The G8 leaders are holding their annual summit in Muskoka in Canada this year.
The summit takes place on 25-26 June and development will be at the heart of their discussions.
The G8 comprises eight of the largest economies in the world (Canada, France, Germany, Italy Japan, the UK, the US and Russia) and has a vital role to play on international development helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Whether we are talking about aid - the G8 provides 70% of all official development assistance (ODA) - or other key development issues such as trade, remittances, debt and the environment, no progress will be possible without the support and political will of the G8. The G8 has traditionally had a leadership role in coordinating the industrialised world’s response to the challenges of development and poverty particularly in Africa. It is therefore crucially important that the G8 plays a full role in the preparations for the UN Summit on MDGs in September.
We hope there will be a strong endorsement by the G8 of the UNDP MDG Needs Assessment. This report, called for by the G8 at last year’s Summit in Italy will help form the evidence base that we hope will help shape the action agenda for achieving the MDGs by 2015, currently under negotiation in New York.
The G8 under the Canadian presidency in 2010, has made accountability a central theme of the summit and plans to publish a comprehensive Accountability Report on progress against development commitments made at earlier summits. This is an important step forward for transparency and accountability against promises made at previous summits.
With only 5 years to go many of the MDGs are off-track and none more so than those related to maternal and child health (MCH). The G8 summit this year will have a particular focus on how to make a tangible difference to women and children in the world’s poorest regions. We are pushing for this to be an ambitious initiative that has clear outcome targets backed up by the resources to deliver. This will provide added momentum to the UN led efforts to develop a Joint Action Plan on MCH at the UN High Level Plenary Meeting on the MDGs in September.
The G8 will have informal discussions on other development issues as well as security, nuclear proliferation and the environment but the focus on maternal and child health will be a priority.