Monday, January 28, 2008

Make Global Body Broader

Timothy Garton Ash argued last week in the Guardian for expanding the G8 to a G14, adding Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and South Africa. Though somewhat arbitrary and still exclusive, he believes this new configuration would be more representative of global trends and a more credible cast of characters for tackling global dangers and aspirations. He attacks the argument that expanding the G8 too far would "dilute the lifeblood of common values," citing the inclusion of Russia. But he believes shared values, albeit minimal, should unite the grouping:
[Countries] committed to ensuring a future for humankind on this planet; a reasonable stability of the world economic system; and as much human dignity for as many human beings as the self-interested policies of states and the selfishness of voters will allow? To those minimal goals, even Putin's Russia can commit. And undemocratic China, too.
Can such meetings ever evolve beyond the annual photo op, hot air, and puffed chests? Ash is optimistic:
At the very least, the world's emerging great powers would have to think about, and take positions on, matters of wider responsibility which they might not otherwise confront. And the world's waning great powers could get used to listening to what the waxing ones have to say.


Carlos F. CabaƱero said...

In this context I think the enviromental problems and the belic conflicts around the world, linked with energetic issues, are the key themes. If the global organizations go beyond the actual global politic status and consider country's importance not linked with they gross domestic product but linked with their position in global problems G8, G9...G13 maybe can take the right way.

Evan O'Neil said...

Carlos, I couldn't agree more. Perhaps it would be more motivational if the G stood for "Generous." On the energy question, my hope is that a widely shared advance in renewable fuels could make everyone more secure, decoupling political power from energy resources and consumption. Underdevelopment is really a shared problem, holding everyone back. Take the wealth of biodiverse rain forest that is squandered when not studied for useful properties because of violent conflict or deforestation for immediate survival needs. There is a common long-term interest in preserving such territory, the global inheritance, especially if an important medicine like an AIDS vaccine could be discovered. Perhaps this level of truly transcendental global problem solving is starting to dawn on people as a useful technique for preventing misfortune in one corner from disrupting the entire web. Generosity starts with expanding one's circle of ethical concern.

Carlos F. CabaƱero said...

Hello Evan. Thanks for your response. I'm agree with your point of view. Then, what are the barriers to create a powerful G that can fight against the problems of the humankind? The power of multinational firms, oil, weapons, ..., at last, the power of three, four...twenty persons in the world. Really is very sad that we can't do anything to change this situation.

Greeting from Barcelona.