Italian FM voices G8 presidency priority next year

ROME, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Italy's presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) next year will be an occasion for "a new global governance" and to create a more structural relationship between G8 countries and emerging powers, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said here Wednesday.

Speaking at a joint meeting of Italy's parliamentary foreign committees, Frattini said the G8 model "should enlarge itself in a flexible manner, involving economic and political players and coordinating with the G20 on economic and financial themes in order to have a complete spectrum" of analysis on global issues.

Frattini said terrorism, nuclear disarmament and the situations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa would be on the political agenda, while economic issues to be given priority are reforms to the Bretton Woods system of monetary management, the development of renewable energy sources, the impact of climate change on the economy and food safety.

He added that a "global task force" dealing with this last issue would be created, basing its structure on that of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization.

For the first time ever, the G8's agriculture ministers will meet to discuss global agricultural resources, he said.

Frattini said he planned to meet with foreign ministers from other European Union countries as well as of the remaining G8 countries early next year in order to involve his EU colleagues insetting a common agenda.

The G8, then the G6, was set up in 1975 as a forum for the world's most industrialized nations. Its members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Italy takes over the rotating chair of the G8 in 2009, with the main summit due to take place in July in La Maddalena, an island off the northern coast of Sardinia.