Climate change is expected to be the focus of Tuesday
discussions at annual talks between the eight major industrialized nations
Observers say U.S. President George Bush is under pressure to
back an agreement on tackling climate change during the annual Group of Eight
summit. Mr. Bush has said countries with growing economies like India and China
must be part of any effort to limit greenhouse gasses in order for a deal to
Africa dominated discussions during Monday's opening meetings on
the northern island of Hokkaido.
African leaders pressed the world's
eight major industrialized nations to keep their pledge to boost aid to Africa
to 25 billion dollars a year by 2010. They warned that soaring prices for oil
and food are making poverty worse in African countries.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon backed the African leaders, noting that the
problems of food, climate change and development are all
World Bank chief Robert Zoellick
says it is important to have a system in place to monitor G-8 nations' efforts
to fulfill their aid pledges to Africa.
Aid groups say only a trickle of
the promised amount has made it to Africa since the pledge was made at a G-8
summit in Scotland two years ago.
U.S. President George Bush will
participate in a working meeting Tuesday morning with other G-8
leaders. Mr. Bush will be meeting separately with German Chancellor Angela
Merkel in the morning.
Leaders from China, India and other countries that
are not members of the G-8 are also scheduled to meet today.
costs of food and oil, aid, and global warming are major issues at this week's
summit in Japan.
The three-day summit ends Wednesday with a larger
gathering that includes Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico,
South Korea and South Africa.