Members of the Lords, including a former first secretary for Northern Ireland, debated the government's priorities for the forthcoming G8 meeting in Northern Ireland on Thursday 13 June.
Lord Trimble (Conservative), former First Secretary of Northern Ireland, opened the debate. He outlined the government's emphasis for this year's meeting - tax, trade and transparency - and focused on global tax and transparency rules for international companies to help inhibit laundering. He also said the meeting would see the launch of a free trade area between Europe and the USA and set out the benefits of this to the UK economy.
Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Labour) was First Minister of Scotland when Gleneagles hosted the 2005 G8 meeting. He spoke of the rewards for Scotland and of the highlights, including the global events for the Make Poverty History campaign that took place in the run up. He said that the agenda set out this time, to advance trade, ensure tax compliance and promote transparency, 'is the right one for our time'.
Many members outlined the impact that changes to trade, tax and transperency could have for the lives of people in developing countries and pushed for the G8 leaders to reach agreements that would have a global reach. Baroness Jenkin of Kennington (Conservative) praised greater transparency of governmental aid with the launch of the 'Lough Erne G8 Accountability Report' and the push for fairer taxes and freer trade: 'These are essential actions in shaping the rules that characterise a fair and open global economy, ensuring that both developed and developing countries benefit.'
Contributions throughout the debate praised the natural beauty of the location and the achievement of people of Northern Ireland to be in a position to host such a high-level gathering of international leaders.