GENOA, Italy — President Bush and other world leaders, closing out a summit overshadowed by violent street protests and a surprise U.S.-Russia nuclear arms deal, vowed Sunday to wage a united attack on global poverty and disease. They failed, however, to resolve a sharp dispute over global warming.
The leaders of the world's seven wealthiest countries plus Russia issued a joint declaration that was in many ways designed to blunt attacks from anti-globalization protesters that rich countries were failing to help the poor.
They followed up on a Friday pledge of a new AIDS fund with promises to help in other areas as well, from education to expanding debt relief to launching a new global trade round.
The leaders contended these efforts will help the poor, rejecting accusations from the protesters that free trade benefits rich corporations at the expense of the environment and of workers in low-wage nations.
President Bush said at the conclusion of the summit Sunday that the leaders had engaged in useful discussions that "will make the world a heck of a lot more prosperous and peaceful place."
Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to begin negotiations to link reductions in nuclear stockpiles — a goal of both countries — with Bush's plan to deploy a missile defense system.
"The two go hand in hand," Bush said at a news conference with Putin.
But on global warming, Bush was less successful in reaching any compromise. European leaders lobbied hard behind the scenes, but were unable to get the president to reverse his rejection of the 1997 Kyoto accord, which requires industrial countries to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.
The other nations have insisted they will push forward with the effort to implement the Kyoto treaty.
Although Secretary of State Colin Powell indicated the administration would have an alternative ready in time for a U.N. conference in October, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Bush "never gave such an indication" to the other summit leaders." Bush himself sidestepped a question on the timetable.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was caught in the middle of the dispute. The Europeans pushed him to continue supporting the pact and the United States reminded him of his recent statement to Bush that Japan would not implement Kyoto without U.S. participation.
Asked how the tug-of-war would turn out, Koizumi said, "It's not over until its over."
The protests surrounding the summit, which brought out up to 100,000 marchers, most of them peaceful, left nearly 500 people injured and claimed the first fatality of these massive demonstrations against globalization.
Italian authorities estimated that in addition to $120 million spent sprucing up Genoa for the summit, they had spent another $25 million on heavy security that had turned much of downtown Genoa into a ghost town of deserted streets and shops, costing local merchants heavy losses.
Mindful of that, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced that next year's summit on June 26-28 in Canada will be held away from heavily populated cities in Kananaskis, an isolated resort in the Canadian Rockies.
In addition to the remote location, Chretien said the leaders will have to get by on far fewer support personnel with each delegation limited to 30 to 35 people, down from the estimated 2,000 aides that the leaders brought along for the Genoa summit.
"I had no problems to convince them at all that this is what was needed," Chretien said of the discussions the leaders' had over dinner Saturday night over how to reshape future meetings.
French President Jacques Chirac agreed, telling reporters, "It is necessary to return to the initial sprit of these summits," a reference to the first gathering at Rambouillet, France, in 1975.
"Everyone feels the G-8 has to continue," said Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, this year's host, who expressed disappointment that the goal of the majority of peaceful protesters was wrecked by "troublemakers."
"Unlike those who chose the extremist ways of expressing their minds, those who worked here tried to find solutions," Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said it would be "a very dangerous thing if the leaders, democratically elected leaders, felt unable to come together to discuss issues that are of vital importance to our people."