G7/8 Summit Remit Mandates, 1975-2003

John Kirton with Antara Haldar, G8 Research Group, June 24, 2003

Annual Number of Remit Mandates
Chronological List of Individual Remit Mandates

Remit mandates are formal instructions contained in the documents the leaders collectively issue at the annual G7/8 Summit, specifying that they will deal with an item at their summit the following year or in subsequent years. Remit mandates take several forms. They may specify that a report be prepared for the leaders for their next summit, and may identify who is to prepare such a report. They may pledge that the leaders themselves will deal with a particular item or theme, or "review progress" on it. Or they may simply require that action be taken by their next summit, with the implication that they will monitor whether it has been done or not. Remits do not include the identification of the host country, time or place of the next year’s summit, as this is a constant throughout summit history, and is the minimum form of self-binding.

Remit mandates may be important for several reasons. They may indicate the priority or seriousness that leaders attach to an agenda item, normative direction or decisional commitment. They may constitute a form of self-binding, giving a particular item a shadow of the future. They may represent a way of one year’s host trying to bind a subsequent year’s host to the priority items preferred by the former. They may thus serve as causes or predictions of compliance — the actual delivery of the specified discussion items, directions or decisions in the remit mandate.

Alternatively, remit mandates may represent issues on which the summit is unable to reach meaningful consensus and agreement, and thus politely or tenaciously defers the subject for "further study" next year. Should remitted mandates always be taken up at next year’s summit, and produce substantive commitments, this technique would constitute a way of deferring and "ripening" an item, rather than dismissing it.

The empirical record of remit mandates reveals two striking overall patterns. Temporally, there is a decisive breakpoint in 1990, when the summit moved from a very strong tradition of producing one remit mandate a year to the production of multiple mandates in ever single year. During the first five years of this "post–cold war" jump, the usual number was three remit mandates. From 1995 onward, with the start of the "globalization" era, there has been further jump.

Among summit host countries, Canada is the most consistently strong remit mandater, producing six in both 1995 and 2002. The Japanese come a close second, with five in 1993 and again in 2000. The United States is even more vigorous overall, if less consistent, with three from George Bush in 1990 and ten from Bill Clinton in 1997. Remit mandating is thus strongly driven by the G7’s three Pacific powers, with the Europeans rising steadily and slowly in line with the overall trend.

[top of page]

Annual Number of Remit Mandates

1975

1

1976

1

1977

1

1978

0

1979

1

1980

1

1981

1

1982

1

1983

1

1984

3

1985

1

1986

1

1987

1

1988

1

1989

1

1990

3

1991

3

1992

2

1993

5

1994

2

1995

6

1996

2

1997

10

1998

3

1999

3

2000

5

2001

4

2002

6

2003

4

Overall Average

2.6

Average 1975-1989

1.0

Average 1990-2003

4.1

Average 1975-1981

1.0

Average 1982-1988

1.0

Average 1989-1995

3.1

Average 1996-2002

4.7

[top of page]

Chronological List of Individual Remit Mandates
Identified and compiled by Antara Haldar, June 2003

2003-4

"We will review progress on our [Africa] Action Plan no later than 2005 on the basis of a report." (Chair’s Summary).

"We agree to exchange information on national measures related to the implementation of these steps [on MANPADS] by December 2003. We will review progress at our next meeting in 2004." (Enhance Transport security and Control of Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS): A G8 Action Plan)

"The G8 Presidency will produce a report for the 2004 Summit." ("Building International Political Will and Capacity to Combat Terrorism: A G8 Action Plan")

"CTAG will…by…"Seeking to increase counter-terrorism capacity building assistance and coordination by the 2004 Summit" …Encouraging regional assistance programmes including delivery through regional and donor sponsored training centres by the 2004 Summit…Seeking to address unmet regional assistance needs by the 2004 Summit." "Building International Political Will and Capacity to Combat Terrorism: A G8 Action Plan")

2002-3

"We will continue our dialogue with our African partners. At our next Summit, we will review progress on the implementation of the G8 Africa Action Plan on the basis of a final report from our Personal Representatives for Africa." (Chair’s Summary)

"Noting the importance of commercial creditor participation, we agreed to ask the World Bank and IMF to prepare a comprehensive report on legal action brought against HIPCs by non-participating creditors, including by commercial creditors, and on options for HIPCs to obtain technical assistance to facilitate resolution of disputes." (Statement by G7 Leaders: Delivering on the Promise of the Enhanced HIPC Initiative)

"Recognizing that this Global Partnership will enhance international security and safety, we invite other countries that are prepared to adopt its common principles and guidelines to enter into discussions with us on participating in and contributing to this initiative. We will review progress on this Global Partnership at our next Summit in 2003." (Statement by G8 Leaders: The G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction)

"With respect to nuclear safety and security, the partners agreed to establish a new G8 Nuclear Safety and Security Group by the time of our next Summit." (Statement by G8 Leaders: The G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction)**

"We will take the necessary steps to ensure the effective implementation of our (Africa) Action Plan and will review progress at our next Summit based on a final report from our Personal Representatives for Africa."(G8 Africa Action Plan)

"Continuing to work with African partners to deliver a joint plan, by 2003, for the development of African capability to undertake peace support operations, including at the regional level." (G8 Africa Action Plan)**

[top of page]

2001-2

"We will establish a task force of senior G8 officials to advise us on how best to pursue the Dakar goals in co-operation with developing countries, relevant international organisations and other stakeholders. The task force will provide us with recommendations in time for our next meeting." (Communiqué)

"We will review the implementation of the Genoa Plan of Action (of the Digital Opportunity Task Force) at our next Summit on the basis of a report by the G8 Presidency." G8 energy ministers will hold a meeting in the coming year to discuss these and other energy-related issues. (Communiqué)

"G8 energy ministers will hold a meeting in the coming year to discuss these (brought up by the Renewable Energy Task Force) and other energy-related issues." (Communiqué)**

"To take this process forward, each of us will designate a high level personal representative to liase with committed African Leaders on the development of a concrete Action Plan to be approved at the G8 Summit next year under the leadership of Canada." Genoa Plan for Africa.

2000-1

"We will set up a Digital Opportunities Task Force (dot force), which will be asked to report to our next meeting its findings and recommendations on global action to bridge the international information and knowledge divide."(G8 Communiqué Okinawa.)

"We will take stock of progress (on commitments made on health) at the Genoa Summit next year and will also work with the UN to organise a conference in 2001 focusing on strategies to facilitate access to AIDS treatment and care." (G8 Communiqué Okinawa.)

"We invite stakeholders to join in a Task Force to prepare concrete recommendations for consideration at our next Summit regarding sound ways to better encourage the use of renewables in developing countries." (G8 Communiqué Okinawa.)

"Our goal for the next Summit is to develop an international financing plan for plutonium management and disposition based on a detailed project plan, and a multilateral framework to co-ordinate this co-operation. We will expand our co-operation to other interested countries in order to gain the widest possible international support, and will explore the potential for both public and private funding." (G8 Communiqué Okinawa.)

"We agree to establish a Digital Opportunity Taskforce (dot force) with a view to integrating our efforts into a broader international approach. To this end, the dot force will convene as soon as possible to explore how best to secure participation of stakeholders. This high-level Taskforce, in close consultation with other partners and in a manner responsive to the needs of developing countries, will:…. Report its findings and activities to our personal representatives before our next meeting in Genoa." (Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society)

[top of page]

1999-2000

"We recognize that an international approach to financing will be required (in Promoting Non-proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament) involving both public and private funds, and we will review potential increases in our own resource commitments prior to the next G8 Summit." (G8 Communiqué Köln)

"In light of the increasing importance of issues concerning food safety we invite the OECD Working Group on Harmonization of Regulatory Oversight of Biotechnology and the OECD Task Force for the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds to undertake a study of the implications of biotechnology and other aspects of food safety. We invite OECD experts to discuss their findings with our personal representatives. We ask the latter to report to us by the next Summit on possible ways to improve our approach to these issues through international and other institutions, taking into account the reflections underway in other fora." (G8 Communiqué Köln)

"We will sustain the momentum of international efforts to combat transnational organized crime and the threat it represents to political, financial and social stability worldwide. We commend the work of the Senior Experts Groups on Transnational Organized Crime and on Terrorism and urge them to continue their work, in particular for an early conclusion of the negotiations of UN conventions and protocols on organized crime. We also call for more rapid progress of negotiations on the UN Convention on the Financing of Terrorism. We ask the two expert groups to report back to us next year." (G8 Communiqué Köln)

1998-9

"The recent devastating forest fires in south-east Asia and the Amazon, threatening not only our environment but even economic growth and political stability, illustrate the crucial importance of global cooperation, and of better and more effective frameworks and practical efforts designed to sustainably manage and conserve forests. In the year 2000 we will assess our progress on implementation of the G8 Action Programme published last week." (The Birmingham Summit Communiqué)

"We urge the Lyon Group to intensify its on-going work and ask our Ministers to report back to our next Summit on progress on the action plan on high tech crime, the steps taken against money laundering and the joint action on trafficking in human beings." (The Birmingham Summit Communiqué)

"We urge the Lyon Group to intensify its on-going work and ask our Ministers to report back to our next Summit on progress on the action plan on high tech crime, the steps taken against money laundering and the joint action on trafficking in human beings." (Drugs and International Crime)

[top of page]

1997-8

"We also welcome the proposal by the United Kingdom to host a conference of ministers responsible for finance and social affairs early next year on growth, employability, and inclusion, to prepare for further discussion of these vital issues at our meeting next year." (Denver Summit Communiqué)

"We ask that our officials meet early next year to assess progress in implementing this Action Program (on sustainable forest management) and call for a report at our next meeting." (Denver Summit Communiqué)

"Private sector financial flows from industrial nations have a significant impact on sustainable development worldwide. Governments should help promote sustainable practices by taking environmental factors into account when providing financing support for investment in infrastructure and equipment. We attach importance to the work on this in the OECD, and 'will review progress at our meeting next year." (Denver Summit Communiqué)

"We decided to convene a ministerial on energy issues in Moscow next year, and request our officials to start preparations for such a meeting. Its results will be discussed at our next Summit." (Denver Summit Communiqué)

"We have requested that our officials report to us prior to next year's Summit about the efforts they have undertaken together to implement all aspects of this partnership (on Africa)." (Denver Summit Communiqué)

"We have asked our Ministers to pursue these efforts and to make recommendations (on Democracy and Human Rights) for consideration at our next Summit." (Denver Summit Communiqué)

"These efforts to promote financial stability and mitigate possible financial crises are part of an important ongoing process to which we attach great importance…. Our Finance Ministers will consult with the relevant supervisory and international regulatory bodies and international organizations to develop approaches for further actions, and report prior to next year's Summit on progress in implementing these initiatives." (Confronting Global Economic and Financial Challenges)

"We reiterate our commitment to improve international cooperation between law enforcement agencies and financial regulators on cases involving serious financial crimes and regulatory abuse. We ask our experts to report and make recommendations at next year's Summit." (Confronting Global Economic and Financial Challenges)

"Over the next year, we urge the FATF (The Financial Action Task Force) to review ways to advance its essential work and look forward to receiving its conclusions when we meet at next year's Summit and consider renewal of its mandate for an additional five-year period." (Confronting Global Economic and Financial Challenges)

"We hope that the OECD can produce its conclusions and recommendations on this subject (harmful tax competition in the context of globalisation) in time for our consideration at next year's Summit." (Confronting Global Economic and Financial Challenges)

[top of page]

1996-7

"We endorse the views of our Ministers of Finance on international monetary stability. We request our Ministers of Finance to continue to cooperate closely on economic policy and in the exchange markets. In this connection, we attach importance to the implementation of improved practical measures to deal with risks relating to the operation of the global financial markets and we request our Ministers to report to the next Summit on this issue." (Economic Communiqué: Strengthening Economic and Monetary Cooperation)

"We ask the Senior Experts Group to ensure the active follow-up of the implementation of these recommendations (on various Global Issues) and to report on their progress and developments in this field to the next Summit." (Chair’s Statement: Global Issues)

1995-6

"As a follow-up to our discussions, we agree to ask ministers to meet in France before our next Summit to review the progress made in job creation and consider how best to increase employment in all of our countries." (Communiqué: Growth and Employment)

"Finance ministers to commission studies and analysis from the international organizations responsible for banking and securities regulations and to report on the adequacy of current arrangements, together with proposals for improvement where necessary, at the next Summit." (Communiqué: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century)

"IDA plays an indispensable role in helping to reduce poverty and integrate the poorest countries into the global economy. We urge all donor countries to fulfil promptly their commitments to IDA-10 and to support a significant replenishment through IDA-11. We look forward to the recommendations of the Development Committee's Task Force on Multilateral Development Banks" (Communiqué: Promoting Sustainable Development)**

"We agree on the need to actively support the peace process in the Middle East. Such support would include the establishment of a new institution and financing mechanism enhancing regional cooperation. We therefore urge the Task Force already at work to continue its deliberations with an aim to arriving at a suitable proposal in time for the Amman summit next October." (Communiqué: Promoting Sustainable Development)

"These are our initial proposals to prepare multilateral institutions for the challenges of the next century. We intend to promote them actively, working together with the wider international community in all appropriate organizations. In particular, in the UN, we commit ourselves to working with other members to advance these goals. We will use the 50th anniversary celebrations in October 1995 to build consensus on these priorities with others. We will take stock at our meeting next year in France." (Communiqué: Follow Up)

"To implement our commitments in the fight against transnational organized crime, we have established a group of senior experts with a temporary mandate to look at existing arrangements for cooperation both bilateral and multilateral, to identify significant gaps and options for improved coordination and to propose practical action to fill such gaps. The group will report back to the Summit in 1996." (Chair’s Statement)

[top of page]

1994-5

"In our meeting next year we will review progress on these issues (related to Trade)." (Communiqué: Trade)

"We are determined to speed up the implementation of our national plans called for under the Rio Climate Treaty and we will each report what we have achieved at next year's Summit." (Communiqué: Environment)

1993-4

"We commit ourselves to addressing these issues (pertaining to structural eform), together with issues of innovation and of improving the "quality" of budgets and of increasing the efficiency of the public sector, and we will review progress at the next Summit." (Communiqué: Economic Declaration: A Strengthened Commitment to Jobs and Growth-World Economy)

"We welcome the OECD's interim report on employment and unemployment. We request the OECD to intensify its work,including that on the impact of structural changes, and to put forward its policy recommendations before our next Summit." (Communiqué: A Strengthened Commitment to Jobs and Growth-World Economy)

"There remain important issues to be resolved. We renew our determination to resolve them and to achieve with all our partners a global and balanced agreement (on Trade) before the end of the year." (Communiqué: A Strengthened Commitment to Jobs and Growth-Trade)

"Our aim is to agree as quickly as possible on a framework for coordinated action by all those involved following a countrybycountry approach. We will review the progress made in 1994." (Communiqué: A Strengthened Commitment to Jobs and Growth-Russia and other countries in transition)

"But we believe Summits should be less ceremonial, with fewer people, documents and declarations, and with more time devoted to informal discussion among us, so that together we may better respond to major issues of common concern. We intend to conduct future Summits in this spirit." (Communiqué: A Strengthened Commitment to Jobs and Growth-Future Summits)

1992-3

"The coordination of economic and financial policies is a central element in our common strategy for sustained, non inflationary growth. We request our Finance Ministers to strengthen their cooperation on the basis of our agreed guidelines and to intensify their work to reduce obstacles to growth and therefore foster employment. We ask them to report to our meeting in Japan in 1993." (Communiqué: Economic Declaration: Working Together for Growth and a Safer World- World Economy)

"We shall review the progress made in this action programme at our meeting in 1993." (Communiqué: Economic Declaration: Working Together for Growth and a Safer World-Safety of Nuclear Power Plants in the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union and in Central and Eastern Europe)

[top of page]

1991-2

"We are convinced that OECD members must overcome in the near future and, in any case, by the end of the year, remaining obstacles to an agreement on reducing the distortions that result from the use of subsidised export credits and of tied aid credits. We welcome the initiative of the OECD in studying export credit premium systems and structures and look forward to an early report." (Communiqué: Building World Partnership-International Trade)

"We are concerned to improve the capacity of law enforcement agencies to target illicit drug movements without hindering the legitimate circulation of persons and goods. We invite the Customs Cooperation Council to strengthen its cooperation with associations of international traders and carriers for this purpose and to produce a report before our next Summit." (Communiqué: Building World Partnership-Drugs)

"Migration has made and can make a valuable contribution to economic and social development, under appropriate conditions, although there is a growing concern about worldwide migratory pressures, which are due to a variety of political, social and economic factors. We welcome the increased attention being given these issues by the OECD and may wish to return to them at a future Summit." (Communiqué: Building World Partnership-Migration)

1990-1

"We are ready to cooperate with the Government of Brazil on a comprehensive pilot program to counteract the threat to tropical rain forests in that country. We ask the World Bank to prepare such a proposal, in close cooperation with the Commission of the European Communities, which should be presented at the latest at the next Economic Summit." (Houston Economic Declaration-Environment)

"We endorse the report of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and commit our countries to a full implementation of all its recommendations without delay. As agreed at the May meeting of Task Force Finance Ministers, the FATF should be reconvened for a second year, chaired by France, to assess and facilitate the implementation of these recommendations, and to complement them where appropriate. All OECD and financial center countries that subscribe to the recommendations of the Task Force should be invited to participate in this exercise. The report of the new FATF would be completed before we next meet." (Houston Economic Declaration-Narcotics)

"Effective procedures should be adopted to ensure that precursor and essential chemicals are not diverted to manufacture illicit drugs. A task force similar to the FATF should be created for this purpose, composed of Summit participants and other countries that trade in these chemicals, with the involvement of representatives of the chemical industry. The task force should address the problems which concern cocaine, heroin and synthetic drugs and report within a year." (Houston Economic Declaration-Narcotics)

[top of page]

1989-1990

"Convene a financial action task force from Summit participants and other countries interested in these problems. Its mandate is to assess the results of cooperation already undertaken in order to prevent the utilization of the banking system and financial institutions for the purpose of money laundering, and to consider additional preventive efforts in this field, including the adaptation of the legal and regulatory systems so as to enhance multilateral judicial assistance. The first meeting of this task force will be called by France and its report will be completed by April 1990." (Communiqué; Economic Declaration- Drug Issues)

1988-9

"International cooperation involves more than coordination of macroeconomic policies. Structural reforms complement macroeconomic policies, enhance their effectiveness, and provide the basis for more robust growth. We shall collectively review our progress on structural reforms and shall strive to integrate structural policies into our economic coordination process." (Toronto Economic Summit Economic Declaration-Structural Adjustment)

1987-8

"In this as in other fields, we will table comprehensive proposals for negotiations in the coming months to be conducted in accordance with the mandate in the Ministerial Declaration, and we intend to review at our next meeting the progress achieved and the tasks that remain." (Venezia Economic Declaration-Agriculture)

1986-7

"Invite Finance Ministers to report progress at the next Economic Summit meeting." (Tokyo Economic Declaration)

[top of page]

1985-6

"We have set up an expert group to prepare proposals for followup measures to be reported to Foreign Ministers by September 1985." (Communiqué: Bonn Economic Declaration: Towards Sustained Growth and Higher Employment- Relations with Developing Countries)

1984-5

"We welcome the further report of the Working Group on Technology, Growth and Employment created by the Versailles Economic Summit, and the progress made in the eighteen areas of cooperation, and invite the Group to pursue further work and to report to Personal Representatives in time for the next Economic Summit." (The London Economic Declaration)

"We have invited Ministers responsible for environmental policies to identify areas for continuing cooperation in this field. In addition we have decided to invite the Working Group on Technology, Growth and Employment to consider what has been done so far and to identify specific areas for research on the causes, effects and means of limiting environmental pollution of air, water and ground where existing knowledge is inadequate, and to identify possible projects for industrial cooperation to develop costeffective techniques to reduce environmental damage. The Group is invited to report on these matters by 31 December 1984." (The London Economic Declaration)

"We believe that manned space stations are the kind of program that provides a stimulus for technological development leading to strengthened economies and improved quality of life. Such stations are being studied in some of our countries with a view to their being launched in the framework of national or international programs. In that context each of our countries will consider carefully the generous and thoughtful invitation received from the President of the United States to other Summit countries to participate in the development of such a station by the United States. We welcome the intention of the United States to report at the next Summit on international participation in their program." (The London Economic Declaration)

1983-4

"We are agreed upon the need to encourage both the development of advanced technology and the public acceptance of its role in promoting growth, employment, and trade. We have noted with approval the report of the Working Group on Technology, Growth and Employment which was set up at Versailles last year, and commend the progress made in the 18 cooperative projects discussed in that report. We will follow the implementation and coordination of work on these projects, and look forward to receiving a further report at our next meeting." (Communiqué: Declaration on Economic Recovery)

[top of page]

1982-3

"In this context we have decided to set up promptly a working group of representatives of our governments and of the European Community to develop, in close consultation with the appropriate international institutions, especially the OECD, proposals to give help to attain these objectives. This group will be asked to submit its report to us by 31 December 1982. The conclusions of the report and the resulting action will be considered at the next economic Summit to be held in 1983 in the United States of America." (Communiqué: Declaration of the Seven Heads of State and Government and Representatives of the European Communities)

1981-2

"We will keep under close review the role played by our countries in the smooth functioning of the multilateral trading system with a view to ensuring maximum openness of our markets in a spirit of reciprocity, while allowing for the safeguard measures provided for in the GATT." (Declaration of the Ottawa Summit: Trade)

1980-1

"The democratic industrialized countries cannot alone carry the responsibility of aid and other different contributions to developing countries: it must be equitably shared by the oil exporting countries and the industrialized Communist countries. The Personal Representatives are instructed to review aid policies and procedures and other contributions to developing countries and to report back their conclusions to the next Summit." (Communiqué: Declaration-Realtions with Developing Countries)

1979-80

"We have instructed our representatives to convene by the end of 1978 in order to review this (the Bonn) Declaration. We also intend to have a similar meeting among ourselves at an appropriate time next year." (Communiqué: Declaration — Conclusion)

1977-8

"In our discussions we have reached substantial agreement. Our firm purpose is now to put that agreement into action. We shall review progress on all the measures we have discussed here at Downing Street in order to maintain the momentum of recovery." (Declaration-Downing Street Summit Conference)

1976-7

"We have all set ourselves the objective of completing the Multilateral Trade Negotiations by the end of 1977. We hereby reaffirm that objective and commit ourselves to make every effort through the appropriate bodies to achieve it in accordance with the Tokyo Declaration." (Joint Declaration of the International Conference-Puerto Rico)

1975-6

"We believe that the multilateral trade negotiations should be accelerated. In accordance with the principles agreed to in the Tokyo Declaration, they should aim at achieving substantial tariff cuts, even eliminating tariffs in some areas, at significantly expanding agricultural trade and at reducing non-tariff measures. They should seek to achieve the maximum possible level of trade liberalization therefrom. We propose as our goal completion of the negotiations in 1977." (Declaration of Rambouillet)

[top of page]