Is G8 still relevant?

G8 has become a forum for the rich nations to lay the basis for what can keep them together economically and politically. This year it has the peculiarity of being slightly different from the previous summits. Sarkozy is attending the meeting for the first time as president of France. Tony Blair is attending for the last time as Prime Minister.

During each summit, at least in the past few years, there are the same scenarios. The largest gathering of the media from all over the world, the heavy security measures and the nice greetings of the head of delegates. As G8 seeks each year a theme or themes for discussion, anti-globalisation protesters find new ways to show their protests. The security forces in full readiness barring them access to the headquarters of the summit.

G8 is an occasion for the leaders to have face-to-face meetings. Many of their commitments to poor countries weren’t implemented like providing them with economic assistance. G8 2007 has one of its themes «the struggle against poverty across the globe will be a priority.”

“The struggle against poverty across the globe” is a laudable objective. But the effort must be taken from the donors and the recipients alike. G8 can’t alone solve the problems of poor counties. It is they who should set the basis for that. They should have good government at the local and the central level. They should deal with deep problems like corruption and embezzlements. It’s better for them to develop themselves to become good partners instead of remaining the object of talks among the rich nations whose leaders are sometimes unable to attend to them. They leave it to charity organisations or NGOs to take care of some countries that are presumably sovereign and independent.

Poor countries, especially in Africa, shouldn’t put all the blame on G8 for failing to provide them with the all the help they need. It’s them who should clean their house to make better use of the help they already receive. It’s shameful that as independent countries, they still need supervision from donor countries and organisations to know where their money go. Good governance and international cooperation is the key to eradicating poverty. G8 isn’t essentially an emergency fund for the poor.

Watch the video broadcast on BBC Haveyoursay

Listen to part of the conversation on BBC Haveyoursay broadcast on June 10th, 2007

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