On April 11-12, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hosted her G-8 counterparts for the G-8 Foreign Ministers Meeting at the Blair House in Washington, D.C. During the opening plenary on April 11, Secretary Clinton said:
"I greatly appreciate this opportunity to discuss in person the many global issues that require joint leadership from the G-8 nations. The events of this past year, even of just this past week, affirm the continued need for comprehensive international cooperation, and the G-8 is an essential forum for that."
During the two-day meeting, the Foreign Ministers discussed a range of country-specific, regional, and transnational topics, including Syria, North Korea, Iran, the crisis in the Sahel, and outcomes of the Middle East Quartet meeting, among other issues. At the conclusion of the G-8 Ministerial, Secretary Clinton said:
"This group of nations has extensive shared interests and responsibilities around the globe, so we discussed a range of issues that are of pressing concern. And while there was certainly frank debate about the details, we all affirmed our common commitment to confronting these challenges together and working in close consultation with one another."
On Syria, the Secretary said, "We welcomed Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan's report that the violence in Syria, at least for the moment, has abated. I also spoke separately about this at some length with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. If it holds, a ceasefire is an important step, but it represents just one element of the special envoy's plan. As Kofi Annan reported, the Assad regime has, so far, failed to comply with key obligations. The regime's troops and tanks have not pulled back from population centers. And it remains to be seen if the regime will keep its pledge to permit peaceful demonstrations, open access for humanitarian aid and journalists, and begin a political transition. The Annan plan is not a menu of options. It is a set of obligations. The burden of fully and visibly meeting all of these obligations continues to rest with the regime. They cannot pick and choose. For it to be meaningful, this apparent halt in violence must lead to a credible political process and a peaceful, inclusive, democratic transition."
On North Korea, Secretary Clinton said, "The G8 ministers discussed our concerns that North Korea continues to prepare to launch a ballistic missile in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and its own national commitments. We urge the North Korean leadership to honor its agreements and refrain from pursuing a cycle of provocation. We all share an interest in fostering security and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and the best way to achieve that is for North Korea to live up to its word."
On Iran, Secretary Clinton said, "We also looked ahead to the P-5+1 talks with Iran, scheduled to take place in Istanbul this weekend. We continue to underscore that we hope these talks result in an environment that is conducive to a sustained process that delivers results. This is a chance for Iran to credibly address the concerns of the international community. Iran, in coming to the table, needs to demonstrate that they are serious."
You can find video and text transcript of the Secretary's full remarks at the G-8 Ministerial here. The United States holds the G-8 Presidency in 2012, and will host the G-8 Summit at Camp David May 18-19.
Update: G-8 Foreign Ministers release a statement condemning the launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and calling on the DPRK to abstain from further launches using ballistic missile technology or other actions which aggravate the situation on the Korean Peninsula.