With the spotlight on Africa on the first day of the summit, some non-governmental organizations urged developed countries, the G8 nations in particular, to make good on their promises on helping the African continent reduce poverty, fight diseases and build infrastructure.
Speaking to the press in Toyako, Max Lawson, policy adviser of the British charity Oxfam, said the G8 will miss its pledge of doubling aid to Africa at the Gleneagles summit as it has delivered only a small part of the promised aid more than halfway through the plan.
The G8 promised at the Gleneagles summit in 2005 to increase aid to developing countries to 50 billion U.S. dollars by 2010, of which 25 billion U.S. dollars will go to Africa.
The G8 has delivered only 14 percent of its promised aid to Africa three years into the five-year promise, Lawson said.
"We are worried. We are very worried that the aid promises would be watered down and that some of the key promises left out," Lawson said.
The gathering took on a touch of Japan when the leaders celebrated the traditional Japanese holiday of Tanabata, which fell on Monday, by writing their wishes on slips of paper and hanging them on bamboo.
The G8 leaders will meet for exclusive discussions on Tuesday before extending their talks on the third day to include leaders of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa for an outreach session.
Leaders from Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa will join the G8 leaders for a major economies leaders meeting on Wednesday to discuss climate change and energy security.
(Xinhua News Agency July 8, 2008)