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G8 and G20 Summits in Canada

June 27th, 2010

G8The Group of Eight (G8) and Group of Twenty (G20) summits were held in Ontario, Canada this weekend – June 25th through 27th. The G8 leaders met from Jun 25 through the 26th in Huntsville, Ontario. The G20 summit follows in Toronto, Jun 26-27.The gathering in Canada was to provide an opportunity to world leaders to show their resolve in keeping their promises on global poverty, climate change and deal with financial crisis.

The G8 summit brought together heads of state and other leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and the European Community in a multilateral forum to discuss major challenges facing the world including the economy, trade, climate change and food security. The credibility of the G8 on the issue of combating poverty rests on its accountability for past promises. In 2010 key G8 commitments made at Gleneagles (2005) come due – these are the necessary actions to put the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) back on track. With only five years from the 2015 MDG target date, the summit marks a critical moment for G8 governments to take stock of improvement and make necessary changes in reaching the final targets.

canadian_flagThe G20 summit is the gathering of world leader from the major industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy. The Group of twenty (G20) is composed of a group of rich nations, namely Germany, the United States, Britain, Japan, Canada and Italy; members from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and South Africa and representatives from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union. The two African nations of Malawi and Ethiopia, along with Vietnam, the Netherlands and Spain were also invited to attend the G20 Summit in Canada.

The Missionary Oblates JPIC office, in solidarity with other faith based organizations, has urged leaders at both summits to meet the Millennium Development Goals and fulfill commitments to fight global poverty and climate change. Three important priorities that must be brought to the attention of world leaders are poverty, the global economic and financial system, and partnership to address climate change. Below are two important mobilizing initiatives in Canada to hold world leaders accountable.

In the lead-up to the 2010 G8 and G20 meetings, an Interfaith Leader’s Summit was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba to challenge G8 leaders to live up to their commitments to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens by supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. After their meeting, the faith leaders issued a statement addressed to the G8/G20 leaders entitled “A Time for Inspired Leadership and Action.”

A Canadian-led, but globally supported, civil society campaign called At the Table is mobilizing the grassroots to “take their place” alongside world leaders in important global summits. It is a call to leaders to “take their place” in forging bold decisions on the issues people care about: poverty, climate change, and economic justice.

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