Pamfilova: Civil G8 process more than "ritual dancing"
At a press briefing on 17 July 2006, Ella Pamfilova, coordinator of Civil G8-2006 and Chairman of the Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights Council spoke on the Civil G8-2006 process, the incorporation of civil society recommendations into the G8 leaders discussions and official agreements, as well as the anti-G8 protests in Russia this past weekend.
Pamfilova expressed her enthusiasm on the success of Civil G8-2006, stating that the process was more than just ritual dancing, as it yielded specific outcomes that have been taken seriously by President Putin and G8 leaders. More than 600 participants from approximately 140 regional Russian NGOs and several major international NGOs including Transparency International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam participated in the process. In addition to discussing the Russian Presidency's official agenda priorities, civil society organizations created proposals on poverty, ecology, and human rights.
According to Pamfilova, many of the HIV/AIDS recommendations have been approved by G8 leaders, and attention was given to the issue of climate change within the larger context of energy security. Major divisions between Civil G8 participants and G8 leaders, however, occur on the use of nuclear energy. A majority of the participants are concerned over the dangers of nuclear energy while G8 leaders embrace its use. While other issues have been overlooked, Pamfilova guaranteed that efforts will be made to keep [these issues] on the table and bring them to the leaders attention later this year.
Comments were also made on the anti-G8 protests in Russia. Pamfilova stated that she is committed to getting to the bottom of these cases and expressed that those law enforcement officers who detained protestors illegally should be punished.