Speaking to G8 foreign ministers at their meeting in Gatineau, Quebec last week, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said:
“If the G8 is to remain credible, accountability is absolutely necessary. Member nations must keep their commitments on economic pledges, on development and on security actions. I look forward to a productive dialogue in Muskoka on strengthening accountability for G8 initiatives.”
I could not agree more. The IAS has repeatedly urged Prime Minister Harper to make the 2005 G8 commitment to universal access to HIV prevention, treatment care and support by 2010 a centrepiece of the G8 Summit in Muskoka in June. Unfortunately, despite his own call for accountability, Harper has been silent on the G8’s commitment to universal access in the lead up to Muskoka.
|Prime Minister Harper, centre, delivers his statement at the meeting. Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon is at left and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is at right. Source: Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
We’ll continue pushing in hopes that Prime Minister Harper and his counterparts will put forth and agree to a plan to reignite the drive for universal access when they meet this summer. The next key milestone in that process is the meeting of the G8 development ministers later this month in Halifax, Nova Scotia where they will have the opportunity to again place universal access prominently on the G8 agenda.