Week of July 24 – July 28, 2021
The G8 Summit wrapped up in St. Petersburg, Russia last week. Prime Minister Harper represented Canada at the Summit and participated in discussions with seven other leaders on topics including: health, education, energy, global stability, and poverty. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the outcomes from the three-day summit.
This year, the G8 met from July 15 – July 17, 2006. One of the many highlights of the summit was the Prime Minister’s announcement of new funding for infectious diseases and education. In particular, Canada will contribute $450 million between 2006-2016, to support country-led efforts to strengthen health systems, improve health outcomes. Canada will also disburse $250 million in new funding in 2006-2007, to the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. In addition, Canada is also ready to contribute $100 million to support an Advance Market Commitment pilot project, to develop vaccines, as well as provide $57 million in funding, to support the international response to Avian Influenza and to prepare for future pandemics.
During the summit, the leaders shared a commitment to core energy principles to encourage investment and increase transparency, predictability, and competitiveness of global energy markets. The outcome of this particular discussion was a solid commitment to a market-based approach. Canada also welcomed Russia’s support for reduced gas flaring, given that Russia accounts for 19 per cent of all gas flared globally.
Education was also a very important topic for discussion during the summit. All G8 leaders expressed the importance of ensuring access to quality education, promoting research and development, and facilitating international education mobility. The leaders reiterated their commitment to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary education by 2015, and offered their support for the Education Fast Track Initiative (FTI), a global partnership between donor and developing countries, to ensure accelerated progress towards achievement of the MDG. Canada, in particular, will contribute $25 million to the FTI to assist developing countries in establishing sound national education plans.
The G8 leaders also spent a great deal of time discussing the current situation in the Middle East. The leaders sent a strong, unanimous message to parties involved in the current crisis, including a series of steps that must be taken to create conditions to end the violence and to stabilize the situation. During these discussions, the leaders agreed on measures to enhance collaboration in stabilization and reconstruction assistance to post-conflict countries and vulnerable communities.
Following the conclusion of discussions in St. Petersburg, Prime Minister Harper expressed his satisfaction with the many outcomes and commitments during the three-day summit. It can be said that the leaders focused on themes of vital importance to global peace, growth, health, and prosperity and that Canada is in an excellent position to successfully deliver on these commitments.