Address by President Vladimir Putin on Russia assuming the G8 Presidency
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Dear Friends,
This year, on June 4-5, 2014, Russia is hosting the 40th G8 Summit in Sochi. Russia plans to present our partners with an ample agenda for frank and substantive discussion so as to – most importantly – arrive at concrete decisions.
We see that the world has not become safer in recent years, but it has undoubtedly become more complicated. Threats to sustainable development are increasingly diverse. Focal points of violence and civil strife are multiplying, and the system of international law is losing ground. The planet is also shaken by volatile economic conditions, and natural and environmental disasters. Due to close interdependence, the problems of a single country or region invariably reach global proportions. However, crisis response tools are not always effective.
In such a situation, the G8 must focus on present-day and future challenges. It must share the responsibility for the future.
As the holder of the G8 Presidency, Russia suggests that the G8 members should develop comprehensive and cooperative mechanisms to control the most critical risks. It is important to cover the entire «chain» – from forecasting and preventing particular threats to overcoming their potential adverse effects.
I view the primary goal of our joint work as promoting the wellbeing of the people, progress, and development. This approach is reflected in the motto of Russia’s G8 Presidency in 2014: “Risk Management for Sustainable Growth in a Safe World.” The priority issues advanced by our country are based on this motto, and include fighting the drug menace, combating terrorism and extremism, settling regional conflicts, safeguarding people’s health, and establishing a global management system to address risks associated with natural and manmade disasters, as well as numerous other issues that have previously been raised by the G8, including in St Petersburg in 2006.
Ensuring sustainable economic growth is becoming the top priority. It will be difficult to overcome instability in other areas without first resolving this issue. We plan to intensify our joint work to stimulate the global economy, reduce unemployment, and remove protectionist barriers to trade and investment.
I would like to emphasize that Russia does not consider the G8 to be an elite club of world leaders who discuss the destiny of humanity behind closed doors. Quite the opposite, as in 2006, we are convinced that non-governmental G8 groups, such as Youth 8, Civil 8, Business 8, and Parliamentary 8, are to provide crucial support to Russia during its presidency. We expect a lot from the meetings on the sidelines of the forthcoming summit in Sochi. Such interaction is vital for improving the G8’s efficiency and transparency, generating new unconventional ideas and attracting a broad-based public support in Russia and abroad to the G8’s work.
I am confident that acting in a spirit of partnership based on trust, in 2014 the G8 members will make a major contribution toward strengthening security and enhancing the economic and social development of our people and the people of the world.
Russia is open to cooperation and dialogue. We have much to do, and we are certain that this work will bring about a significant, positive result.