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G8 Leaders' Lough Erne Communique, 2013

Published June 18, 2013



G8 Leaders' Lough Erne Communique, 2013

The G8 leaders met in the U.K. during June 17–18, 2013, for their thirty-nineth summit. They released a joint communique, which focuses on foreign policy challenges, particularly in Syria. They also produced an Open Data Charter and the Lough Erne Declaration on private enterprise responsibilities.

From the Foreign Policy section of the communique:

82. We are determined to work together to stop the bloodshed and loss of life in Syria and to support the Syrian people to establish peace and stability through political means. We are gravely concerned at the appalling human tragedy that the UN estimates has cost the lives of over 93,000 people and led to 4.2 million internally displaced persons and 1.6 million refugees. We acknowledge the vital humanitarian role played by neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees, above all Lebanon and Jordan, in dealing with the significant economic and security pressures they are facing as a result of the conflict and refugee influx.

83. Given the extraordinary humanitarian need as reflected in the latest UN appeal for $5.2 billion in 2013, we are resolved to make exceptional contributions commensurate with the scale of the problem. At this meeting G8 Leaders confirmed additional contributions of almost $1.5 billion to meet humanitarian needs in Syria and its neighbours. We recognise that further contri butions will be needed giv en the scale of the challenge. We urge other countries and organisations to make similar commitments. We call for aid agencies to be given immediate access to provide humanitarian assistance to all civilians in need, in accordance with humanitarian principles and international law, particularly in the worst affected areas such as Qusayr.

84. We remain committed to achieving a political solution to the crisis based on a vision for a united, inclusive and democratic Syria. We strongly endorse the decision to hold as soon as possible the Geneva Conference on Syria to implement fully the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012, which sets out a number of key steps beginning with agreement on a transitional governing body with full executive po wers, formed by mutual consent. As the Geneva Communiqué says, the public services must be preserved or restored. This includes the military forces and security services. However all governmental institutions and state offices must perform according to pro fessional and human rights standards, operating under a top leadership that inspires public confidence, under the control of the transitional governing body.

85. Both sides at the Conference must engage seriously and constructively. They should be fully repre sentative of the Syrian people and committed to the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué and to the achievement of stability and reconciliation. We will engage actively with the parties in order to achieve successful outcomes.

86. We are deeply concerned by the growing threat from terrorism and extremism in Syria, and also by the increasingly sectarian nature of the conflict. Syria must belong to all Syrians, including its minorities and all religious groups. We call on the Syrian authorities and oppositi on at the Geneva Conference jointly to commit to destroying and expelling from Syria all organisations and individuals affiliated to Al Qaeda, and any other non-state actors linked to terrorism. We will support UN planning for Syria's transition, recovery , and reconstruction needs, in particular by maintaining continuity of state institutions during transition and helping to ensure that the security forces are effective, accountable and able to deal with the threat of terrorism and extremism.

87. We condemn any use of chemical weapons in Syria and call on all parties to the conflict to allow access to the UN investigating te am mandated by the UN Secretary - General, and drawing on the expertise of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and World Health Organisation (WHO), in order to conduct an objective investigation into reports of use of chemical weapons. The UN team should make their report and deliver it to the UN Security Council for their assessment. We are determined that those who may be found responsible for the use of chemical weapons will be held accountable. We emphasise the need for the secure and safe storage of all chemical weapons in Syria, pending their destruction under international verification. We also condemn in t he strongest possible terms all human rights violations and abuses in Syria, committed by anyone, including indiscriminate attacks on civilians. We call on all sides to respect international humanitarian and human rights laws, noting the particular respons ibility of the Syrian authorities in this regard.

88. Following the elections in Libya last year, the first for over four decades, we welcome the progress made by the Libyan government under the stewardship of Prime Minister Zeidan. We encourage the government to continue this progress, delivering concrete results. To ensure an effective transition to a more stable, democratic and prosperous future, we urge continued and sustained engagement by the international community, coordinated by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). This engagement should support the Libyan Government's efforts to increase the effectiveness and capacity of its security and justice sector institutions, to complete a successful transition to democracy, and, following four decades of mismanagement, to develop the Libyan economy and to improve the provision of public services. We encourage all Libyans to engage with the political process of reconciliation and constitutional reform through peaceful and inclusive means, underpinned by res pect for the rule of law.

89. We agreed that all relevant parties must work urgently for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We support a two-state solution with an independent, democratic, contiguous, and viable Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours. We call for the necessary steps to build trust and urge the parties to work towards the resumption of direct negotiations without preconditions, taking note of the 23 September 2011 statement of the Middle East Quartet. We affirm our support for the Palestinian Authority and its state-building efforts and encourage the international community to extend the fullest assistance possible to revitalising the Palestinian economy.

90. We recognise the progress made by the Afghan National Security Forces in taking the lead for security across Afghanistan from mid-2013. We will continue to assist the Government of Afghanistan with meeting their commitments to strengthen their institutions of gov ernance, to combat corruption and the threat of terrorism. We underline the continuing need for the Afghan Government, with support from the international community to tackle more effectively illicit drug production, trade and trafficking. This should incl ude further measures to reduce the cultivation of opium poppy and the production of, trafficking in and consumption of opiates. Presidential and Provincial elections in 2014 should be credible, inclusive and transparent, as agreed under the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework. All Afghans should be able to participate peacefully in the country's political future. We support an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of reconciliation, based on the principles of renouncing violence, cutting ties with terrorist groups and respecting the Afghan Constitution, including its human rights provisions, notably on the rights of women and minorities. Our commitment to Afghanistan, within a stable region, will endure beyond this important year of transition.

91. Preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery is a top priority. Such proliferation is a major threat to international peace and security.

92. Iran's nuclear programme, which it continues to develop in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and in defiance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors resolutions, remains a source of serious concern. We once again urge Iran to comply fully and without delay with these international obligations. We call on the international community to ensure full implementation of UN sanctions. We stress that it is essential and urgent for Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA on all aspects of its nuclear programme, including to resolve questions on its possible military dimensions, and to engage actively and constructively with the E3+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK , the US and the EU High Representative) to find the diplomatic resolution to the nuclear issue which we seek. We reaffirm that in line with the UN Security Council's approved dual track approach, Iran has the ability to avoid f urther isolation and improve its situation only if it promptly addresses the concerns of the international community. We strongly urge Iran to fully respect its human rights obligations. We note the election of President-elect Rouhani and we invite Iran to use this opportunity to resolve its differences with the international community.

93. We remain deeply concerned about North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. North Korea must meet its international obligations by completely, verifiably and i rreversibly abandoning its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. It must engage constructively in credible and authentic multilateral talks and refrain from provocative actions. It must abide by its obligations under relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks. Whilst it refuses to meet these obligations, we call on the international community to ensure full implementation of UN sanctions against North Korea. We urge North Korea to address th e concerns of the international community over its human rights violations, including the abductions issue and treatment of refugees returned to North Korea.

94. We welcomed the historic Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict adopted by G8 Foreign Ministers on 11 April and encouraged its early implementation. The Declaration contains political and practical elements, including acknowledgement by G8 members that rape and serious sexual violence in international armed conflict constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

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