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Sunday, 22 July, 2001, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
G8 silence on recession fears
World leaders
The traditional 'family photo' at the end of the summit
The focus of the annual G8 summit - created to discuss key issues in the world economy - has this year shifted away from economics.

Strategies and co-operation in the battle against the global economic downturn was an important topic at the summit.

But the final communique after three days of intense discussions showed that a host of other problems overshadowed the threat of a global recession.

The pressing and controversial issues of the environment, globalisation and the need to help the world's poor were all highlighted in the final briefing from the summit.

Much of the five-page statement issued at the end of the summit was devoted to the strategies for providing aid to developing countries.

And the final comments of the world's leaders centered on how to avoid a reoccurrence of the violence and mass protests which have dogged this year's meeting.

Pledge to the poor

The G8 leaders vowed to help the poor by spreading the benefits of the global economy.

"We are determined to make globalisation work for all our citizens and especially the world's poor," said the briefing.

The eight countries promised to do more to open up their markets to products from developing nations, and said they would look for ways to broaden debt relief.

One of the concrete conclusions from the summit was the launch of a $1.3bn fund to help fight aids and other infections diseases.

It endorsed moves by drug manufacturers to make medicines more affordable through flexibility in patent protection.

Environmental issues also figured prominently in the final briefing, with the major powers acknowledging that climate change is a pressing issue.

But there has been no resolution of the disagreements over the Kyoto protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that the US rejected earlier this year.

Future summits

And as the summit concluded, discussion over the structure of future summits and the need to avoid violence came to the fore.

The G8's leaders are united in saying they cannot allow violent protests to derail their talks.

But a consensus is also growing that future summits must change to become more informal gatherings away from the media and mass protests.

The next summit is due to take place in Canada next year in a tiny Rockies resort called Kananaskis, Alberta about 50 miles from Calgary.

But while future meetings may be more secluded and select, there is also some hints that the group will become broader.

"Drawing the poorest countries into the global economy is the surest way to address their fundamental aspirations," said the briefing.

And the Financial Times quoted the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi saying that proposed reforms to the summits include institutionalised dialogue with trade unions, employers, religious and volunteer associations and non-profit organisations.

The BBC's James Rodgers in Genoa
"The summit... has been overshadowed by violence and death"
The BBC's political editor Andrew Marr
If people want to cause mayhem there is very little that can be done to stop it
The UK's Prime Minister Tony Blair
speaks to the BBC's Andrew Marr about the issues and events surrounding the summit
See also:

22 Jul 01 | Europe
Genoa counts the cost
22 Jul 01 | Europe
Summits must continue - Blair
22 Jul 01 | Europe
Eyewitness: Genoa police raid
21 Jul 01 | Europe
Protest death divides Genoese
21 Jul 01 | Media reports
Newspapers lament Genoa violence
20 Jul 01 | Business
Economic vigilance needed warns G8
22 Jul 01 | Europe
G8 pledges to help poor
20 Jul 01 | Business
G8 leaders focus on world poverty
22 Jul 01 | Business
G8 extols globalisation
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