News / Africa

G8 to Tackle Trade, Taxes, Transparency

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
Britain is hosting this year’s G8 summit, which gets underway next week (6/17-18) in Northern Ireland. Prime Minister David Cameron has listed the major issues he wants leaders to tackle when they gather at the Lough Erne resort.

G8 Research Center Director John Kirton said leaders have known for months the top issues on the summit agenda.

“David Cameron said back in November last year that he wanted his summit to focus on trade, tax and transparency. And since then, rising up on the agenda has been another T – terrorism -- and then of course the escalating war in Syria.”

Even before it starts, Kirton says the summit is shaping up to be one of “significant success.”

“A lot of their achievements actually come in advance – down payments – as countries try and accommodate to their partners on the long pre-announced British themes,” he said.

For example, this month’s London summit on malnutrition saw governments and business pledge an additional four billion dollars over the next seven years. That doubles current spending on malnutrition.

“So this summit has already done much good for the poorest countries and the poorest people. There’s still a lot more to be done because of course we’re all committed to reaching the eight Millennium Development Goals in 2015. That’s coming fast and a lot of them have not yet been met,” he said.

Progress, said Kirton, is also being made on trade. After four years, negotiations are in their final stage between the European Union and Canada on a Free Trade Agreement.

“So that would get the summit off to a good start. It would also give everyone in Washington the confidence that if they announce, here at Lough Erne, the start of formal negotiations for the much bigger free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States that Europe could actually deliver a big deal on a much shorter time frame, that the Americans need, than the four long years it took with Europe to get the Canadian deal done,” he said.

On the issue of taxes, the summit will address tax evasion and avoidance. The British government says the aim is to “strengthen international standards to allow countries to collect tax that is due them.” That would be done through greater sharing of information.

The third major issue of transparency concerns ownership of land and companies and business deals done with developing countries.

Kirton said, “On transparency, the key task here is to get poor governments, especially in Africa, to actually receive the money that they deserve from their vast oil and gas and mineral wealth and not have it syphoned away through bribes, through corruption. So if people would just publish what they pay – join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative – that would go a long way to keeping African money in Africa working for them.”

In recent years, some observers criticized the G8 as being obsolete, saying that the G20 was more relevant. However, Kirton said the G8 reasserted its role during the global economic crisis. Both groups, he said, are needed.

“What we see here is that David Cameron has designed this summit to do trade, tax, transparency – key economic subjects -- as well as development and security. So I think what we see now is the two Gs – G8/G20 – actually working together giving the world two summits a year at a time when you really can’t just wait for, or rely on, one.”

The G8 Research Center is based at the University of Toronto.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid