The fifth Developing Eight (D-8) Summit adopted the Bali Declaration on Saturday, endorsing the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, calling on rich countries to give debt relief to poor countries and committing member countries to closer economic cooperation.
Addressing a press conference after the close of the summit, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the summit's endorsement of peaceful nuclear energy was in the context of the global energy crisis, caused particularly by unstable oil prices. The declaration states, "We reaffirm our commitment to enhance cooperation in the field of energy to develop alternative and renewable energy sources, among others bio-fuel, biomass, hydro, solar, wind and the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."
Responding to the statement, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a separate press conference, "We thank D-8 member countries for their initiative to defend the development and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes." The D-8 member countries are Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. Iran's nuclear issue dominated much of the summit, and Ahmadinejad's press conference Saturday was packed with foreign journalists.
He began the press conference with a speech on the West's "injustices" in the world, which he said were the result of "liberalism". He added that the concept was doomed to fail. When asked why Iran wanted to become a member of the World Trade Organization if he believed liberalism was a failed concept, the president said Iran would become a WTO member as long as the organization upheld justice.
In the Bali Declaration, the D-8 leaders reaffirmed their support for Iran's bid to become a member of the WTO. "At a time when economic relations are based on injustices, regional cooperation based on justice could be strengthened to address the problem," Ahmadinejad said, referring to the D-8. Yudhoyono, who assumed the chairmanship of the D-8 from Ahmadinejad, spoke on behalf of the Muslim ummah (community). He called on the international community to promote "dialog among civilizations to foster a deeper understanding of values and beliefs, and strengthen the unity and solidarity of communities", in the spirit of the "alliance of civilizations" initiative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Yudhoyono highlighted the section of the Bali Declaration calling on rich countries to fulfill their commitment to address the debt problem of developing countries, particularly through debt cancellation, debt rescheduling, debt swaps for development and alternative mechanisms for debt management, as well as increased financial flows to developing countries. The D-8 members also urged developed countries to increase market access for products and services from developing countries, in the spirit of free trade for the benefit of all states.
They also committed themselves to closer economic ties to boost trade and investment among member countries, allowing them to participate actively in the process of globalization. On Saturday, D-8 leaders witnessed the signing of two agreements -- a preferential trade agreement paving the way for a reduction of tariffs among member countries, and an agreement on mutual administrative assistance in customs matters.
As the new leader of the D-8, Yudhoyono promised to work to make the D-8 more relevant by adopting achievable programs and increasing the role of the private sector in the process. "We will do our best to ensure that what we have achieved and agreed on is properly implemented," the President said.
The Jakarta PostLast Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16