Saturday, June 26, 2010

The G8 and G20 Summits Start in Toronto


Graphics (Toronto: June 26, 2010) © Jerome D'Costa

The two-day G8 (Group of 8) Summit started yesterday at the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario with eight leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States, reports

The highlights of the summit are health issues of mothers, newborns and children; food security; partnership with African countries; and peace and security.

The G20 (Group of 20) leaders will have their summit in Toronto on June 26 and 27. In this summit, finance ministers and central bank governors from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa,Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and European Union are participating. This summit focuses on recovery from the global economic and financial crisis, and sustainable balanced growth.

The government of Canada took an unprecedented security measures for safe holding of the summits. More than 10,000 police personnel and 1,000 private security guards have been engaged for this purpose. The downtown core of Toronto looks like a police town.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced yesterday that Canada will contribute $2.85 billion over next five years for maternal, newborn and child health as part of Canada's foreign aid. He also announced that Canada also paid off it share of Haiti's debt to the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Immediately after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Canada had already called for cancellation of Haiti's debts to international financial institutions by other developed countries.

Opposition to These Summits

There are activist groups that oppose the G8 and G20 summits, wherever they are held, on the basis that what these leading countries promise do not deliver. They consider these countries to be exploitative and unjust in dealing with the poor, minority groups and vulnerable and suffering people.

From the beginning of this week, Toronto has been witnessing demonstrations and protest meetings of these activist groups. There also have been some confrontations of these groups with the police.

Some of these groups active during these summits here are:

What G20 Leaders Will Not See

The Toronto Star photographer Lucas Oleniuk prepared a video on some street dwellers of Toronto. He named it "What G20 Leaders Will Not See." Bookmark and Share