Olivier Giscard d’Estaing
Speech at 'Delivering the 2006 G8 Agenda' final international NGO conference
My name is Olivier Giscard d'Estaing. Some people wonder what COPAM means. It’s a Committee for World Parliamnet. We are not a GT parliament ourselves and we look for legitimacy. We would me more like Economic and Social Committee. My suggestion is that we act like the GT EcoSoC. And that would give us the great legitimacy and a permanent position towards the governments. Because the EcoSoc idea is to make recommendations, it has no power of legislation or decisions. But it’s very influential because it represents the unions, the business community and the civil society.
I think if the G8 before taking most important political decisions could listen to the advices of the civil society in a legitimate way, it would be a great step. I was very interested in Victoria Panova’s comments because that is exactly what we were expecting from this meeting – it’s about our recommendations and wishes: ‘What happens?”. They might be rejected, they might be not heard, they might lead to disagreement, they might be modified, maybe there is no follow-up, but maybe also there is some influence and they say: “Look, we should listen to that”.
We can not measure influence. But I was very impressed by the fact that many emerging ideas I was at meetings years and years ago emerged in fundamental changes in our society. In 1946 we were very young and naive and we were saying – we want this, we want that – and now we are emerging in this world of globalization.
And I wanted to make two recommendations. First, my message to Germany. We would expect that your G8 summit will follow-up the G8 in St Petersburg. It’s nice to put in new agenda new items. But don’t forget that , I think, the Russian government put in the agenda the major things we are roaring about. And I would be very sorry if you just say: ”OK, we know that problems – energy, security… But if you could make it that the G8 presidency wonder what happened to the last meeting? My second question is: Regine said that we will have a smaller rapprochement to the civil society. Smaller that the Russian. Why? And what does that mean? Is it a financial question? A lack of interest? Why is it going to be smaller? I hope maybe it shouldn’t be bigger, I think we were happy with the size we are but it should not be smaller.
Now, my last point is that there should be a small permanent administrative secretariat to be established for the G8 and for additional five or six countries. Such secretariat would deal not with the national positions, but with global interest on behalf of the nations. And the follow up in relations with the Sherpas, the civil society, the evolution of the governments’ decisions concerning the problems where dependence is obvious and solidarity is needed.