G8 – Progress for who?

14 Jul

As Robert Weissman relates in his Counterpunch (also published by Huffington Post) article, ‘Making the World Safe for Corporate Power Humanitarian Failure at the G8’, ‘G8 failures seem to fall into two categories: first, promise to do too little, and then renege on commitments made; second, promote harmful policies and projects.’

In the first group, he opined that it includes areas such as global public health (where the rich countries have yet put any monetary commttments) and climate change (a non-binding statement). In the second group, the leaders have decided on urging the ‘opening and deregulating financial markets, even as it is clear that financial deregulation has helped create the current global financial crisis’.

As an ABC reports mulls with its glaring headline, ‘No concrete action from ‘stepping stone’ G8 summit’, it goes on, ‘There were no firm commitments from the G8 leaders for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and no firm commitments either from the developing nations that made up some of the extra eight countries attending the last day of the summit… There was no concrete action to bring down the price of oil beyond a British proposal for a second meeting of producers and consumers, following the meeting in Saudi Arabia last month..’

More critical is J Michael Cole in his Taipei Times commentary, ‘The G8’s great disconnect puts the future of humanity at stake’ where he lambasted the leaders for dining ‘on caviar and pretend to seek solutions to world issues, (while) the rest of the world reels from the pain of soaring prices and global warming’.

He quotes from former World Bank economist, William Easterly, who argues that, ‘the “Planners,” his term for the big Western agencies (UN, IMF, World Bank, G8 and so on) have no accountability and are so remote from the work done on the ground that their Big Projects have failed and will continue to fail. It is not sufficient to attend a summit and claim that donor countries ought to double or treble the aid they give to Africa.’

In light of the failures or shortcomings of G8, world-wide protests have occurred because demonstrators are angry with not just the money wasted on the summit, but also that it apperars to be a facade for world leaders to be ‘doing charitable or good deeds’. Not  unsurprisingly, one might be hard-pressed to ask the hard question, what is the main purpose of G8? Progress for who?


One Response to “G8 – Progress for who?”

  1. Dassin July 15, 2008 at 4:06 am #



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