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NZ Views on Genoa G8 Summit Agenda


Genoa, 20-22 July 2001
New Zealand Aide-Memoire

In the lead up to the annual G8 Summit, the host country seeks general views on the G8's agenda from a number of non-participants, including New Zealand, as part of Summit Outreach activities. New Zealand has forwarded the attached paper to Italy, which which will host this year's Summit in Genoa from 20 to 22 July, and to other G8 members.

World Economy - Introduction

Global economic conditions have deteriorated since the 2000 Okinawa Summit. A world recession is unlikely, however, as the global economy appears increasingly resilient to shocks. Macroeconomic management under these conditions is a key issue now facing governments. New Zealand is conscious of the important challenges this picture presents.

The G8 has a key role to play in promoting and managing economic globalisation. New Zealand welcomes the G8’s continuing outreach activities, which provide an opportunity for smaller economies to convey their views and concerns to G8 countries.

New Zealand believes poverty reduction remains the goal of international development assistance, and hopes the G8 will advocate the harmonisation of development procedures and greater coordination amongst donors. We support the G8-led initiative to forgive the debts of highly indebted poor countries, and hope the G8 will encourage members of the international community to deliver their pledged contributions.

Trade is an effective means of enabling developing countries to escape the poverty trap. New Zealand hopes G8 leaders will encourage more countries to reduce barriers applied to the exports of least developed countries to their markets.

We hope the Genoa Summit will unambiguously support the launch of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations at the WTO Ministerial meeting in Qatar.

We encourage the Summit to commit to concerted action to address the challenge of global climate change. New Zealand supports the intention of the Kyoto Protocol and advocates effective and early international action to deal with climate change problems.

The Fight against Poverty and LDC Debt

New Zealand continues to support poverty reduction as the overarching goal of international development assistance. Coordination and collaboration among donors and multilateral development institutions are essential for effective poverty reduction. We encourage efforts to harmonise development procedures and practices in order that compliance costs be reduced for developing countries.

New Zealand supports the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative as the best available mechanism to assist 37 developing countries with unsustainable levels of debt. The international community must ensure the success of the HIPC Initiative by filling pledged contributions. Before considering expanding the Initiative, we would wish to see commitments met to allow existing HIPCs to exit with sustainable debt levels.

An effective way of encouraging economic growth in developing countries is through opening markets to their exports. This provides them with long-term, sustainable sources of income. The benefits of their participation in international trading and financial systems reach beyond debt relief. To facilitate this, we encourage other countries to remove all access barriers applied to exports from least developed countries, as New Zealand has done, and to minimise barriers to exports from other developing countries.

Prospects for a new WTO Round

New Zealand believes that further trade liberalisation is necessary internationally. The best prospect for achieving this is a new Round of multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO. Accordingly, we believe the trade policy priority this year is the launch of a new Round at the fourth WTO Ministerial meeting in Qatar. New Zealand believes this is now possible and is working hard in Geneva towards this goal. The positions of the major players need to come closer together over the issue of a negotiating mandate.

Sustainable Development

In addition to further trade liberalisation, New Zealand believes that economic, environmental and social objectives should be better integrated in the formulation of Government policies. As the 2001 OECD MCM Communique affirms, sustainable development must now be an overarching goal of governments.

Climate Change

Climate change is a global issue and requires a global response. New Zealand is committed to playing its full role at all levels: domestic, regional and international. We support the intention of the Kyoto Protocol, considering that it remains the best available basis for international action to address the challenge of climate change.

We await the outcome of the current US Cabinet-level review. Our hope is that the US will have a substantive proposal available before the resumed COP6 meeting. Continued clear US involvement in climate change actions will be important. We are encouraged by the strong support which the present negotiation process still enjoys.

New Zealand stands ready to ratify the Protocol once appropriate operational rules have been negotiated. Our priorities are for a balanced agreement which reflects both environmental integrity and economic realities. There will need to be workable rules for international emissions trading, an effective compliance regime, including on the legal consequences to follow from non-compliance, with full recognition given to the contribution of forest sinks in removing carbon from the atmosphere.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Wellington

26 June 2001


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