HALIFAX SUMMIT COMMUNIQUÉ
June 16, 1995
1. We, the Heads of State and Government of seven major industrialized nations and the President of the European Commission, have met in Halifax for our 21st annual Summit. We have gathered at a time of change and opportunity, and have reaffirmed our commitment to working together and with our partners throughout the world. GROWTH AND EMPLOYMENT
2. The central purpose of our economic policy is to improve the well-being of our people, allowing them to lead full and productive lives. Creating good quality jobs and reducing unemployment, which remains unacceptably high in too many of our countries, is thus an urgent priority for all of us. We have committed to establishing an economic environment conducive to the accomplishment of this goal.
3. We remain encouraged by the continued strong growth in much of the world's economy. While there has been some slowing, in most of our countries the conditions for continued growth appear to be in place and inflation is well under control. We will pursue appropriate macroeconomic and structural policies to maintain the momentum of growth.
4. Yet problems remain. Internal and external imbalances, together with unhelpful fluctuations in financial and currency markets, could jeopardize achievement of sustained, non-inflationary growth as well as the continued expansion of international trade.
5. We remain committed to the medium-term economic strategy that we earlier agreed upon. Consistent with it, we are determined to make the best possible use of the current economic expansion by taking steps to promote durable job creation. This requires determined action to further reduce public deficits, to maintain a non-inflationary environment and to increase national savings for the funding of a high level of global investment. Each country has to keep its own house in order.
6. We endorse the conclusions reached by G-7 Finance Ministers in Washington and ask them to maintain close cooperation in economic surveillance and in exchange markets.
7. Good fiscal and monetary policies will not on their own deliver the full fruits of better economic performance. We must also remove obstacles to achieving the longer-term potential of our economies to grow and create secure, well-paying jobs. This will require measures to upgrade the skills of our labour force, and to promote, where appropriate, greater flexibility in labour markets and elimination of unnecessary regulations. At Naples we committed ourselves to a range of reforms in the areas of training and education, labour market regulation and adjustment, technological innovation and enhanced competition. As we pursue these reforms, we welcome the initiation by the OECD of a detailed review of each member economy's structural and employment policies.
8. As a follow-up to our discussions, we agree to ask ministers to meet in France before our next Summit to review the progress made in job creation and consider how best to increase employment in all of our countries.
9. We are also committed to ensuring protection for our aging populations and those in need in our societies. To this end, some of our countries must take measures to ensure the sustainability of our public pension programmes and systems of social support. Similar attention is required in some of our countries to ensuring the availability of private sector pension funds.
10. We welcome the results of the G-7 Information Society conference held in Brussels in February, including the eight core policy principles agreed to by Ministers, and encourage implementation of the series of pilot projects designed to help promote innovation and the spread of new technologies. We also welcome the involvement of the private sector. We encourage a dialogue with developing countries and economies in transition in establishing the Global Information Society, and welcome the proposal that an information society conference be convened in South Africa in spring 1996.
MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF THE 21st CENTURY
11. International institutions have been central to our pursuit of stability, prosperity, and equity for the past 50 years. Last year, in Naples, we called for a review of the international institutions to ensure that they are equipped to deal effectively with the challenges of the future. Today, in Halifax, we are proposing some concrete steps toward this goal. All countries have a stake in effective, efficient institutions. We pledge our full energies to strengthening the institutions in partnership with their entire membership to enhance the security and prosperity of the world.
Strengthening the Global Economy
12. The world economy has changed beyond all recognition over the last fifty years. The process of globalization, driven by technological change, has led to increased economic interdependence: this applies to some policy areas seen previously as purely domestic, and to interactions between policy areas. The major challenge confronting us is to manage this increased interdependence while working with the grain of markets, and recognizing the growing number of important players. This is especially important in the pursuit of global macroeconomic and financial stability.
13. Close consultation and effective cooperation on macroeconomic policies among the G-7 are important elements in promoting sustained non-inflationary growth avoiding the emergence of large external and internal imbalances, and promoting greater exchange market stability. Our Ministers have adopted a number of changes to the structure of their consultations over time, in order to strengthen policy cooperation, including enhanced consultation with the IMF.
14. The growth and integration of global capital markets have created both enormous opportunities and new risks. We have a shared interest in ensuring the international community remains able to manage the risks inherent in the growth of private capital flows, the increased integration of domestic capital markets, and the accelerating pace of financial innovation.
15. The developments in Mexico earlier this year and their repercussions have sharpened our focus on these issues. We welcome the recent more positive turn of events in Mexico, as well as the positive developments in a number of emerging economies.
16. The prevention of crisis is the preferred course of action. This is best achieved through each country pursuing sound fiscal and monetary policies. But it also requires an improved early warning system, so that we can act more quickly to prevent or handle financial shocks. Such a system must include improved and effective surveillance of national economic policies and financial market developments, and fuller disclosure of this information to market participants. To this end, we urge the IMF to:
- establish benchmarks for the timely publication of key economic and financial data;
- establish a procedure for the regular public identification of countries which comply within these benchmarks;
- insist on full and timely reporting by member countries of standard sets of data, provide sharper policy advice to all governments, and deliver franker messages to countries that appear to be avoiding necessary actions.
17. If prevention fails, financial market distress requires that multilateral institutions and major economies be able to respond where appropriate in a quick and coordinated fashion. Financing mechanisms must operate on a scale and with the timeliness required to manage shocks effectively. In this context, we urge the IMF to:
- establish a new standing procedure --"Emergency Financing Mechanism"-- which would provide faster access to Fund arrangements with strong conditionality and larger upfront disbursements in crisis situations.
18. To support this procedure, we ask:
- the G-10 and other countries with the capacity to support the system to develop financing arrangements with the objective of doubling as soon as possible the amount currently available under the GAB to respond to financial emergencies.
19. To ensure that IMF has sufficient resources to meet its ongoing responsibilities, we urge continued discussions on a new IMF quota review.
20. Solid progress on the elements discussed above should significantly improve our ability to cope with future financial crises. Nevertheless, these improvements may not be sufficient in all cases. In line with this, and recognizing the complex legal and other issues posed in debt crisis situations by the wide variety of sources of international finance involved, we would encourage further review by G-10 Ministers and Governors of other procedures that might also usefully be considered for their orderly resolution.
21. We continue to support the inclusion of all IMF members in the SDR system. Moreover, we urge the IMF to initiate a broad review of the role and functions of the SDR in light of changes in the world financial system.
22. Closer international cooperation in the regulation and supervision of financial institutions and markets is essential to safeguard the financial system and prevent an erosion of prudential standards. We urge:
- a deepening of cooperation among regulators and supervisory agencies to ensure an effective and integrated approach, on a global basis, to developing and enhancing the safeguards, standards, transparency and systems necessary to monitor and contain risks;
- continued encouragement to countries to remove capital market restrictions, coupled with strengthened policy advice from international financial institutions on the appropriate supervisory structures;
- Finance ministers to commission studies and analysis from the international organizations responsible for banking and securities regulations and to report on the adequacy of current arrangements, together with proposals for improvement where necessary, at the next Summit.
23. We also recognize that international financial fraud is a growing problem. We are committed to improving communication between regulators and law enforcement agencies.
Promoting Sustainable Development
24. A higher quality of life for all people is the goal of sustainable development. Democracy, human rights, transparent and accountable governance, investment in people and environmental protection are the foundations of sustainable development. The primary responsibility rests with each country but bilateral and multilateral international cooperation is essential to reinforce national efforts. We are committed to securing substantial flows of funds and to improving the quality of our assistance.
25. IDA plays an indispensable role in helping to reduce poverty and integrate the poorest countries into the global economy. We urge all donor countries to fulfil promptly their commitments to IDA-10 and to support a significant replenishment through IDA-11. We look forward to the recommendations of the Development Committee's Task Force on Multilateral Development Banks.
26. Multilateral institutions play a crucial role by providing intellectual leadership and policy advice, and by marshalling resources for countries committed to sustainable development. The United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions should build on their respective strengths. The UN offers a unique forum for consensus building on global priorities, is an advocate for core values, and responds to development and humanitarian needs. The Bretton Woods institutions have a particular role in promoting macroeconomic stability, in supporting favourable environments for sustainable development and in mobilizing and transferring resources for development. We will work with the organizations and all their members to ensure relevant multilateral institutions:
- make sustainable development a central goal of their policies and programmes, including by intensifying and deepening the integration of environmental considerations into all aspects of their programmes;
- encourage countries to follow sound economic, environmental and social policies and to create the appropriate legal and structural framework for sustainable development;
- encourage countries to follow participatory development strategies and support governmental reforms that assure transparency and public accountability, a stable rule of law, and an active civil society;
- encourage the development of a healthy private sector, expand guarantees and co-financing arrangements to catalyze private flows, and increase credit for small and medium-sized enterprises;
- continue to provide resources for the infrastructure needed for sustainable development, where these are not available from the private sector.
27. We agree on the need to actively support the peace process in the Middle East. Such support would include the establishment of a new institution and financing mechanism enhancing regional cooperation. We therefore urge the Task Force already at work to continue its deliberations with an aim to arriving at a suitable proposal in time for the Amman summit next October.
28. An overriding priority is to improve the plight of the world's poor. Persistence of extreme poverty and marginalization of the poorest countries is simply not compatible with universal aspirations for prosperity and security. Sub-Saharan Africa faces especially severe challenges. We will work with others to encourage relevant multilateral institutions to:
- focus concessional resources on the poorest countries, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa, which have a demonstrated capacity and commitment to use them effectively, and take trends in military and other unproductive spending into account in extending assistance;
- direct a substantially increased proportion of their resources to basic social programmes and other measures which attack the roots of poverty.
29. We welcome the Paris Club response to our encouragement last year to improve the treatment of the debt of the poorest countries and urge the full and constructive implementation of the Naples terms. We recognize that some of the poorest countries have substantial multilateral debt burdens. We will encourage:
- the Bretton Woods institutions to develop a comprehensive approach to assist countries with multilateral debt problems, through the flexible implementation of existing instruments and new mechanisms where necessary;
- better use of all existing World Bank and IMF resources and adoption of appropriate measures in the multilateral development banks to advance this objective and to continue concessional ESAF lending operations.
30. Open markets throughout the world are also crucial to accelerated economic growth in the developing countries. Multilateral institutions should work to assist the integration of the poorest countries into the world trading system. We encourage the WTO to monitor and review the Uruguay Round's impact on the least developed countries.
Safeguarding the Environment
31. We place top priority on both domestic and international action to safeguard the environment. Environmental protection triggers the development and deployment of innovative technologies, which enhance economic efficiency and growth and help create long-term employment. In their policies, operations and procurement, G-7 governments must show leadership in improving the environment. This will require the appropriate mix of economic instruments, innovative accountability mechanisms, environmental impact assessment and voluntary measures. Efforts must focus on pollution prevention, the "polluter pays" principle, internalization of environmental costs, and the integration of environmental considerations into policy and decision making in all sectors.
32. We underline the importance of meeting the commitments we made at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and subsequently, and the need to review and strengthen them, where appropriate. Climate change remains of major global importance. We will work with others to:
- fulfil our existing obligations under the Climate Change Convention, and our commitments to meet the agreed ambitious timetable and objectives to follow up the Berlin Conference of the Parties;
- implement the medium-term work programme adopted persuant to the Convention on Biological Diversity;
- conclude successfully the work of the CSD intergovernmental panel on forests, and promote a successful UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks and international consensus at the next CSD session on action to deal with the problems of the world's oceans.
33. We encourage a clearer delineation of the mandates of the CSD and UNEP. CSD should be the global forum for identifying and agreeing upon long term strategic goals for sustainable development. UNEP should act as an international environmental voice and catalyst; it should focus on monitoring, assessment, and the development of international environmental law.
Preventing and Responding to Crises
34. Disasters and other crises complicate the development challenge and have exposed gaps in our institutional machinery. To help prevent and mitigate emerging crises, including those with human rights and refugee dimensions, we will ask:
- the UN Secretary-General to explore means to improve the analysis and utilization of disaster and conflict-related early warning information, particularly through the High Commissioners on Human Rights and Refugees;
- the Bretton Woods institutions and the UN to establish a new coordination procedure, supported as necessary by existing resources, to facilitate a smooth transition from the emergency to the rehabilitation phase of a crisis, and to cooperate more effectively with donor countries;
- the bodies involved in the provision of humanitarian assistance to cooperate more closely with the Department of Humanitarian Affairs in its assigned coordination role.
Reinforcing Coherence, Effectiveness, and Efficiency of Institutions
35. To fulfil their missions effectively into the future, multilateral institutions must continue to undertake reforms and to improve coordination and reduce overlap. The international financial institutions have shown flexibility in responding to the changing needs of the world economy; there nevertheless remain a number of areas where improvements are desirable to better prepare the institutions for the challenges ahead. We will encourage:
- the World Bank and the regional development banks to decentralize their operations wherever possible;
- the IMF and the World Bank to concentrate on their respective core concerns (broadly, macroeconomic policy for the IMF and structural and sectoral policies for the World Bank);
- revision of the Ministerial committees of the IMF and the World Bank to promote more effective decision-making;
- the World Bank Group to integrate more effectively the activities of the International Finance Corporation and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency into its country assistance strategies;
- the multilateral development banks to coordinate their respective country programmes more effectively with bilateral and other multilateral donors.
36. So as to allow the United Nations better to meet the objectives in its Charter, we will encourage broadening and deepening the reform process already underway, and will work with others to:
- complete the Agenda for Development, which should set out a fresh approach to international cooperation and define the particular contribution expected of U.N. bodies;
- develop a more effective internal policy coordination role for the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); encourage deeper cooperation between UN and specialized agencies both at headquarters and in the field; consolidate and streamline organizations in the economic and social fields, such as humanitarian relief and development assistance; and encourage the adoption of modern management techniques, with a more transparent and accountable Secretariat;
- update and focus mandates to avoid duplication; eliminate overlaps with new organizations; e.g., UNCTAD with WTO, and consider the roles of certain institutions in light of evolving challenges; e.g., Regional Economic Commissions and UNIDO;
We call upon Member States to meet their financial obligations and urge early agreement on reform of the system of assessment.
37. To increase overall coherence, cooperation and cost effectiveness we will work with others to encourage:
- rationalization of data collection, analysis, priority setting, and reporting activities, and greater complementarity in the provision of assistance at the country level;
- improved coordination among international organizations, bilateral donors and NGOs;
- all institutions to formulate and implement plans to effect significant reductions in operating costs over the next few years.
38. These are our initial proposals to prepare multilateral institutions for the challenges of the next century. We intend to promote them actively, working together with the wider international community in all appropriate organizations. In particular, in the UN, we commit ourselves to working with other members to advance these goals. We will use the 50th anniversary celebrations in October 1995 to build consensus on these priorities with others. We will take stock at our meeting next year in France.
CREATING OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH OPEN MARKETS
39. We recognize that new investment and increased trade are vital to achieving our growth and employment objectives. In a global market, opportunities for domestic and foreign producers and suppliers of goods and services depend as much on domestic policies as on external barriers. In order to improve market access, we intend to work for the reduction of remaining internal and external barriers.
40. We will implement the Uruguay Round Agreements fully, and reaffirm our commitment to resist protectionism in all its forms. We will build on the Agreements to create new opportunities for growth, employment and global cooperation. We will work together and with our trading partners to consolidate the WTO as an effective institution, and are committed to ensuring a well-functioning and respected dispute settlement mechanism. We endorse closer cooperation between the WTO and other international economic institutions. We recognize the importance of enhancing the transparency of the WTO.
41. We support accession to the WTO in accordance with the rules that apply to all of its members and on the basis of meaningful market access commitments. We are committed to ensuring that our participation in regional trade initiatives continues to be a positive force for the multilateral system.
42. The momentum of trade liberalization must be maintained. We are committed to the successful completion of current negotiations in services sectors and, in particular, significant liberalization in financial and telecommunications services. We will proceed with follow-up work foreseen in the Uruguay Round Final Act. We encourage work in areas such as technical standards, intellectual property and government procurement; an immediate priority is the negotiation in the OECD of a high standard multilateral agreement on investment. We will begin discussions on investment with our partners in the WTO. We recognize that initiatives such as regulatory reform have a particularly important contribution to make to trade liberalization and economic growth by removing administrative and structural impediments to global competition.
43. Consistent with the goal of continued trade liberalization, we will pursue work on:
- trade and environment to ensure that rules and policies in these different areas are compatible;
- the scope for multilateral action in the fields of trade and competition policy;
- trade, employment and labour standards.
44. We will work together with our partners in the WTO and other appropriate fora to create the basis for an ambitious first WTO Ministerial Meeting in Singapore in 1996.
ECONOMIES IN TRANSITION
45. We recognize the progress of many countries in transition toward democratic, market-based societies. Early and determined macroeconomic stabilization has proven the most effective strategy to allow an early return to growth. To consolidate these gains, the process of far-reaching structural reform must be pursued vigorously. We will continue our support for economic reform in the economies in transition, and their integration into the global trade and financial systems. We recognize their need for improved market access.
46. We welcome the good start Ukraine has made on its bold programme of economic reform. The recent Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF provided the basis for substantial financial support by the international financial institutions and bilateral donors. We encourage Ukraine to continue its reform efforts in close cooperation with the international financial institutions. Assuming the continuation of strong economic reform, an additional $2 billion in commitments could be available from the international financial institutions by the end of 1996.
47. We are encouraged by Russia's renewed commitments to financial stabilization and economic reform. Continued political reform is also necessary. We believe that a stable political, regulatory and legal environment, and the development of a modern financial sector, together with the full implementation of the policy measures outlined in the recently-signed IMF Stand-By Arrangement, will promote Russian economic recovery. We welcome the June 3 Paris Club debt rescheduling agreement and recognize the relevance of a comprehensive multilateral treatment of Russia's external public debt. We also note Russia's interest in working in close cooperation with the Paris Club.
48. We affirm the importance of improving nuclear safety in countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States and welcome efforts and progress made to date. We will continue to support these initiatives.
49. Recognizing that each country is responsible for the safety of its nuclear facilities, we congratulate President Kuchma of Ukraine on his decision to close the Chernobyl nuclear power plant by the year 2000. We reaffirm the commitments of support made last year at Naples under the G-7 Action Plan for Ukraine's Energy Sector. We are pleased to note the replenishment of the Nuclear Safety Account and the commitment of additional bilateral grants for short-term safety upgrades and preliminary decommissioning work in anticipation of the closure of Chernobyl.
50. Recognizing the economic and social burden that the closure of Chernobyl will place on Ukraine, we [pledge] [will continue] efforts to mobilize international support for appropriate energy production, energy efficiency and nuclear safety projects for Ukraine. Any assistance for replacement power for Chernobyl will be based on sound economic, environmental and financial criteria. We call upon the World Bank and the EBRD to continue their co-operation with Ukraine in devising a realistic long-term energy strategy, based on the results of the EBRD-funded least-cost investment study, and to increase their financial contribution in support of appropriate energy sector reform and investment. We also call on the World Bank to mobilize private sector support for non-nuclear energy and energy conservation.
51. We have accepted the invitation of the President of France to meet in Lyon from June 27th to 29th, 1996.