G8 Summit

Payeng

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World leaders have enjoyed a five-course meal on the eve of a G8 summit on tackling world food shortages, a menu released by a summit source showed.

The leaders will be joined by representatives of African countries for Friday's session at the G8 summit focusing on food, security and development issues.

The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said earlier this week, "A hunger emergency looms and the world must act."

However on Thursday night -- the night before the talks -- at a dinner hosted by the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, the leaders dined on a warm tomato salad with cheese followed by hand-made macaroni with ragu sauce, roast lamb with beans and summer truffles with eggplant, green beans and roast potatoes, cheese and a sweet pizza dessert made with almonds.

Meanwhile, on a separate menu prepared by two-star Michelin Chef Nico Romito, the leaders' partners were able to choose between four starters before lamb with warm potato salad for the main course and hot and cold chocolate with fennel for dessert.

Non-governmental organizations have been bitterly denouncing the current three-day G8 summit for the inadequate emphasis on African development.

Oxfam, an NGO lobbying at G8, said that poverty and inequality are getting worse in the developing countries as a result of the global economic crisis. Poor families are eating less, being evicted from their homes, and having to pull children out of school.

All of this is exacerbated by the effects of high food prices, the failure of rich countries to deliver on their aid promises, and the growing harmful impact of climate change, Oxfam said.
G8 leaders have 5-course meal before hunger talks
 

EnlightenedMonk

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Thanks for highlighting this...

This is the lowest form of gutter press reporting I've seen in quite a long time...

The newspapers possibly have nothing else to print and so they resort to this ghastly kind of journalism... Given that this comes from Iran I'm not very surprised...

I guess he's basically trying to imply that since a lot of the world's population is going hungry, the leaders should also starve to express solidarity with them...

With this I'd like to give a few tips to world leaders on their to-do list before expressing sympathy with somebody else -

a) Before expressing sympathy with the hungry, you are to go hungry yourself
b) Before expressing sympathy with the rape victims, you are supposed to get molested
c) Before expressing sympathy with murder victims, you are supposed to get shot and killed
d) Before expressing sympathy with bomb blast victims, you are to have a diwali firecracker explode under your arse
e) Before expressing sympathy with arson victims, you are supposed to burn down your own house
f) Before expressing sympathy with the diseased, you are supposed to get afflicted with severe Rabies :D:D:D:D:D

Where does this stop???
 

Payeng

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Aah yes, a lots of masala have been added to the article may be its a way to attract the attention of the progressive economies negligence towards the underdeveloped nations and their exploitative policies.
 

EnlightenedMonk

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I agree that the developed countries and the middle east nations have not done their fair share, but that doesn't mean you expect their leaders to go hungry in your support !!!

We need them to be in a clear and unbiased mind when they deliberate on such issues, which means they need a very nutritious meal in order to think straight :D:D:D:D
 

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G8: Obama walks past Berlusconi, takes a swipe by praise

Barack Obama showered praises on the Italian president for his “integrity” but the US president has been accused of taking a subtle swipe at PM Silvio Berlusconi who made headlines recently because of his “harem”.
Obama lavished praise on President Giorgio Napolitano, saying this eminent figure had “the admiration of the Italian people”, not only for his public service, but his “integrity and graciousness”.

In contrast, Berlusconi has been battling a series of scandals in the weeks leading up to the G-8, since his wife accused him of “consorting with minors”. As Obama and Berlusconi arrived for a G8 group photo, the Italian premier offered his hand to the American leader, only for the president to carry on walking and seemingly ignore it.

The White House on Wednesday denied that Obama intended any kind of snub to his host. Robert Gibbs, press secretary, said: “I wouldn’t read anything into it at all. Sometimes we just mean what we say and there’s no secret code.”

But some observers divined a backhanded criticism of Berlusconi, The Daily Telegraph reported. James Walston, a political science professor at the American University of Rome, said: “There is definitely something there. The comments on integrity are a very mild swipe at all the things that are going on.”
G8: Obama walks past Berlusconi, takes a swipe by praise - Europe - World - The Times of India
 

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G8 climate talks divide rich and poor countries

L'AQUILA (Italy): The chasm between rich and poor on how to address climate change burst into the open at the G8 summit on Thursday, showing how difficult it will be to persuade the world to make lifestyle and economic sacrifices needed to save the planet from global warming. President Barack Obama urged emerging economies to do more to curb global warming, while the UN chief demanded developed countries set an example and take more concrete steps to reduce pollution.

Especially reluctant to commit to change were two budding powers that are just now getting comfortable economically: India and China.

Obama said industrialized countries, the United States included, had a ``historic responsibility'' to take the lead in emissions reduction efforts because they have a larger carbon footprint than developing nations.

``And I know that in the past, the United States has sometimes fallen short of meeting our responsibilities. So, let me be clear: Those days are over,'' he said.

But he said developing nations have to do their part, as well. ``With most of the growth in projected emissions coming from these countries, their active participation is a prerequisite for a solution,'' Obama said.

Two days of negotiations between the world's major industrial polluters and developing nations failed to make any major breakthrough on firm commitments to reduce carbon emissions. While both sides said for the first time that global average temperatures shouldn't rise over 2 degrees Celsius, they didn't set any joint targets to reach that goal.

And significantly, the Group of Eight industrialized nations made no firm commitment to help developing countries financially cope with the effects of rising seas, increased droughts and floods, or provide the technology to make their carbon-heavy economies more climate friendly.

The results indicate how difficult it will be to craft a new climate change treaty by December, when nations from around the world will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, to negotiate a successor to the 1987 Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012.

``That leaves us with quite a lot of work to do,'' said the chief U.N. climate change negotiator, Yvo de Boer.

The comments came at the conclusion of a meeting of the 17-nation Major Economies Forum, which includes the G8 - Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan and the United States - and other emerging countries: China, which has overtaken the U.S. as the world's biggest polluter, and India, which is close behind. Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, Australia, South Korea and the European Union also are in that club of the world's major polluters.

The G8 did set a long-term commitment to reduce their carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. But they made no shorter-term target, despite warnings from a U.N. panel that they must cut emissions between 25 percent and 40 percent by 2020 to keep average global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels 150 years ago.

Most scientists agree that even a slight increase in average temperatures would wreak havoc on farmers around the globe, as seasons shift, crops fail and storms and droughts ravage fields.

Countries like China and India - the next generation of big polluters - want the industrial countries to commit to reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent over the next decade before they commit to any reductions of their own. Without that commitment from the G8, they refused to make any targets of their own.

``The ground for a breakthrough can only be prepared if the G8 leaders reach consensus on the midterm binding goals of cutting greenhouse emission and stop asking the developing nations to act first as an excuse for their not committing to the binding goals,'' China's official Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary earlier this week.

The failures earned the G8 a sharp rebuke from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

``The policies that they have stated so far are not enough, not sufficient enough,'' Ban said Thursday. ``This is the science. We must work according to the science. This is politically and morally imperative and a historic responsibility for the leaders for the future of humanity, even for the future of planet Earth.''

Obama did announce Thursday that the Group of 20 major economies would take up the climate financing issue at their meeting in September in Pittsburgh - a move environmentalists said could help break the logjam while sending developing countries a signal that the G8 is serious about financing.

``To get the finance ministers focused on this topic is a useful way of pushing forward one of the key agenda items,'' de Boer said.

He stressed that it was perfectly understandable for developing countries to refuse to commit to reduction targets when they have no idea how they're going to pay for them or what industrialized countries are going to commit to in the short term.

That failure of the G8 ``made it very much a black box for the developing countries ... because if you don't know what the industrial countries are going to commit to by 2020 and you don't know what financing is going to be on the table for developing countries, it becomes very much a leap of faith.''

Annie Petsonk, lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund, said that the outcome of the talks were natural given that there are five months to go before the Copenhagen treaty summit.

``It's no surprise if developing nations aren't rushing in to sign up for new goals and targets right away,'' she said. ``This is a negotiation after all. But the starting gun has sounded and everyone knows they need to go home and start thinking seriously about what they can bring to the table.''
G8 climate talks divide rich and poor countries - Europe - World - The Times of India
 

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G8 is dead, long live G14

G8 is dead, long live G14

Diwakar, TNN 11 July 2009, 03:06am IST

L'AQUILA (Italy): The G8 summit wound up here on Friday with a wry acknowledgement of its growing irrelevance as the world's premier power bloc. Phoenix-like, the G14 is rising from its ashes, a much more inclusive body, with developed and developing countries on an equal footing.

The intimation of G8's impending demise came from the host of the summit, Italian President Silvio Berlusconi. ``We saw that G8 is no longer a suitable format to show a global economic way of doing. Instead, a consolidated G14 representing 80% of the world economy could help create a real dialogue. We want to see if the G14 is the best solution for debates which will bring to us unique results.''

Berlusconi was merely echoing the creeping realisation among the G8 countries that the steady decline of the developed nations, coupled with the rapid rise of developing countries like India and China, had rendered the rich club irrelevant.

The deliberations of the G8 and G5 saw even French President Nicholas Sarkozy making a strong case for the G14 to deal with issues of global governance after President Lula of Brazil spoke about the idea of a new group.

According to foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, ``The theme ran through the meeting in the morning'' on Thursday and ``there was considerable discussion on this and the need to structure it also at lunch''.

Menon said that the end result of the discussion was that a forum was needed to discuss political issues and to play the role that the G20 had come to play on economic issues.

Menon emphasized that there was no conclusion, but many seemed to feel it was a matter of time before the G8 was replaced by a G14 comprising India, the US, China, Russia, Japan, France, Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Canada, the UK, Italy and one more country, possibly Egypt.

Italian newspapers headlined their report on Berlusconi's remarks thus: `The G8 is over, now we need a G14'.

It's been a while since rapid changes in the global balance of economic power have turned the G8--which started as a fireside chat among seven industrialised countries (Russia came in after the end of the Cold War)--into an anachronism.

Recognising that their diminution in the global power stakes made their swagger on the global stage seem unreal, the rich countries were forced to reach out to India, China and other developing countries five years ago.

The grudging effort termed ``outreach'' to make the group more representative was half-hearted, with the invitees being denied voting rights--their contributions were limited to endorsing the professed pious intentions of the developed world towards the rest of the world and to turning up for the photo-ops. In fact, the G8 declarations were published even before the outreach countries had a chance to meet.

It was two years ago at the G8 Summit at Heiligendamm in Germany that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the developed countries that India wished to participate in the get-togethers of the rich as a partner rather than a petitioner.

Singh's protest against the condescending ways of the outreach process of the G8 countries was echoed by China and Brazil. The resistance of the rich was further weakened by the economic crisis, which originated in the US, not in south-east Asia. And so it was on Thursday that the G8 and G5 countries jointly prepared the declaration `Promoting the Global Agenda' signed by leaders of 14 countries which marked the first time that the rich and developing countries had jointly issued a declaration at a G8 summit.

The decaration also signals an attempt to institutionalise the consultations of what is being called the Heiligendamm-L'Aquila process. The declaration issued on Thursday said, ``In 2007 in Heiligendamm, our 13 countries took the initiative to bring an equal and enduring partnership on key issues on the global agenda. We have carried forward our overall dialogue in an open, transparent and constructive manner and have built common understanding and trust. This dialogue adds value in the search for shared solutions and complements formal negotiations in multilateral institutions. We will cooperate in a stable and structured manner with a view to reaching a common understanding on key issues to advance the global agenda.''

It also reflected the changed equations, laying stress on equal partnership while expressing the decision to continue that partnership. ``We have decided to continue our partnership over the two years on an equal footing.''

The declaration also made, as foreign secretary Menon put it, the ``most unequivocal ever'' endorsement of the demand by India and other developing countries to reform international organisations, including the UN, to reflect contemporary reality and challenges, thus ``enhancing their relevance, legitimacy and efficiency''.

The desire to provide an institutional framework for the G8-G5 framework also came out clearly through the statement--``We have decided to continue our partnership over the next two years on an equal footing''.
 

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G-8’s Dominance Faces Challenge From China, India

G-8’s Dominance Faces Challenge From China, India

By James G. Neuger


July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Leaders of developing countries confronted advanced nations with a demand for a greater role in the management of the global economy, signaling the drift in power away from the financially distressed West.

Five countries with almost half the world’s population -- China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa -- challenged the hegemony of the U.S. dollar, balked at the industrial world’s strategy for fighting climate change and sought more clout in global markets and institutions.

The encounter in L’Aquila, Italy at the annual Group of Eight summit dramatized the ascendance of emerging nations, led by China, as the worst economic calamity since World War II batters the U.S. and its European allies.

“We have to update and refresh and renew the international institutions that were set up in a different time and place,” President Barack Obama said after the meeting of world leaders ended today. “For us to think we can somehow deal with some of these global challenges in the absence of major powers like China, India and Brazil seems to me wrongheaded.”

Leaders of the G-5, which represents 3 billion people with gross domestic product of $7 trillion, appeared as a united front for a fifth time at the summit of the G-8, the advanced world’s forum founded in 1975.

“What relevance does the G-8 have to set the agenda on anything for the world anymore?” Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s London-based chief economist Jim O’Neill said in a Bloomberg Television interview today.

Climate Clash

The eight -- the U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada, along with Russia, a member since 1998 -- unite 880 million people with combined GDP of $32 trillion.

The three-day summit ended with a pledge to spend $20 billion over three years to increase food production in the developing world, with the goal of cutting the number of malnourished people from about 1 billion.

The G-5 took aim at the advanced economies’ call for a 50 percent cut in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050, saying the policy would suppress the economic growth needed to lift millions out of poverty. No target can be set until world climate talks wrap up in December, they said, insisting on money and technology to help clean up the atmosphere.

Economic Morass

The contrast was highlighted July 7 when the International Monetary Fund said developing countries are leading the way out of the economic morass spawned by the industrial world.

Emerging economies will expand 4.7 percent next year, the IMF said, up from an April prediction of 4 percent. The Washington-based lender forecast growth of 0.6 percent in the advanced economies, up from expectations of stagnation.

China is “better situated to deal with this crisis,” billionaire investor George Soros said in a Bloomberg Radio interview July 7. “The Chinese in my opinion are going to gain in power and influence in a way that people currently don’t recognize.”

In a statement in L’Aquila, the G-5 warned the industrial world against backsliding on aid commitments and sought “a new global governance,” including better representation in the IMF and United Nations.

After parallel summits July 8 in a region rebuilding from an earthquake in April, the G-8 and G-5 met yesterday to work out a statement to at least paper over the diverging worldviews.

Dollar Dispute

Central to their dispute is the status of the dollar, its role as the world’s dominant reserve currency under threat from the $2.3 trillion in debt run up by the U.S. since the start of 2008 to stem the financial crisis.

The G-5 -- mainly China -- held around $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury debt in April, giving them leverage over decisions made in Washington.

Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, who filled in for President Hu Jintao, endorsed the idea of a “diversified and rational international reserve currency regime,” according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu.

The call got little traction inside the meeting, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying it was “of no practical relevance.” Brazilian and Russian officials said it may come up again at the wider G-20 forum in Pittsburgh in September.

“There has been concern on the dollar, but there hasn’t been a coherent strategy put forth,” said Brian Kim, a currency strategist at UBS AG in Stamford, Connecticut. “We don’t think that’s going to be an issue weighing on the dollar for the balance of this year. It’s a much longer term issue.”

For Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the monetary future is now. At his closing press conference, Medvedev held up a golden coin bearing the words “united future world currency,” which he said was minted in Belgium and handed to G-8 attendees.

“Even the mints” are thinking about a post-dollar world, Medvedev said. The test coin “means they’re getting ready.”
 

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