Civil Society and the G8 Process:
Creation of an Insitutuional Memory

The G8 Process is a year long policy-making and decision-making process. To influence this process, civil society has to strategically work with appropriate diciplines, as well as focusing on mid and long-term goals. Unfortunately, the history of civil society advocacy in the G8 process has been short and sometimes lacking the preparation necesary to approach the G8 with deep consideration of its importance and complexity. As a result, Civil Society's approach to the G8 was filled with many "trials and errors".

This "Guidebook" was made as a starting point in the creation of an "institutional memory" of civil society advocacy in the G8 process for it to be used for further advocacy work towards the G8. We hope that this book would be an important resource for civil societies working to futher the global health agenda in the G8 through advocacy.

We must recognize that the G8 is a process involving drastic changes. For example, some G8 countries, including continental European countries and the UK, have been proposing to invite the G5 governments (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa) to the existing G8 process. Japan has strongly resisted there inclusion, but the current economic and political situation makes it apparent that the G8 countries on their own cannot govern the global economy and politics. Sooner or later, it is almost with certainty that we can say that the G8 will be expanded to become the G13.

We, the civil society should prepare for the expansion of the G8. Civil societies of G8 countries should strengthen its relationship with civil societies of the G5 countries. Furthermore, it is necessary to reform the current structure of civil society, which has been dominantly lead by civil society of western countries.

Japan is currently the only member of the G8 that is not located in Europe or North America. The Toya-ko Summit held in Japan was an important "test-case" for the expansion of the G8, considering that the G5 countries are dominantly non-European and non-North American. The same can be said about Japanese civil society, which functions much more differently then civil society of other G8 countries. Japanese civil society made a large effort to take the responsibility in leading the G8 and global civil society throughout the G8 process. The G8 and global civil society recognized and supported the initiatives taken by Japanese civil society.

We truly hope that civil society can use our experiences to develop a greater global civil society movement to tackle global issues. The movement must be transparent, democratic and open to all civil socities working to create a more democratic, sustainable and people-centered world.
G8 Follow-up Workshop on July 10, 2008
G8 Follow-up Workshop on July 10, 2008

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