G8 Leaders: No New Sanctions Against Iran and North Korea

With Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as his guide, President Barack Obama visited the L'Aquila earthquake zone today.

L'Aquila, in the Abruzzo region, was struck by a 6.3 magnitude quake in April that killed nearly 300 people.

To help revitalize the region where more than 50,000 residents remain homeless, Berlusconi moved the G8 summit here.

This evening, the G8 leaders would not support tougher sanctions against Iran for its post-election violence nor sanctions against Iran and North Korea for their nuclear weapons programs.

VIDEO: Obama attends G8 summit in Italy
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Instead, they issued statements.

"It's very important for the world community to speak to countries like Iran and North Korea and encourage them to take a path that does not result in a nuclear arms race in places like the Middle East," Obama said.

Advocates for various causes were hoping for Obama to exert leadership on them. Environmentalists were hoping for bold action on climate change, for instance, but little consensus was achieved.

The goal had been to arrive at specific commitments for G8 and other nations to reduce greenhouse gases. Instead, what was agreed upon was a non-binding goal of a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by 2050, with a goal for developed countries of 80 percent, hoping to limit the rise in global temperatures to no more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

The G8 also failed to get major polluters, such as China and India, to go along. Developing nations complained that the industrialized world hasn't followed through with aid and technology to help them. That's not a good sign for the United Nations' planned climate summit in December.

"We'll be working with the developing countries between now and then to try and firm up commitments," said Mike Froman, deputy national security advisor.

Yet when the G8 in 2005 promised $25 billion to developing regions, such as Africa, they only delivered a third of that money. Much of the shortfall is due to France and Italy, which claim economic hardship.

"It's precisely this time that we need to support the African countries that are actually being hit very hard by the economic crisis," said Oliver Buston, Europe director of the One Campaign.

To address that criticism, the G8 said it would enhance accountability by releasing the first G8 report containing data about how much of money pledged has been delivered.

A humanitarian group said in response that what developing nations need is not a re-cooking of old promises but immediate action.

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