State leaders of the seven industrialised nations and Russia (G8) closed their summit in St. Petersburg, Russia on July 17 after three days’ sitting. This was the first time Russia has hosted the G8 Summit, which has subsequently been deemed a success.
Speaking to the media about the results of the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Russian delegation was very satisfied with the summit’s results as it reached all the set targets and all Russian documents were approved.
The two issues of most concern at the summit were energy security and situation in the Middle East. A 15-page statement on energy security adopted at the summit was considered a positive action plan. The G8 leaders said that ensuring sufficient supplies of energy and environmental elements in the context prices depend on market elements posed a challenge not only to G8 nations but also to the world as a whole. The two biggest difficulties currently facing the countries are escalating oil prices and instabilities affecting the dependence on imported oil volumes to meet increasing consumption demands.
According to G8 nations, the world’s energy demand will increase by 50 percent by 2030. The biggest concern is that around 80 percent of resources needed to fill the demand will still come from fossil fuels. Appropriately, the statement focused on plans for energy diversification such as clean energy, atomic energy, renewable energy and advanced energy technologies. That was the reason why remaining G8 countries did not support Germany’s plan to gradually reduce atomic energy in the early 2020s.
These countries said that the safe development of atomic energy can help meet the world’s increasing demands for energy and environmental protection. In order to secure the global energy, the G8 leaders pledged to openly promote competitiveness in the field of energy.
The statement said that the transparent, efficient and competitive development of global energy markets is the best way to achieve the set targets in the current situation.
From now till 2030, G8 leaders plan to pour thousands of billion of US$ into energy in a bid to ensure global energy security and build stable mechanisms for energy producers and exporters. They also asked ministers to propose issues relating to climate changes and clean energy creation for discussions at their next summit in Japan.
Although the tense situation in the Middle East was not among three key issues at the G8 Summit, the subject occupied the entire opening day of the summit and continued to be discussed the following day. Most G8 members play an important role in resolving the world’s big issues. G8 leaders put forth a statement on the situation in the Middle East, which Russian President Vladimir Putin described to be “balanced”. The statement expressed the deepening concern of G8 leaders about the current situation in the Middle East, in particular the rising civilian casualties and the damage to infrastructure. G8 leaders also asked kidnappers in Palestine and Lebanon to release Israeli soldiers and Hamas gunmen in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon to stop shelling Israeli territory. They also called on Israel to end its military operations and release Palestinian ministers and Hamas officials seized during raids into Gaza in recent weeks and to resume negotiations with Palestine.
The G8 Summit also submitted statements on education and epidemic prevention, considered two key issues at the summit. The education statement focused on building a global modern and creative society, developing life skills, increasing education quality and helping immigrants integrate into new societies.
G8 leaders agreed to Italy’s proposal to co-operate with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in organising an international forum on education, scientific creation and research. The statement on epidemic prevention mentioned epidemics such as bird flu, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and measles. The statement emphasised that HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria killed millions of people each year, impeding the socio-economic development of many countries. Therefore, combating these diseases should be given top priority in all countries.