39th G8 Summit 2013

The 39th G8 Summit was held at the Lough Erne Resort which is a 5-star hotel and a Golf Resort on the shore of Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom on 17th to 18th June, 2013. It was sixth G8 Summit hosted by the United Kingdom and this time British PM David Cameron was playing the host.

This two day Summit was attended by the leaders from wealthiest nations-G8 Nations-Canada (PM Stephen Harper), France (President François Hollande), Germany (Chancellor Angela Merkel), Italy (PM Enrico Letta), Japan (PM Shinzo Abe), Russia (President Vladimir Putin), the USA (President Barack Obama) and UK (PM David Cameron). Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, and Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council also were a part of the meet.

Highlights

  • Tax Evasion and Transparency were the official themes of the Summit. But the Syrian Civil War dominated the Summit Discussions as it was the “Most Difficult Issue” addressed.
  • President Obama on his first visit to Northern Ireland delivered a public address at the Waterfront Hall Centre in Belfast before travelling to Lough Erne.
  • Mr. Putin (President of Russia) and Mr. Obama (President of USA) met for about two hours on the sidelines of the Summit to discuss border issues. They termed it as “our positions do not fully coincide, but united by common intentions” In matter of Syria both of them have different or rater opposite stand. For this they agreed to hold a peace conference. They agreed to meet in Moscow in September.
  • A declaration was signed by the member countries which was a 7-point plan for Syria. These seven points were:
    1. More humanitarian aid
    2. Maximizing diplomatic pressure aiming for peace talks
    3. Backing a Transitional Government
    4. Maintaining Syria Public Institutions
    5. Ridding the country of Terrorists
    6. Condemning the use of Chemical Weapon “by anyone” (implicitly pointing towards Syrian President Bashar al-Assad)
    7. Installing a new non-sectarian government.
  • There were negotiations between US and EU members over Free-Trade Deal, which resulted into US-EU Deal. This deal was a “Once-in-Generation Prize” which could add as Pound 100 billion to the EU economy, Pound 80 billion to the US Economy and as much as Pound 85 billion to the rest of the world.
  • Under the Agreements on global tax evasion and data sharing, G8 nations agreed to tight rules on corporate taxes. Corporate companies actively use loopholes while shifting income from one country to another country to avoid major portion of taxes. After this agreement, oil companies have to disclose their true owners and all related information which will be shared among the G8 Nations automatically to help detect tax fraud and evasion.
  • Another agreement was about the new rules for the mining companies under which oil, gas and mining have to report payments from the government, and likewise that the government have to report the resources they obtain. The objective was to help developing nations collect taxes from international companies operating in their nations.
  • A declaration to stop paying ransom demands for kidnap victims was also signed.
  • On terrorism, both the USA and Britain strengthened their bilateral information exchanges with Russia.

Speculations over Location

  • It spread a wave of surprise when British PM David Cameron announced the Location of the Summit.
  • Ever since formation of Northern Ireland in 1921, there has been “no-peace atmosphere” due conflict of interest of two groups. One is Unionist or Loyalist community who want Northern Ireland to remain as a part of UK and on other hand Irish Nationalist or Republican community want it to be part of United Ireland. This constant tussle in the territory is known as “Troubles” in which 3500 people were killed. Government and parliamentary groups tried to handle it with Belfast Agreement and Ceasefires, but situation has improved just a bit, no significant change.
  • That is why the decision to hold the Summit in such place was criticized widely. There was also the possibility of disruption and violence involving loyalists. The summit took place during the marching season, when Protestant and loyalist groups hold parades throughout Northern Ireland. This is a tense time in Northern Ireland and it often results in clashes between the two main communities.
  • The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was responsible for the policing and security of the G8 Summit and protecting the delegates at the Summit venue. There were an unprecedented number of police officers deployed in the region with around 3500 officers from other forces in the UK assisting 4500 PSNI officers. They were also trained in riot tactics and to drive its armoured vehicles.
  • Apart from this technically the Lough Erne Resort was given the best security like Metal Fence, Razor Wire, air corridor between Belfast and Resort and no fly zone over it during Summit Period.
  • More than 100 cells at Northern Ireland's high security prison, Maghaberry were kept reserved for any accused of breaking law to disrupt or harm the summit. And get such people appropriately treated a separate judicial system was set up to finish the court proceeding in just few hours.
  • The cost of the summit is expected to be about Pound 60 million. Out of which the Northern Ireland Government will pay Pound 6 million and the British Government will pay for the rest.