G8 Foreign Ministers' Meetings

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Summary of the G8 Presidency

G8 Foreign ministers meeting in Paris
May 22-23 2003


G8 Foreign Ministers met in Paris on 22 and 23 May 2003 to discuss major regional and international security issues.


International security

Fight against terrorism

G8 countries remained totally mobilised against international terrorism. We welcomed the principle of creating an action plan in support of the UN Counter Terrorism Committee. We emphasised that the various actions undertaken by the G8 regarding transport security, the financing of terrorism and institutional capacity by the countries to defend themselves against terrorism usefully supplemented the measures adopted since the Kananaskis Summit. We pledged to pursue our effort by further extending accession to the 12 UN conventions in this field and by supplementing measures relating to the financing of terrorism.

Non-proliferation

Deep concern was expressed regarding the growing dangers posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and by the risk of their use by non state actors. Ministers agreed to work towards defusing regional tensions that are often at the root of proliferation risks. They reaffirmed that the proliferation threat was to be met through a common and comprehensive approach relying on the international institutions, first and foremost among them the United Nations Security Council. Ministers pledged firmly to use and strengthen existing instruments, including the IAEA. The IAEA should be granted a budget allowing it to carry on its safeguards control missions, and have its efficiency and prioritisation improved.

Ministers welcomed the progress of the Global Partnership launched at Kananaskis.

Small arms and light weapons

G8 Foreign Ministers discussed the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. They stressed that the difficulties encountered in tension and post-conflict zones plagued with this trade could be better apprehended through a regional approach that would help achieve concrete results. They supported the Meeting of States on the illicit traffic in small arms to be held at the United Nations,  in New York, in July 2003, under Japanese chairmanship.

North Korea

The North Korean nuclear issue constitutes a threat to international peace and stability. North Korea's compliance with its non-proliferation commitments is a matter of concern for the entire international community. The Security Council has been and remains seized of the matter and should play a constructive role.

Ministers called on North Korea to respect its commitments, to refrain from any action that would aggravate the situation and to embark on the full, prompt, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear weapons programme.

They supported the efforts made by the different parties to seek a comprehensive solution by peaceful means to the North Korean nuclear issue and to other matters including unresolved humanitarian problems such as the abduction issue.

The discussion process launched by the trilateral meeting held in Beijing on 23 and 24 April 2003 is a step toward this goal. Ministers called for this process to continue and to be opened up to the other countries most directly concerned, starting with the Republic of Korea, Japan and Russia. In this regard, they commended the role played by China in setting up a framework for multilateral discussions. They also supported the Peace and Prosperity Policy pursued by the Republic of Korea, and Japan - North Korea dialogue based on Japan-North Korea PyongYang Declaration.

Iran

Iran's nuclear program is a cause of concern. Ministers outlined that Iran had to allay these questions by building confidence, including by signing  and implementing an additional protocol with the IAEA and by acceding to the international instruments to which it has not yet adhered. Ministers used all their opportunities to forward this message  to Iran.

Ministers called on Iran to pursue its efforts on the path of reforms and expressed the wish to maintain a constructive dialogue with it. They asked Iran to uphold its commitment to the fight against terrorism and to fully implement the relevant international resolutions and conventions.

Colombia

Deep concern was expressed about narco-terrorism in and from Colombia and about the risk of seeing Colombian violence and terrorism, fuelled by drugs, jeopardise the country's efforts to defend democracy, and extend it to other countries in the region.

Ministers supported action by President Uribe and the Colombian government to strengthen the authority of the State and unreservedly supported the policy of firmness towards illegal armed groups.

S.A.R.S.

The problem posed by the current epidemic in Asia went beyond the regional framework. The entire international community, and especially the industrialised countries, should stand firmly against it.

Considering the global nature of this epidemic, Ministers stressed the collective responsibility of the international community, which calls for the joint management of the problem.

Democratic Republic of Congo

G8 Foreign Ministers discussed the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and stressed that the bloodshed currently perpetrated in the north-east of the DRC, in Ituri, which endangers the peace process, should urgently be brought to an end.

They supported the current mobilisation to help the UN forces present in the area.

Georgia

Ministers stressed the importance of preserving Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity with respect to stability in the Caucasus. They supported the efforts launched by the UN and the OSCE in this respect.

Concerning the Abkhaz question, they welcomed the efforts taken by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to promote a political settlement corresponding to the wishes of the international community, and action by Russia and Georgia, with the same aim in mind, to encourage restoration of confidence between the Parties.

India and Pakistan

We welcomed efforts undertaken by both countries to normalise their bilateral relations, following the initiative taken by India and Pakistan's positive response. We solemnly called on the two Parties to continue on the path of bilateral dialogue and rapprochement, which they are ready to support.

Ministers expressed the hope that a political process would develop between the two countries aimed at resolving all their differences through dialogue, in the spirit of the Simla and Lahore Agreements.

Afghanistan

Normalisation in Afghanistan is an essential factor for regional stability.

Ministers welcomed the progress accomplished since the Bonn Agreements and the efforts of the Afghan Transitional Administration chaired by Hamid Karzai. However, they remain deeply concerned about the difficulties still confronting the country, particularly in the field of internal security. They emphasised that all local chiefs would now have to disarm and submit to the central government.

Ministers reiterated that the Bonn process was to be brought to a successful conclusion, in spirit and in substance, fully and without delay. They invited the United Nations to work towards this end, and in particular to support the organisation of free, credible and democratic elections in 2004.

They invited the countries in the region to combat the activities of all radical groups that intervene in Afghan affairs with a destabilising objective.

Ministers welcomed the Conference on Drug Routes from Afghanistan held at the French initiative. They reaffirmed their support to the Afghan Transitional Administration in its fight against poppy growing and opium production, and commended the role played by the United Nations in this respect. They stressed the need to step up the mobilisation of all countries concerned by the development of drug trafficking from Afghanistan.

Sri Lanka

Significant progress has been made by the peace process for over a year now between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE Tamil movement.

Ministers thanked Norway for its constructive role.

Ministers regretted suspension by the LTTE of its participation in negotiations and expressed the wish that the donor conference scheduled in Japan this June would be an opportunity for all Parties, including the LTTE, to come together.

Iraq

Ministers welcomed the agreement that has taken place in the Security Council on the resolution lifting the sanctions on Iraq. They stressed that this resolution made it possible to undertake the reconstruction and stabilisation of Iraq, after so many years of hardship and war, in a context agreed upon by the international community.

We discussed the importance of determined action of all members of the international community and of  the United Nations:

Ministers reaffirmed the importance of ensuring the unity, stability and territorial integrity of Iraq in order to facilitate its reintegration into its regional environment and into the international community.

Israel and Palestine

The path set out by the Quartet roadmap offers a historic opportunity to solve the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians within the framework of two viable States living side by side within secure and recognised borders and to bring decades of human suffering to an end.

Aware of the efforts that this would require from all sides, Ministers called upon the Parties to confirm their acceptance of the roadmap, to begin implement it fully and in good faith, in order to arrive at the solution of two States, under the terms defined by the Quartet, in 2005.

Ministers welcomed the courageous decisions taken by the Palestinians to reorganise their institutions, which they pledged to support, politically and economically. They expressed the wish that there would be further progress. Following the recent terrorist attacks, they reiterated their total condemnation of terrorism. They called on the Palestinians and the Israelis to bring all violence to an end.

Ministers discussed achieving comprehensive peace including Syria and Lebanon.  The time had come for a resumption of talks between these countries. The Parties should take each other's concerns into consideration and initiate in good faith the negotiations leading to a lasting peace.  We would fully support this process.

Source: Official G8 Evian Summit website


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