The Unaccountable G-8

In hosting the 2010 G-8 summit of major economies, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called for an “accountability summit,” to hold the G-8 responsible for the promises that it made over the years. But the G-8 has neither fulfilled its promises, nor taken responsibility for its failure to do so.

NEW YORK – In hosting the 2010 G-8 summit of major economies (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called for an “accountability summit,” to hold the G-8 responsible for the promises that it made over the years. So let’s make our own account of how the G-8 did. The answer, alas, is a failing grade. The G-8 this year illustrates the difference between photo-ops and serious global governance.

Of all of the G-8’s promises over the years, the most important was made to the world’s poorest people at the 2005 G-8 Gleneagles Summit in Scotland. The G-8 promised that, by this year, it would increase annual development assistance to the world’s poor by $50 billion relative to 2004. Half of the increase, or $25 billion per year, would go to Africa.

The G-8 fell far short of this goal, especially with respect to Africa. Total aid went up by around $40 billion rather than $50 billion, and aid to Africa rose by $10-$15 billion per year rather than $25 billion. The properly measured shortfall is even greater, because the promises that were made in 2005 should be adjusted for inflation. Re-stating those commitments in real terms, total aid should have risen by around $60 billion, and aid to Africa should have risen by around $30 billion.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/j3Y1FHc;