G8 final notes: The song remains the same

Earlier this week the 34th G8 Summit concluded in Hokkaido, Japan. While leaders from the industrialized world feel that progress was made at the gathering, anti-globalization activists thought it was business as usual. Here are some thoughts:

"I had no great expectations from this summit meeting, but I was willing to
be surprised. However, the statements from the G8 ministers on issues of world
economy, food security, climate change. etc, only reinforced my greatest fear
that they continue to insist on their single-minded focus on pushing through
with trade liberalization at any cost. Their commitments on those topics are
ambiguous and not real commitments. What comes out most clearly is their bias
for pushing the market, opening up economies, and their eagerness to find
investment opportunities, even in times of crisis and protecting these
investments, at every instance.

I find most disturbing the mention of their urgency of “concluding the
DOHA round” to solve the food crisis, as well as to stave off the financial
crisis of their economies, and their unequivocal admission that they are going
to “resist protectionist pressures against international trade and investments
in all its manifestations”, without an equally strong commitment to consider the
concerns of developing countries. This poses the clearest and biggest obstacle
to the right to development of developing countries."

NPR's "Tell Me More" had a great segment on its show yesterday, with guest Nigerian journalist Constance Ikokwu also speaking about why the developing world needs fair trade not aid.



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