Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 08/2004

Freedom, Prosperity, and Security

J. Brian Atwood, Robert S. Browne, Princeton N. Lyman

May 2004

Council on Foreign Relations


The United States will host the G8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia, in June 2004. Many urgent and critical international issues need to be discussed at the summit, especially developments in the Middle East and in the worldwide war on terrorism. It will be important, however, that the summit also maintain the momentum of the past three years in the G8-Africa partnership. This will reinforce the work of African leaders who are championing democracy, human rights, and good governance. Africa, moreover, figures prominently in the three global issues the United States has selected for the summit: freedom, security, and prosperity.

It now appears that the United States will invite a group of African leaders to confer with the G8, following the practice of the last three years. The United States is also proposing that the G8 address several items that bear on Africa at the summit, including food security, transparency in the oil and mineral sectors, peace support, and debt relief for post-conflict countries. These items do not encompass the breadth of issues in the G8’s Africa Action Plan (AAP), described below, however, nor do they substitute for commitment to the long-term overall partnership that has been at the heart of the G8- Africa relationship in the past three years.