CAN WE EXPECT ANYTHING MUCH TO COME FROM THE G-8 MEETING?

I wouldn’t hold my breath while waiting. In 1975, the G-6 was formed, to include: France; Germany; Italy; Japan; the U.S. and the U.K. The following year, Canada joined and, thus, the name changed to G-7. The intent has always been to bring the leaders, and generally Finance Ministers and Central Bankers (meeting separately), of the World’s largest economies, together to discuss common issues. It was expanded to include Russia in 1997, becoming the G-8. Currently, it includes eight of the largest eleven economies, but not Brazil, China and India.

Personally, I believe that the G-8 has become irrelevant, not only by not including three of the largest Developing economies; but, many other important ones are not members either. The broader inclusion, of the G-20, extends the reach of the G-8, to include members from more diverse economies and cultures.

But, how much can be accomplished in a two-day meeting (“convention”?), such as the one this Monday and Tuesday in Northern Ireland, when the real activities are between the various two Heads-of-State meetings, one-to-one. Just think: how could there be any significant solutions agreed to on: World trade; financial regulation; Syria; Iran; Cybersecurity–and now NSA monitoring and the riots in Turkey–in just two days. WHEW!

Generally, these meetings tend to finish with a meaningless press release, of toothless agreements and “understandings”. But, I believe that they can serve as a starting point to focus attention on the more universal concerns, and also to begin working toward two-nation solutions to common problems. Again, let’s forget the G-8, and hold the G-20 meetings for, perhaps, three days.

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  1. #1 by cheekos on June 17, 2013 - 9:34 PM

    The recent NSA Leaks have definitely raised the importance of Cybersecurity at the G-8 Meetings this week. However, the linked story from Der Spiegel, a German newspaper, points out why some countries don’t have much room to complain, “Germany Wants to listen Too”, http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/berlin-profits-from-us-spying-program-and-is-planning-its-own-a-906129-druck.html.

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