Civil G8 2006 sets the standard for a similar process in Germany
The ‘Civil G8’ international forum for non-governmental organisations concluded its work in Moscow on 4 July. “We have been through the culmination of civil involvement in preparation for the G8 summit”, commented Alexandr Auzan, president of the Institute for the National ‘Public Agreement’ Project and a member of the National Working Group of the Advisory Council of the Civil G8. Readers will recall that the summit of the G8 leaders will take place in Saint Petersburg on 15-17 July. But Auzan also stated that the Civil G8 has not finished its operations; it will continue to function for the entire period of Russia’s G8 presidency. Specifically, according to Auzan, in October a roundtable will take place under the Civil G8 banner dedicated to development of Africa and monitoring the implementation of resolutions of previous summits with regard to this problem. Summation of the Russian presidency from a civil society point of view, and handover of the baton for public accompaniment of the G8 process to the 2007 president country, will both take place in November.
As reported by an IA REGNUM correspondent, at the last plenary session of the Forum on 4 July proposals were made with regard to the work and agenda of the next G8 summit, to be held in 2007 in Germany. Specifically, in his speech Jürgen Maier, director of the Forum of German NGOs for the Environment and Development and a member of the Advisory Council, emphasised that the process for active interaction between the G8 and the international NGO community is continuing. The format for this interaction used by the Civil G8 he evaluated as a “new standard”, which will be applied in future.
Jürgen Maier believes that the 2007 summit will retain one most important agenda point from the 2006 summit: that of global energy issues. At the same time, he stated that as the next G8 president Germany would emphasise development of alternative energy sources.
Mr. Maier also commented that the civil G8 had not been a complete success in Russia. He named the lack of access for NGO representatives to draft concluding documents, as is provided by such other international organizations as the UN and WTO, as the main deficiency of the interaction process between the global NGO community and the G8 leaders, at least in the form in which it took place in Russia.
Other participants of the plenary session also brought forward a range of proposals with regard to the agenda for the 2007 summit. Specifically, Yury Dzhibladze, president of the Centre for Development of Democracy and Human Rights and a member of the National Working Group of the Civil G8 Advisory Council, proposed that the 2007 summit prepare and adopt a bilateral Charter for Interaction between G8 Governments and Civil Society Organisations, in analogy with the similar agreements currently existing at national level in several countries.