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LONDON, January 2 (Itar-Tass) — British Prime Minister David Cameron has sent a letter to the leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) countries. In the letter the head of the government of the United Kingdom that this year presides in the G8 outlined his proposals for the agenda of the G8 summit, which will take place in the resort town of Enniskillen on Lake Lough Erne in Northern Ireland on June 17–18.
In his letter Cameron also invited the leaders of the Group of Eight to launch a discussion of the issues that will be on the agenda of their summer meeting. The British prime minister’s proposals include the stepping up of combating corruption in the sphere of international mining industry, toughening of control over the payment of taxes by transnational companies, as well as the start of negotiations on a free trade zone between the United States and the European Union.
David Cameron admitted that in the conditions of the ongoing global financial crisis the settlement of economic problems of their own countries is the main task for the G8 leaders. However, only by coordinated efforts of the G8 member countries it is possible to achieve the recovery of the national economies, the British government head stated.
The G8 countries, the leaders of which we are, account for about half of the world’s GDP, so the ambitious standards that we set, bold steps that we are taking by uniting the G8 forces, can change the world situation for the better, spur economic growth and strengthen welfare not only of our countries, but also of the whole world, Cameron said. He expressed the hope that at the Loch Erne meeting the leaders will be able to use this opportunity. There are three issues in the centre of the agenda proposed by the British prime minister for discussion at the summit: the promotion of trade, tax compliance and ensuring greater transparency (in the economy).
The British prime minister made it clear that in the context of the current budget problems of countries of the West they do not intend to increase their state expenditures for the sake of preventing another global economic crisis.
The current G8 summit will not be a meeting at which the G8 leaders an hour before midnight will take out their check books, pledge to allot some money and call it a success, David Cameron stressed in the letter. He said the G8 leaders will discuss the prospects for long-term changes in their countries, as well as the rules that govern the relationship between them.
In particular, the British cabinet head promised that the rich Western countries will make the procedure for granting aid to poor developing countries more transparent and will also urge them to take more active measures to fight corruption. Thus it would be easier for the Western leaders to justify before their electorate the need for taking austerity policy measures at home at the same time maintaining the volume of international aid. Cameron stated that the developed countries should set an example for the developing nations in combating corruption.
He promised that the UK will accelerate the adoption of the rules of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) that was put forward by London and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. The initiative envisages a set of rules, according to which companies of the oil and mining industries are obligated to make public information about their payments to the governments of the states in the territory of which they are engaged in mineral extraction. However, the United Kingdom so far does not comply with the requirements of the initiative, which it put forward. So far, the only G8 country that has announced that it will comply with these requirements is the United States.
The Group of Eight is a group of industrialised countries, comprising the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United States, France and Japan. At present, the G8 member countries account for nearly 50 percent of the total world export and for more than half of the world’s industrial production. They provide significant funds for the maintenance of international security: their share in the UN peacekeeping budget is 79 percent, and in the economic development programs - 82 percent. Approximately 15 percent of the world's population live in these countries.
The Group of Eight is an international club that does not have the status of an international organisation, because it is not based on a treaty and has no permanent secretariat. The country that hosts the annual summit of the G8, which is usually held in summer, holds the G8 presidency during the calendar year. The presiding country conducts the preparatory work for the summit and determines its agenda. The following procedure for the G8 presidency is established: France, the United States, the UK, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada. In 2013, the United Kingdom has taken over the G8 presidency from the United States, and a year later Russia will take over the presidency in this club of industrialised nations.