mean that, and my prime-minister means it. I mean there is no point in the G8 as purely as a process of summitry; and it is a talking shop unless the commitments that they managed to deliver, the only have to commitments delivered by consensus. And that is always difficult. There is no point in delivering those commitments unless we ………… So announcers to the gentleman that raised the question are we serious in that following up on what we achieved at Gleneagles, but it is a praiseful. No there is much as we take to the presidency, but still a massive of made. Yes, we are deed serious. I can show you the prime-minister censor and me every week and colleagues in the office every week can say where are we on this, where we getting, give me another progress report, we are not going fast in …… Where are we on financing flows? Where are we on the debt deal? Where are we on the trade trend? He is talking to the Brazilian president on the trade trend and on attempt to move things forward. So, this is not a talking shop; and he has exactly the same approach when looking at the approaches of the Russian presidency and each presidency mischoose ………… that is prerogative. But in a hival look to make summit’s success ………….. 2006 we deliver on three subsequent years. So, I mean I want to give the personal insurance, but more governmental insurance that we are trying to make the G8 process remains informal process very much informed by people are given, by a growingly wide community; but we are trying to make it a more rigorous process where the kind of commitments that are taken at summits are followed through; and we constantly go back as sherpas and as the other people involved in the preparatory process to look on what we said and give ourselves a hard time as to we were achieving it. I repeat the point, it is very useful to have people like you…..hard time and I never…….you can give us a very hard time; because we need that pressure from you, constantly examining what we are really delivering of what we said we would deliver. ……………..appreciate that, you should hold us to the commitments, you should hold us and ask us: When you said you were going to do this, are you really doing this?
Thank you very much. Now Mr. Gourdaux-Montange, France.
First of all I would like to express thanks to Russian presidency for having taken this initiative, which in continuity of what has been done in the last years, which is to entertain this interaction which exists between the civil society and the G8. This has been proved that is very useful as my colleagues already said because what you think is really represent what the people think and what the people need; and all the actions which undertaken by the countries in the G8 are in fact reflecting and trying to reflect what are the discussions you have. It was said by my colleague Shirzad that whatever you have proposed to us reflects very much what we are discussing between us. This is really true. And this was already case. We could give lots of examples of achievements of the G8 which are in fact the reflection of has been launched by the civil society. I remember myself I came in 2003 doing the French presidency. President Shiraque ….. to come here to Moscow to listen from the Russian NGOs. They were not so many as today and, so, that we could achieve lot of what we achieved in that year of the French presidency.
Few words about the method. We should not also overestimate nor underestimate what the G8 means. The G8 is not an institution, it is a gathering of countries which represent about the two third of the economic potential of the world, which means that these countries have particular responsibility to themselves and the rest of the world. What do we do? We give importance, we focus on certain items, amongst which the ones you have mentioned. We take our responsibility; we try to be driving force and force which can have lots of others behind us. We do not want to substitute ourselves to existing institutions. We are not the United Nations. We are not the WTO. So, we can give some impassion, but then, of course, this has to be taken over by the existing institutions……for the ones you said that the conflicts must be in the centre of our focus. Yes, of course, we are as driving force taking to account what a tense on the planet, but it is not up to you; multilateral systems are there and there are normal places, normal forums to discuss this type of things. We are not the masters of the world, thanks God, but what we can do up to take common commitments and on the basis of the common commitments which are then taken over we try to go ahead and to try to have a good path. What are we actually? We are sherpas. Today we are on the base camp, if I may say. We stop, we have our basket in the back, we are climbing up the mountain are opening the way for the leaders. Today, thanks to you, our baskets are loaded a bit more than they were. So, we shall take into account all what has been said to us and we shall explore as we do all the time. I would like to say just one word about the development. The question was put on the table by some of interventions here. Development is one of the main focus on which we know the Russian presidency will also continue to put its focus. I speak in particular of what has been done for assistance. Gleneagles in the continuation of the previous summits has decided to commit some……… said about 15 billion dollars. The 15 billion dollars is an objective based on the political commitment of all stakeholders of the G8. It is not for tomorrow, the date is 2010. And it has been set clearly in conclusions of Gleneagles summit that half of it will be dedicated to Africa. First point. Second – what about new financing innovative schemes. This is a question on which we have …….. discussions, on which we do not agree always. What we know, all of us, is that budgetary resources are not enough, that we have committed at the UN for global millennium development goals which mean that we have to double our assistance to poor countries by 2015. Now the time passes and we see that have not enough. So, we are thinking how to do that. We had in Paris end of February conference which we were present and with other about 80 countries. 80 countries were there; we have created the group, piloting group which will try to create something which would be a solidarity….. Some countries ……… on flight tickets 13 countries in which you have developed countries and non-developed countries. We have also committed the international finance facility which is an idea of UK front us committed for next 20 years by 100 million euros a year, which mean 2 billion euros on 20 years. So, I would say these stones put together will create the house; and that what we are trying to do. Last point. Someone will say, but in this question of development if we are offered some help, some aid, some assistance, can we refuse it or accept it in our balance? This is precisely what we are trying to do with the G8, the G8 in cooperation with Africa and with the NEPAD idea which has been launched during Canadian presidency; which is something on which we share o lot of ideas with civil society, as decided to substitute the old idea of assistance to the idea of partnership. Partnership is a key idea, key leitmotiv I would say of the G8 image always. We are not here to impose, we are here to be partners with others and to push on this partnership ideas. And in the NEPAD imprecisely… Yes, one can say that we can not accept the offer which has been given to us. There is an instrument which has been created, which is a peer review which exists in the CD. And some countries, for instance, France, Canada and others have been in front of a sort of discussion saying you promised that, you did not give that, you achieve that you did not. We are on this period on a balance and partnership relationship. This is example which in fact reflects part of discussion here. I can not, of course, like colleagues comment on all the ideas which have been put. We are in the middle of the process. We trust the Russian presidency. Igor Shuvalov is sherpa in the presidency; it is a heavy burden on his shoulders. We are on his side and Ella Pamfilova transmits all the ideas coming from you at the direct contact; and we are glad of that. So, I would like express my thanks for all the ideas which have been given to us today. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Mr. Joao de Almeida, European Commission.
Mr. Joao de Almeida:
Thank you very much. Being number 9 in a group of 8 gives some advantages. One of them is that everything or almost everything has been said, so, my task is largely facilitated. But nevertheless I think there are a number of points that you raised that deserve a comment from my side. First of all let me give you an idea of how the G8 agenda has developed and what extent. I believe personally that it has become more and more citizen friendly. A few years ago you would expect a normal G8 summit too many concentrate on things like, you know, currency rates, exchange terms and other relatively sophisticated and highly technical issues. Today they talk about things like infectious diseases and education. Why do they talk about these issues? I think for many too reasons. First of all because of you, first of all because of civil society and citizens wanting leaders to discuss issue that matters for them. Secondly because this kind of issues have become global. As our economy is globalized, the issues, the problems, the challenges also become global. Infectious disease does not stop at any border, does not stop at any difference of political regime. It just crosses the border and infects both democracies and dictatorships. So, what leaders have to address? This new dimension at this kind of issues. So, I agree with all my colleagues. A citizen friendly agenda for the G8 is here to stay. It will not go away. Global leaders can not ignore issues that concern citizens. I think too very large extent this is also the work of civil society that you represent here today. Nevertheless, let me address some of the issues that maybe not yet have been touched upon. One is education. We believe around the table, and I think I can speak on behalf of my colleagues because we have been already discussing this, that this is a new issue, but an extremely important one. In times of globalization we need to address this. G8 countries to very large extent are getting older. Demographics is going down………….. over aging society and the issue of the need to have accept and accommodate an increase flow of populations around the world. So, this puts o lot of pressure on education systems, this creates a number of new challenges for policy makers in the area of education. And I took good note of some of your suggestions and expressions that we are certainly going to take into consideration. On the issue of energy, I think, we share problems; we need to share solutions. Consumers, transit countries, producers, they share the problem. We believe there are the ways they can share the solution. On trade, which is an issue that sometimes we tend to avoid; and there were very interesting questions about trade. Well, first of all the G8 is not a trade organization. We do not negotiate trade matters within the G8, but of course, within the G8 we have some of the major players in the international trade scene. What I can tell you on behalf of the European Union, which is the world’s largest trading block, is that we are firmly committed to the dower development agenda. And I underline the word “development”, because the present trade round is one that has at top of its priority lists that I mention of development. We want this round to be one that is at the end of the day favorable to development of developing nations. We are very much committed to do so. And I am sure that our partners in the door around are exactly on the same way that we hope to make progress in the coming weeks and months. Let me finalize by paying tribute to your work, to the quality of interventions that you made here today. Like Avon has said, keep the pressure on us. I think it is to the benefit of the G8 leaders at the end of the day. Thank you very much.
Thank you very much. Since Mr. Pfaffenbach was the first daring to respond, we can give him an additional word as a bonus.
Excuse me for taking the floor once again, but I have a feeling that one of your questions was addressed more or less directly to me with regard to the next summit in 2007, which is going to be chaired by Germany. Your question, sir, was regard to how we choose the items of our meeting next year. Before answer the question I really want to take the opportunity to thank you all for your modern, interesting and sincere questions. Everyone of us had a feeling ………and all your points came up in a very sympathetic way. So, I want to come back to your question which was if you would come up with three proposals for an item on the agenda, if we would be able to choose one of these items. Firstly I have to say, you have seen from the agenda of this year that normally these items are rather broad ones. We have energy security, we have other issues. But I want to ensure you that I want to look at your proposals very seriously. So, I ask you to deliver your proposals to my colleague, to the Russian sherpa Igor Shuvalov. He will transmit them to me and I will do whatever I can.
Thank you. Please. Mr. Igor Shuvalov will summarize. Then we shall finish our meeting. Yes?
I am not going to summarize. I just would like to say a few words for not to leave an impression that we were not inclined to answer specific questions you asked here. That at least was your reaction while my colleagues were speaking. Please, understand the specialized format of the G8 and the position of the sherpas. The sherpas are not public politicians. As Maurice rightly said, we carry heavy burden, we collect ideas, we work on ideas and put them before our leaders. It will be up to them whether to agree or not, and after that to express their opinion in this regard in public. It is not that we do not want to tell you what we are working at and what proposals we are preparing. This is something we can not do in principle. Please, understand this is not a talking shop or some performance, during which we are telling you what we have done and that is it. The most important thing for us is to get a set of ideas from you and to get your vision of these problems. This will be our homework. We shall take them away, then gathering once more together we shall work on them with our aides and so forth. Now to your question regarding how we are going to work with different points of view that will be received from civil society. It is a good thing that there are so many viewpoints. My colleagues who are sitting here at the table and I usually have got several positions on any single item. That is right. We must be open to your views, we must listen to you and we must come up with solutions, but the main role will be played by the political leaders. The leaders elected democratically are, of course, competent enough and have the opportunity to make a decision on a question being discussed by them, and what position they are proposing to their colleagues within the G8. It is their task to listen to us, to you, to the government members in order to work out a position that then will be put forward. Eventually they themselves are responsible for the position suggested by them for discussion and for the solutions of problems they support. We are not going to manipulate the views, of course. We shall select the most reasonable elements, treat them and hand over to our leaders as agenda points or ways for solution of different problems. Now regarding to how we are going to handle the issues which were raised here. As I understand, tomorrow you will have the opportunity to present a consolidated package of suggestions to Ella Pamfilova. And I promise that my colleagues and I will start working on proposals voiced here today and tomorrow. I just want you to understand that everything you mentioned here starting from the nuclear power up to the last issue, was discussed by us in some way. This is not something new for us. These are questions that we have discussed not once as under Great Britain presidency, as in the framework of the current Russian presidency as well. We have considered the issues of nuclear power, climate change, alternative energy sources and what has been said here regarding education. I liked very much the attractive idea to switch over from education to learning. This is new in part only, because we discussed something very close to it too. We shall come back to some of these questions owing to you with new approaches and new views maybe. But I ask you to understand that regarding all the subjects you have raised here today we have got the same passionate discussions in our narrow circle gathering each month. Please, I would not like you to retire with an impression that we have refused to answer your specific questions. We have not because of the only reason: it is up to leaders to answer them. Please, take this into account. I promise that we shall consider everything received from you.
Thank you. Before expressing our thanks to you I would like to say a few words about our future activities and maybe ask you to think about this. Tomorrow we shall have a very busy agenda, but this will not be end of our work. If we are fortunate, we shall come up with the reasonable recommendations. If not, our coordinators and our experts will continue the process, maybe some working groups will be created etc. Naturally I myself as only a coordinator will not express any views on behalf of civil society and those of our foreign colleagues. But I would ask you to think about the following. If we are successful enough not tomorrow, but in a considerable time to formulate articulated positions and views, maybe you would be able to meet in May with a group of experts delegated from civil society. This is some kind of our wish expressed by my colleagues. The future meeting could be held on a more specific basis, on a more articulate basis what depends on the quality of our work. On behalf of all our colleagues I would like to thank you for this dialogue, for this conversation and hopefully this is not going to be the last one.
Let me just one message? The peoples of the world are precisely the persons who feel the hardships of life on their own skin. These peoples know better than anyone what they do not need. They elect presidents, who appoint governments. And suddenly something occurs after what presidents and governments stop hearing their peoples. That is why I have got a request to you personally; and I hope you will transmit our wishes to the presidents, to the leadership of your countries. We elect you in order us, the peoples, to live better. Please, do not expect that we shall press on you asking for better life. Because of your status you are obliged to do this. Thank you and I wish every success in your endeavour.
Thank you very much. The meeting is getting over. Thank you.
I beg your pardon, Mrs. Pamfilova. Peter Ritchie. Last year at the UK presidency Chatham House and Montreal International Forum convened a Sherpa-Stakeholder meeting, which was attended by five sherpas. Congratulations for you for getting all the sherpas at the table. It is fantastic achievement. At that meeting we putted to the Russian sherpa to commit to having this meeting this year. He, indeed, committed and we have delivery. I would like to ask the German sherpa and, indeed, the Japanese sherpa that they commit to similar process and similar meetings during their presidencies next year and the year after.