This site dossier

The topic G8 is almost daily in the discussion, sometimes it is about the security measures, sometimes about candle actions, then again about ominous hedge funds. But how does it all fit together? The this site dossier aims to help keep an overview in the G8 jungle. The dossier aims to answer the questions: "The Group of Eight – Who is the?", "A look at the agenda – What are the topics in Heiligendamm??", "Church and G8 – What moves the church at the summit??" and "Church on the ground – What are the actions around the G8 summit??"

At the 33. World economic summit focuses on globalization. The German group presidency has therefore also chosen the motto: "Growth and responsibility" for the World Economic Summit. Representatives of the Group of Eight have already discussed each of the individual topics in detail in advance, most recently at a special meeting the U.S. with Germany on climate protection.


The topic of climate protection is of particular interest to the German public. Here, the German presidency is planning a joint final declaration by G8 members. This declaration is to be groundbreaking for the time after 2012. This is when the current climate protection program, the Kyoto Protocol, expires. In a paper to group members, Germany proposed to halve carbon dioxide emissions and limit global warming to two degrees. The U.S. has so far been reticent on climate protection ies and has not signed the Kyoto Protocol in the past. The new edition of the Kyoto Protocol is to be adopted at the end of the year at the World Climate Conference in Bali. In an interview with this site, John Hay of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat said that climate change could still be halted with a very ambitious new agreement.

Development aid

The goals of the G8 in terms of development aid have long been defined. By 2015, the number of people suffering from extreme poverty and hunger is to be cut in half. This was also agreed by the members of the G8 at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations General Assembly in 2000 and reinforced at the World Economic Summit in 2005. At that time, the G8 industrialized nations had agreed to double their aid to Africa by 2010. But now, in the run-up to the current summit, sharp criticism is coming from the World Bank. The financial promoters fear that the trend will be toward less rather than more promotion, even if Africa is discussed again separately at the summit meeting.

Reform partnership between the G8 countries and Africa

Summit participants want to discuss measures to combat poverty in Africa and in particular measures to combat HIV/AIDS. But the World Economic Summit is also primarily about the economic development of the continent. At present, many donors are still reluctant to invest in Africa. That's why the German government, as G8 chair, wants to develop structures in African countries that will facilitate important outside investments. The German government lists the key words "more democracy, less corruption, more personal responsibility and more self-determination over raw materials" among the structures it is striving for. For Marion Aberle of the German Welthungerhilfe these promises are unrealistic. Aberle criticized in the this site interview that economic stability is still "dreams of the future" and that the hungry cannot wait for this to happen.

Debt relief

Pope Benedict XVI. places great hope in German patronage of the G8 meeting. In letter to German chancellor, Benedict called for full debt relief for poor countries. Only in this way could the economies there recover. And only in this way would there be a chance to enable larger parts of the world's population to find a way out of poverty. In the past, the G8 countries had already cancelled the debts of some countries, mainly on the initiative of non-governmental and Christian organizations. Critics fear, however, that debt relief will not solve the problems of the impoverished population and therefore call for the money to be invested in concrete projects.

Global economy

At this year's World Economic Summit, the controversial hedge funds are at the top of the agenda. Already in January the ministers of finance could agree in Essen that this extremely speculative investment of money is to be over-guarded in the future. The only thing that remains unclear is how exactly the business of investment bankers, who Labor Minister Franz Muntefering once referred to as "locusts," is to be controlled. In an interview with this site, Manfred Jager of the Institut der deutschen Wirtschafte advocated a voluntary code of conduct for the fund industry. He fears that a legal regulation of the funds could increasingly withdraw abroad, in the so-called off-shore centers and their actions would remain completely hidden.In the past, hedge funds have come under heavy criticism. Through risky speculation, some funds had almost triggered global financial crises. Most recently, however, a hedge fund had created a good mood in Germany: In May, the financial investor Cerberus had taken over large parts of the ailing Chrysler Group, thus making a Daimler AG possible. Other economic ies to be discussed in Heiligendamm include product piracy and the liberalization of world trade. However, negotiations on the latter ie had failed in the past. The reason for this is special arrangements that z.B. prevent the import of agricultural products into the EU internal market. The seven industrialized countries, excluding Russia, discuss financial and monetary policy. As a non-full group member, Russia is excluded from these deliberations.

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