May 27, 2011 / 8:36 AM / in 7 years

HIGHLIGHTS-Declaration of the G8 on the Arab Spring

DEAUVILLE, France, May 27 (Reuters) - Following are key passages from the Group of Eight leaders’ Declaration on the Arab Spring. A final text of the communique was obtained by Reuters in advance of its publication later on Friday.

1) The changes under way in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are historic and have the potential to open the door to the kind of transformation that occurred in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The aspiration of people for freedom, human rights, democracy, job opportunities, empowerment and dignity, has led them to take control of their own destinies in a growing number of countries in the region. It resonates with and reinforces our common values.

2) We, members of the G8, strongly support the aspirations of the “Arab spring” as well as those of the Iranian people. We hear the voice of the citizens, support their determination for equality and stand by their legitimate call for democratic, open societies and inclusive economic modernisation. We particularly commend the role played by young people and women in these transformational movements.

3) Today we launched the “Deauville Partnership” with the people of the region, based on our common goals for the future, in the presence of the Prime Ministers of Egypt and Tunisia, the two countries that originated the movement, and of the Secretary General of the Arab League. We stand ready to extend this long term global Partnership to all countries of the region engaging in a transition towards free, democratic and tolerant societies (“Partnership Countries”), beginning with Egypt and Tunisia, in association with countries wishing to support transition in the region. This Partnership enshrines common values of freedom and democracy and is founded on the respect for the sovereignty of States and peoples, whose protection is the common responsibility of governments. It builds on initiatives already undertaken by G8 members.

4) This Partnership is based on two pillars: a political process to support the democratic transition and foster governance reforms, notably the fight against corruption and the strengthening of the institutions needed to ensure transparency and accountable government; and an economic framework for sustainable and inclusive growth. It is designed to support Partnership Countries in the economic and social reforms that they will undertake, particularly to create jobs and enshrine the fair rule of law, while ensuring that economic stability underpins the challenge of transition to stable democracies.

5) We also invite the relevant international financial institutions and UN agencies, the private sector and civil society, to work with us in this initiative.

Supporting sustainable and inclusive growth

6) The Deauville Partnership will develop an economic agenda that will enable reforming governments to meet their populations’ aspiration for strong, comprehensive growth and help facilitate a free and democratic outcome to the political processes under way. It will be tailored to support each country’s objectives and in line with their progress in the following areas:

- Improving governance, transparency, accountability and citizens’ participation in economic life;

- Increasing social and economic inclusion, by expanding opportunities to all and improving the effectiveness of support for the vulnerable;

- Modernising their economies, supporting the private sector, particularly SMEs, to aid job creation, and developing human capital and skills;

- Fostering regional and global integration to reap the benefits of globalisation.

7) In the short term, our collective aim is to ensure that instability does not undermine the process of political reform, and that social cohesion and macroeconomic stability are both sustained.

8) Over the medium and long term, we commit to support Partnership Countries in addressing underlying economic challenges. Our aim is to achieve sustainable transition alongside democratization and a broadening of economic opportunity, based on the priorities identified and endorsed by national governments through broad consultations with relevant stakeholders. This requires a strategic shift in the approach and actions of the international community in the region. To this end, we should (i) rely on repositioned and coordinated multilateral development banks’ actions, (ii) leverage the experience of EBRD in accompanying economic transition and (iii) change the scale of trade and investment integration.

9) We will work closely with the multilateral development banks to review and enhance their programs in the Partnership countries, revise their priorities accordingly and strengthen their coordination ...

10) We call for an appropriate regional extension of the geographic scope of the EBRD’s mandate, in order to support the transition in countries of the region which embrace multiparty democracy, pluralism and market economies. ...

11) We are committed to support the integration of the Partnership Countries in the regional and global economy through increased trade and inward investment to the region. ...

12) We welcome the work done by Egypt and Tunisia in presenting to the international community of donors their program of actions towards economic and financial stability and preparing for more inclusive growth, and stand ready to support them. We welcome the Egyptian authorities’ decision to request IMF and multilateral development banks’ assistance and Tunisia’s request for a joint and coordinated development policy loan.

In this context, multilateral development banks could provide over $20bn, including $3.5bn from the EIB, for Egypt and Tunisia for 2011-2013 in support of suitable reform efforts. G8 members are already in a position to mobilise substantial bilateral support to scale-up this effort. We welcome support from other bilateral partners, including from the region.

The full text is expected to be released later on: www.g20-g8.com

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