G8 summit in GENOA : OVERWHELMING RESULTS

We can only be appalled by the results of the G8 summit in Genoa, both in what we saw and in the missed opportunities. On the practical and logistical organisation, and particularly the management of demonstrators, the agenda and its results, as well as the legitimacy itself of a 8 countries-summit on matters which concern the entire international community, the FIDH deplores the incapacity - or the lack of will - of the G8 to face in an appropriate manner the challenges of globalisation.

1- Repression against demonstrators :

The FIDH strongly condemns the human rights violations by the Italian police forces. The FIDH demands the opening of an independent and impartial investigation in order to discover the abuses perpetrated by the police forces.
The FIDH condemns the use of violence by any party; however, after Seattle, Prague, Quebec and Gothenburg, the trend towards criminalisation of social protest seems confirmed, directly violating the right of association and peaceful demonstration, recognised by the community of States.

The FIDH is very concerned by the reaction of the police forces against the demonstrators and in particular by the police raid against the headquarters of the Genoa Social Forum, coordinating a dozen of anti-globalisation movements. During this particularly violent raid, 66 persons were injured and 92 militants were arrested. The FIDH has submitted this matter to the Observatory for the protection of human rights defenders.
In total, about 180 persons have been arrested. The evidence collected by the press and NGOs attest that the use of force by the Italian police against demonstrators and journalists was disproportionate.
The FIDH holds the Italian authorities directly responsible for the bad treatments suffered by the demonstrators.

2- Concerning the progress of the work and the content of the final declaration :
The FIDH deplores the insufficiency of the measures taken by the G8 in the struggle against poverty, the protection of environment, debt relief for the least developed countries and the guidelines for export credit agencies.
The heads of States and of governments recognized that there is " currently a disagreement on the Kyoto Protocol " concerning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions ; and have only reached a minimal agreement on its ratification.
The FIDH takes note of the creation of a global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, but regrets that the funds allocated are much smaller than planned.
The FIDH deplores the inadequacy of the final Declaration whose vague and ineffective terms are merely a statement of principle unworthy of such a meeting.

No progress on export credit agencies :
In an open letter on the 17th of July, the FIDH urged the G8 countries to ensure the inclusion of human rights in export credit agencies guidelines (agencies which guarantee the risks of foreign investments).
The FIDH takes note of the refusal of the G8 to add human rights to ECA guidelines, where reference is made to environmental norms only, which alone cannot guarantee the objective of sustainable development for all set up by the international community. The members of the G8 have committed themselves to reach agreement in the OECD on a Recommendation by the end of the year.
The FIDH wishes this recommendation to go further than the "Okinawa mandate".

Finally the FIDH notes the irony of the Declaration, supporting the initiative on "everything except arms", in favour of least developed countries, though the ECAs of the G8 countries are the main guarantors of arms sales to those countries.

3. on the legitimacy of G8 meetings :
The FIDH is amazed that matters affecting the entire international community and thus requiring debates in multilateral institutions such as the United Nations are dealt with by great powers only.
The FIDH is pleased that the heads of States and governments recognised the " fundamental importance of an open public debate on the key challenges facing our societies " and supported a "broad partnership with civil society", however it is doubtful about their real political will to consult the movements of civil society.

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