G8 membership largely reflects the 1970s' international power structure. Accordingly, the Group of Eight leading industrial nations is facing a double crisis of legitimacy and efficiency. As it does not include developing countries, the G8 is unable to set priorities for the international community, and this fact, in itself, reduces its capacity to broker solutions to pressing global problems. While the Heiligendamm summit was a step in the right direction, many questions about representation persist.
Earlier this week, Taiwan's bid for United Nations membership was unceremoniously rejected. Earlier this year, Zimbabwe was elected as chair of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. A more grotesque choice is hard to imagine: Robert Mugabe inherited a beautiful and prosperous country and systematically ground it to ruins.
Dr. Mohamed Haneef's case highlights the importance of a proper balance between civil liberties, individual human rights, and the responsibility of the state to protect inhabitants from terrorists.
It is widely recognized that the two main pillars of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's foreign policy are the United States and Afghanistan. Yet, with little warning, the prime minister announced at the G8 summit in early June that Canadian foreign policy is to have a renewed focus on the Americas.
In an echo of the famous lines from "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats, the U.N.-centered multilateral system of global governance is in danger of falling apart. In that case, the problem of international anarchy will intensify. Yet in part the system is starting to unravel because of the spread of anarchy within the sovereign jurisdiction of member states, some of whom have abused sovereignty as a license to kill with impunity.
Next Sunday, the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia is scheduled to try for a fourth time to hold a national reconciliation conference. The first three attempts were postponed.
The outcomes of the 2007 G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany illustrate both the promise and the limitations of this elite global governance club. The club's current membership reflects the international realities of the mid-1970s. Indeed, as is increasingly recognized, the G8 is facing a double crisis of legitimacy and efficiency.
Welcome news about Africa's economic recovery was announced at the recent World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual general meeting on Africa, in Cape Town.
The G8 recently discussed energy, with the stage set by the German Green agenda. In taking these tortuous paths, it is useful to form a phalanx with peer groups, which is what the Indian Prime Minister did through solidarity with the Bricsam: Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa and Mexico.