[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/07/art.g8.jpg caption="G8 leaders in Toyako, Japan, Monday."]
The world’s top leaders are in Toyako, Japan today for the second day of the G8 summit. This year’s agenda includes major issues such as climate change, soaring oil prices, and rising food costs. The forum was established as a way for the world’s economic powers to discuss pressing matters and how they can find a solution to these problems, but is the G8 really a fair representation of the world’s major players?
The group consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—all countries that held significant international influence when they all first met in 1976. However, in 2008, the game is changing and developing countries like Brazil, China, and India are surpassing these “leading industrial nations” in economic strength, population, and influence. Some say it’s only fair that these countries be invited into the discussion.
President Nicolas Sarkozy of France agrees with this and is proposing the dissolution of the G8 to create a G13, and is backed by other members. Others, like Japan, oppose the idea fearing that they will lose their influence in the decision making if other Asian countries are invited in.
It’s all reminiscent of children playing in the sandbox, and not letting the other kids play because they’ll have less sand to play with.
Maybe a change is due in how these summits are conducted. Can the world’s leading countries solve global problems if they’re not all present? This article says it well.
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