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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Global Perspectives on the G20: Trillions for Whom?

The cover story of the latest issue of the magazine 'Global Perspectives' looks at the commitments of the London G20 summit to overcome the economic and financial crisis.

Andrew F Cooper (Waterloo University) underlines the symbolic function of the G20 meeting sending out the message that the seriousness of the financial and economic breakdown is recognized by important leaders across the North-South divide. Nonetheless he reminds us that the group is still criticized for its imbalanced composition with too many European members and only one African participant. Furthermore the new G20 questions the leading role of the G8. The next G8 summit will take place in July hosted by Italy. During this meeting also the so called G5 (China, Brazil, India, South Africa, Mexico) will meet a whole day with G8 countries. It remains to be seen which model will be more effective to solve the global policy challenges ahead.

During the G20 meeting 1.1 trillion dollars were promised to tackle the economic and financial crisis. Sanjay Suri (IPS London) doubts that this will actually help to improve the current economic situation. According to him financial stimuli provided in the US or the UK had no effect at all on market figures or for confidence building. Sanjay Suri claims that the main problem is that governments themselves lost credibility meaning that their promises are trusted no more. The Financial Times Index showed even a slightly negative reaction after more than a trillion US dollar was promised at the summit. Keeping in mind that much lower commitments during the 2005 Geneagles summit to help developing countries where not met, there can be serious doubts about the reliability of the new promises.

Furthermore in this issue a report from the Climate negotiations which took place in Bonn to prepare for the upcoming Copenhagen summit in December 2009.

Global Perspectives is a bi-lingual (English/German) joint production by IPS Inter Press Service Europe and the Global Cooperation Council, published by Globalom Media. The monthly editions on various themes of international cooperation and development are dowloadable for free.

See also the Euforic newsfeeds on IPS Europe and on the financial crisis

by Martin Behrens

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