Prospects for the 2008 G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit: Key Messages for the Future Summitry
J.J. Kirton, professor, Director of the G8 Research Centre, University of Toronto (Transl. by J. Zaitsev, Eds. M. Larionova)
The paper was prepared for the international seminar “From Heiligendamm to Toyako Summit and Beyond: Priorities for the Future Agenda and Options for Reform” sponsored by the International Organizations Research Institute of State University Higher School of Economics, which was held on 15-16 May 2008. The paper looks into Japan’s approach to G8 Summitry. The author forecasts 2008 G8 Summit outcomes on the basis of the analysis of Japan’s historic performance, external global shocks end internal events in G8 and O5 countries. The author also highlights Japanese host’s agenda which was formulated over the preparatory period. The key topics for 2008 G8 Summit are environment, African development, world economy, intellectual property, nuclear safety and non-proliferation. The author considers the role of the preparatory process, embracing a series of ministerial meetings, a set of sherpa meetings and bilateral visits of G8 leaders. Most importantly, Dr. Kirton examines the propellers of the performance. According to him shocks-activated equalizing vulnerability of the G8 members may serve for the summit possible success. These vulnerabilities come from terrorists threats, contagious financial and food crisis, energy and ecological shocks, multilateral organizations’ failure and poor domestic political situations in some G8 countries. And last but not least the author outlines prospects for the summit performance. He suggests that the summit success way may be further propelled by a wide range of participants, need to tackle the newly arising problems and continuity between the predominant global challenges, Japan’s longstanding agenda and the summit agenda.