BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Great Lakes
Last Updated: Sunday, 1 June, 2003, 03:30 GMT 04:30 UK
Mbeki urges G8 commitment
Thabo Mbeki
Mbeki: G8 countries have an "obligation" to report action taken
South African President Thabo Mbeki has called on the world's big industrialised powers to put their commitments to Africa and the developing world into action.

Speaking to the BBC on the eve of the G8 summit in the French resort town of Evian, Mr Mbeki said that African countries were "very unhappy" about the slow progress being made in writing off debts.

"We are at the point where we should say the global framework was we must be at the stage of implementation," Mr Mbeki said.

"They [the industrialised countries] have an obligation themselves to report at this summit, at Evian, what they have done about the commitments that they made," he said.

Lifting trade barriers

The South African president said that the G8 had shown commitment towards Nepad, the development programme for Africa in which rich countries promise more aid and investment in return for efforts by African leaders to raise standards of government and monitor each other's performance.

Now, he said, G8 members in turn had to carry out their decisions, especially last year's agreement to extend debt relief to middle income countries.

Mr Mbeki also warned that G8 members must lift trade barriers on farm products from poor countries in order to lift millions out of poverty in the continent.

He said that any aid G8 members might announce for Africa at the summit would "not make sense" unless poor countries could export their goods more freely.

However Mr Mbeki welcomed US President George W Bush's announcement of a big contribution to the battle against Aids and called on the Europeans to respond in kind.

And on the proposal for a permanent African peacekeeping force, Mr Mbeki said what was now needed was a firm G8 decision to help with resources and logistics.

South African President Thabo Mbeki
"The G8 generally has responded very well to Nepad... but we will have to see the statements translated into action"

Africa: Is the world doing enough?
29 May 03  |  Have Your Say
Police clash with G8 protesters
31 May 03  |  Europe
Africa's development plan
12 Feb 03  |  Business
France rings G8 town with steel
29 May 03  |  Europe
G8 'is failing Africa'
30 May 03  |  Africa
China to attend G8 summit
08 May 03  |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific