G8 Summit: Sticks and carrots for the bad boys of Asia
Saturday 16 May 1998
But, as the leaders of the G8 nations go into private talks on the global economy today,50,000 people descend on Birmingham to force them to change their agenda. The human chain, up to five deep, will ring the centre of the city as campaigners in a coalition of aid agencies and charities demand a one-off cancellation of Third World debt.
Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development, will accept petitions with 1.5 million signatures of support and deliver them to Weston Hall, Shropshire, where the leaders will be holding secret talks.
Last night India seemed likely to escape further punishment beyond the sanctions already imposed by the US and international condemnation of its series of five nuclear tests this week. Will there be a G8 package of sanctions? "No," Tony Blair's spokesman said.
Earlier, President Bill Clinton, who has suspended aid, loans and credit guarantees to India, demanded "a clear and unambiguous message". But only Japan and Canada were inclined to go as far as Washington. Russia, India's traditional ally from Cold War days, opposed sanctions. France, like Britain, believes they will only make more distant the day when India signs up to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. At the same time, the G8 members - France, Germany, Italy, Canada, the US, Britain, Russia and Japan - leant heavily on Pakistan, where US officials were yesterday seeking to prevent retaliatory tests. But neither economic carrots nor the stick of sanctions seem likely to deflect Pakistan from tests of its own.
Hardly less worrying now, however, is the crisis in Indonesia. Catching the mood here, Mr Clinton appealed to the Indonesian government for restraint, and urged a speedy start on moves towards democracy. Giving the people a real voice, he said, "can make a real contribution to restoring political order and stability". The leaders also issued separate statements on Kosovo and the Middle East.
Though shorn of parallel meetings of finance and foreign ministers, the summit did offer the novelty of full participation for the first time by Russia. At yesterday's first European Union-Russia summit, attended by a comparatively well-looking President Boris Yeltsin, the EU formally endorsed Russia as a market economy, opening the way to closer economic ties.
Last night Cherie Blair, Hillary Clinton and four other wives of world leaders dined together at Birmingham's Left Bank cafe. Afterwards they saw the Royal Shakespeare Company perform "Behind the Throne", an entertainment about the lives of women who play the supporting role to powerful men.
Their husbands will spend today at Weston Park for a retreat which will focus on debt relief for the poorest countries, cross-border and computer crime, and securing employment in the new era of globalisation.
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be 'closer to God'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...
£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...