Thursday, 2 April 2009


The G20 summit in London has come to an end, without any real acrimony and with the ability to claim concrete progress in terms of a much enlarged IMF. The world isn't out of its economic funk yet, but that this summit was no repeat of the infamous London Economic Conference of 1933, which collapsed in bitter protectionist feuding which only further fueled the depression then unfolding, bodes well for future successes in this new order of international diplomacy. A further G20 meeting looks certain by the end of the year, with New York and Tokyo the current front-runners as hosts.

Two questions going forward. Will we see a sense of a community of nations spilling over into both domestic politics and other international organs? And what relevance now for G8, and its meeting in Italy in July on the island of Maddalena in the Strait of Bonifacio - a body of water twixt Sardinia and Corsica which Wikipedia informs us "is notorious among sailors for its weather, currents, shoals, and other obstacles"? As I have argued elsewhere, a tighter knit body of developed democracies such as the G8 (if we quietly ignore the presence of Russia) is more important now than ever. Its fate rests in the attention and effort its country's leaders are prepared to put into it.

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