Sat, Jun 14, 2008 - Page 1 News List

G8 pledges cooperation on terrorism, climate change

MINISTERIAL MEETINGSSenior officials from the world’s richest countries met in Japan yesterday to lay the groundwork for next month’s leadership summit

AFP AND AP , TOKYO AND OSAKA, JAPAN

The G8 justice ministers and security chiefs vowed yesterday to help developing countries improve their legal systems to help the global battle against terrorism.

They concluded a three-day meeting yesterday ahead of next month’s G8 leaders’ summit in Toyako, a lakeside resort on the northern island of Hokkaido.

“To fight terrorism or other organized crimes, not only the G8 and developed countries but all countries must have sufficient coping capability,” Japanese Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama told a joint news conference.

“If some countries are weak in legal systems or investigation capability, their loopholes would be taken advantage of,” he said.

The eight countries said in a statement that they were committed to “providing assistance within the scope of our authority” to developing nations.

A joint statement warned that terrorist groups were seeking to expand their influence.

“Terrorist organizations which had primarily been active in a domestic context have now received support from international terrorist organizations,” it said.

“These developments not only increase the threat of terrorism in these regions but also point to the expanding global influence of terrorist organizations,” it added.

In the statement, the G8 countries expressed “strong support” for the governments of Afghanistan and Colombia in their fight against illicit drug cultivation, saying the proceeds were often used to fund terrorism.

They also agreed to continue their fight against sexual exploitation of children and to step up work on forming networks so that G8 authorities can share intelligence.

Meanwhile in Osaka, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson urged other G8 members to back a special fund of up to US$10 billion to provide money for developing nations to fight global warming.

Paulson appeared with his counterparts from Japan and Britain, and World Bank President Robert Zoellick, to encourage G-8 nations to back the fund, called Climate Investment Funds.

“None of us in the world are going to solve this problem unless we deal with it here. So this fund is very important,” Paulson told reporters at an Osaka hall.

He said the US will host a pledging event prior to the first meeting of the trust fund committee later this year.

The fund, administered by the World Bank, will go partly for help with developing technology to boost energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

“These funds offer an opportunity to take action on change now,” Zoellick said.

Also see: Japan to remove some sanctions on North Korea

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