PART III: HIV/AIDS and Global Health - G8 Guidebook

9.Towards the G8 Summit:
Final Phase (May - June 2008)

  1. Broad Overview
  2. Meeting between the chair of the G8 and International NGOs
  3. The Final Stretch

1Broad Overview

We are reaching for final stretch of G8 Summit process, and by now the G8 has boiled down the position and direction they will take on the major agenda items. Around this time, a draft of the G8 Communique and related documents should be ready on the table. At the same time, the policy position/direction of each G8 country should become clear. Each country will use some kind of political maneuvering and negotiations to ensure that their own position is pushed through. Furthermore, situations will arise when a government of a country will have a policy which is their endeavor or a vision on an issue in which they would like to be renowned for. In order to push this policy forward, they will use various tactics to persuade the other G8 countries.

We cannot say that civil society is extraneous to these tactics. Such tactics includes finding a backing from civil society on this policy, and using their communication and advocacy abilities to put pressure on the governments of other countries. There are also instances when a country will leak the position or policy of another country to the civil society, so that civil society can rally against or criticize the position or the policy of that other country. Civil Society must lend their ears to these calls by governments and quickly gather these kinds of information, but at the same time, it is necessary for civil society to advocate from their independent standing or position of the issue.

At the last Sherpa meeting before the actual G8 Summit, final adjustments are made to the draft G8 outcome documents and to the financial commitments. However much of the adjustment will be left without final agreements, leaving the final decisions in the hands of the G8 leaders.

Around this time, civil society members that have continuously been working towards the G8 begin to feel the accumulation of their fatigue. But don't give up now, the summit is right around the corner.

2Meeting between the chair of the G8 and International NGOs

The meeting between the chair of the G8 and International NGOs

Experience of the 2008 G8 Process

3The Final Stretch

As the final phase of the G8 Summit process approaches, in the battle for the contents of the Toya-ko Framework for Action, the agendas and thoughts of each G8 countries becomes increasingly more visible. The Global Health Committee of the G8 NGO Forum, in cooperation with international civil society, worked to improve the contents of the Toya-ko Framework for Action on Global Health.

The battle among the G8 countries for the content of the Toya-ko Framework for Action on Global Health is one that is complex and tangled as stated on Part 1 Section 3 (3). The action and activities of the Global Health Committee, together with Africa Japan Forum and Japan AIDS and Society Association are the following:

The day after the 2008 United Nations High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS held in New York from June 10 to 11, Japan AIDS and Society Association, Africa Japan Forum and the Open Society Institute co-hosted a Strategy Meeting on Advocacy for Global Health in the G8 Process. At the meetings, civil society member of each G8 country shared information on their Governments' position towards the Toya-ko Framework for Action on Global Health, formed a common strategy and position among civil society, and called for civil society to meet with the Health Experts and Sherpas of each country.

Furthermore, at this meeting, the final civil society statement to the G8 by the Global Health Committee, "We Will No Longer Wait" was finalized (See Ref. 10, Page 68). This statement, signed on by 110 civil society organizations from 34 countries, was sent to the heads of the G8 countries.

In addition, International NGOs such as Oxfam and World Vision, both members of the Global Health Committee, used their organizational networks to advocate to the governments of each G8 country.

On June 29, an UK newspaper, The Financial Times leaked (See: ) to the public that the most recent draft of the Communique did not include the Gleneagles G8 Summit Commitment of increasing aid to Africa by USD 25 Billion every year until 2010 nor did it include the expiration date of 2010 on the Universal Access goal. In protests, NGOs working on global health issues and HIV/AIDS, as well as civil society working on developmental issues released a civil society statement. Furthermore, civil society groups in each G8 country advocated and campaigned to their respective governments. Specifically, the G8 NGO Forum called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the inclusion of specific amounts and timelines for the commitments. As a result, dollar amounts and expiration dates were written into the final G8 communique.

This is just another example of the differences and conflicts held by the G8 countries on policies related to global health. Some problems were solved before the Summit and other issues were brought to the actual Summit table (for example, the time limit for the Heiligendamm 60 billion commitment).

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