Pointless G-20 Summit Unfolds In Toronto
Published on: June 25, 2010
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  • Luke Lea

    Intelligent ignorance — yes, I like that idea. Also the journalist’s motto is to simplify and exaggerate

  • K2K

    Media coverage of the sidebar meetings at the G-20 is useful, except those are the meetings ‘off the record’. Maybe the media should send gossip or sports reporters to ferret out what really matters at the G-20 meeting?

    I’ll be looking for:
    Does Erdogan gets facetime or the promised snub with Obama?

    Which countries dine with Saudi’s King Abdullah?

    What is the body language when Obama stands next to Cameron?

    Will Gillard watch the UK-Germany World Cup game with Merkel and Medvedev?

    It is already intriguing that Brazil’s Lula is staying home to deal with the floods, a totally valid reason to also avoid having to shake hands with Erdogan.

  • Bohemond

    Seriously- bringing in China and India is understandable, as two of the biggest players. But Turkey? Saudi Arabia? Brazil? Pandering indeed. Why not just bring in Iran and Venezuela too?

  • Derek Footer

    Brilliant and right on the mark! Thanks!

  • Rachel

    Thank you! I printed this out and saved it along with the bylaws of our new project. The next time we are arranging a meeting and trying to get the star power into the room to “get something done”, this article will have given me insight that we have in fact turned our focus away from the task at hand to pander to egos (including our own). Again, thank you for valuable life-advice.

  • AJean

    Where are the seatbelts? Not required?

  • John Barker

    The gods are immortal, are they not?

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  • If this group was serious about meeting, and concerned about the environment, they wouldn’t be meeting in meatspace at all. They would videoconference through the web. Their actual travel and meeting is usually the least important aspect of what they do.

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  • Martin L. Shoemaker

    I hope you will take this as a compliment. Near the halfway point of the article, you convinced me that the G-20 Summit is a non-event; and at that point, the rest of the article became a non-event. I stopped reading there.

  • Sarbo

    You do an injustice, Sir, to some of the new coumtries in the expanded G forum. Left to themselves, the leaders of India and China would rather stay home than exchange sweet nothings with Obama. It is Obama who requires their attendance, because Obama is … well, Obama. It just so happens that this freak is the leader of an historically important country.

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  • russ

    The G-8 and G-20. What does G stand for?

    Lots of photo ops and “empty posturing.”
    These trips at tax payers expense, shows how little they know about conserving. Another dog and pony show.

  • Very thought-provoking. I wonder why you don’t recognize the importance of engaging other countries. Their desire to participate may be vain, but ignoring them may lead to disengagement, resentment, and the creation of subblocks.

  • K2K

    russ: the G stands for Group of 8 and 20 biggest economies as measured by total GDP. Most of the agenda was about the ongoing economic crisis.

    Helena makes a valid point. The purpose is as much for the sideline meets as group persuasion. In answer to my original questions, Gaillard stayed in Australia; Merkel watched Germany whip England with Cameron (Merkel was gracious enough about Lampard’s goal that she and Cameron were able to hold firm about deficit reduction, to Obama’s dismay) ; Erdogan got his facetime with Obama, but no joint press meet or photo-op and no comment of “strategic alliance” which is being perceived as a snub by the Turkish press. Obama DID have joint press appearances after his bilateral meetings with South Korea (reciprocal glowing), Indonesia ( glow not mutual), China (Hu went first and the press was pushed out while Obama was still speaking), and, Cameron of Britain where Obama said “special relationship” twice, but Cameron did not reciprocate.

    What was very intriguing was the unique special joint statement by Medvedev, Obama, and Sarkozy: G8 Summit: Joint Statement On The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict [between Armenia and Azerbaijan]. One could read between the lines that meddling from Turkey and/or Iran is NOT welcome.

    Some multi-lateral meetings DO matter because relationships still matter.

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  • joseelr

    Dropping Canada? The best economy in the G7 – projected best growth – soundest banking system in the world…. you put us in the same league as Italy??? Typtical American arrogance…..the way your economy/state of your nation – you should be dropped….

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