Canada Invites Africa, Caribbean, South American Leaders To Meeting During Upcoming G8 Summit

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Sunday invited several leaders from Africa, the Caribbean and South America “to a meeting on development and security issues, to be held on the sidelines of the G8 summit later this month,” Agence France-Presse reports.

The meeting will aim to “broaden representation and maximize results on international development and peace and security issues,” according to a press release from Harper’s office, the news service writes. Leaders from Algeria, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Jamaica, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa were invited.

“The G8 has a long tradition of developing credible solutions to global challenges in partnership with Africa and others in the international community,” Harper said in the release (6/13).  

Ahead of the weekend, Harper met with Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Toronto Star reports.  

Kazatchkine praised Harper’s support of the Global Fund. “The very fact he could arrange a meeting at this time, two weeks prior to the G8 is clearly a strong sign of support to the Global Fund and to global health,” he said. Kazatchkine also said G8 countries should expand their support for global health. “(If) the effort could be sustained and expanded that could lead to a world without malaria deaths by 2015 and to a huge impact on maternal and child health like virtual elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV,” he said, noting that achieving both goals is a realistic possibility (Talaga, 6/13).