G-8 and G-20, 2010 Summit – Toronto, Canada

June 27, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

A warm welcome to the world leaders attending the back to back G-8 and G-20, 2010 summit in Toronto, Canada.

The G-8 summit held on Friday, June 25, 2010 appeared to focus on the common economic issues such as financial regulations, deficit reduction and economic aid to disadvantaged countries on the financial side.

International peace and security – the leaders’ discussions are expansive from Iran’s controversial nuclear program, disarmament of North Korea, war in Afghanistan, Pakistan including the tensions in the Middle East.

Also in the agenda is the African leaders outreach on economic progress.

Social issues are related to protecting women’s health viz. maternal well being and infant growth in the regions lacking in antenatal care.

It’s important to begin with the financial sector and the economy for this topic.

Congratulations! To President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and the Congress members for the bipartisan votes in the long overdue financial reform.

It’s a major milestone and a fresh beginning to avert future financial crisis responsible for the global economic meltdown with spiraling effects on the housing, credit and job market.

Other industrialized nations like Germany passed their financial regulation with a mandatory deficit reduction. The constitutional amendment by Germany to contain the deficit to 0.35 percent of GDP by 2016 provided the higher deficit not attributed to GDP decline is a trendsetter in curbing the economic recession.

Similarly, the United Kingdom, Japan and the hard hit economies with huge deficits are in the process of clamping down on the national debt through fiscal austerity and tax hikes.

The deficit reduction is the popular stance among the member nations in this summit.

Although, containing national debt is an immediate priority, the measures to achieve the desirable goal needs to be balanced, so that the vulnerable population like children, senior citizens and the people with disabilities or life threatening conditions are not deprived of basic services from the targeted spending cuts.

Maintenance of social services and programs availed by the citizens across the spectrum would prevent the inevitable outcome – For the elimination would lead to unsustainable economic costs impacting health, education, housing, consumer spending, states’ emergency units – fire and police departments.

Notwithstanding the potential increase in domestic crime rate that had been relatively low nationwide.

Likewise, raising taxes on health and environmentally harmful sources is a place to start due to the dual cause. It would protect the people and the habitat while generating revenue to pay off the accumulated debt.

In the United States, the legislation aimed at economic revival and federal aid to the states for essential programs is challenged by the opposition minority based on their national debt concern.

It’s a legitimate reason but the disapproval is directed at the nerve center of the society.

By denying unemployment benefits to the laid off workers and,

Blocking federal aid to the states is an erroneous decision. States’ employment would be affected leading to massive retrenchment resulting in tax revenue losses.

Already, some states have furlough hurting many American families. In addition, the states offer lifeline support to many contributing back to the system via taxes as wage earners and consumers.

Despite the reality, the ‘Nay’ vote defies logic.

There are ways to pay for these bills by reallocating the unutilized funds in defense spending and pet projects. Moreover, there cannot be anything significant than helping the workers survive and enable them to be gainfully employed yielding tax payments.

Ignoring citizens’ plight has much higher economic and political ramifications.

Therefore, the stimulus bills with guaranteed tax returns are the means to expedite economic recovery.

Since globalization is embraced as the twenty first century economic policy, the anomalies in the system beckon the world leaders’ attention.

There is an urgency to implement international labor and environmental laws binding on transnational corporations to safeguard the environment and the workers’ interest against exploitation, negligence including fair and equal compensation regardless of territories.

Even though, the child labor is banned in some developing nations, the practice is widespread in the desperate parts of the world often engaged by the established multinational companies from the industrialized nations.

Stringent strategies against financial investment firms’ speculative activities that led the Greece and the neighboring economies to the brink of collapse are quintessential in the sweeping financial overhaul.

Some have addressed the problem by enforcing strict rules on the ‘derivatives’ and hedge fund mismanagement in the financial reform. However, the global standard would strengthen the application.

Currency adjustments by the emerging economic power creating trade imbalance and subsequently influencing the rising deficit financed by the creditor is yet another matter to resolve in the present meeting.

Tax havens and withholding income from offshore investments by corporations are impediments to the struggling economies irrespective of stature. Again, cooperation from the G-20 partners facilitating such activities is to be sought on this occasion.

Clean energy to free mankind from fossil fuel and nuclear technology is crucial to replace the discriminatory civilian nuclear program paving way for nuclear proliferation.

Global terrorism and security – Coordinating with international intelligence agencies as opposed to militarization or deploying military personnel on espionage to collect information is a serious violation of the respective nations’ sovereignty. The clandestine military operation is bound to exacerbate the insurgency in the volatile regions forcing the local population to favor the militants reluctantly against the infiltrators.

The article titled “U.S. Military Espionage – Directive for Global Operation,” May 30, 2010 highlighting the inherent dangers of the provocative activities, was presented under the “National and Global Security,” category on this website for further understanding.

International Peace Agreements – Unanimous condemnation of Iran and North Korea nuclear capabilities and belligerent displays against neighbors is a positive step.

Similarly it should be extended to allies violating human rights through illegal invasion and occupation of land, prominently Israel and China viewed by the international community as the U.S and Europe’s ‘turn a blind eye,’ foreign policy.

Actions are effective and meaningful when they are universal and not selective in the enforcement.

Other nations like Thailand cracking down on civilian population with military might in public square deserve international isolation for successfully thwarting the democratic uprising against abuse of power.

Democracy has become a token political system undermined by excessive military involvement and constitutional monarchy as seen in Thailand.

Burma/Myanmar belongs to the league in brutality against its citizens by the military junta reportedly occupied with the nuclear activity.

Worldwide nuclear disarmament is the course to pursue for global peace.

In other humanitarian issues – whether it is women’s rights, social justice or dealing with hunger, poverty and disease, they are all related to the political power governing the nations.

United States, EU, United Nations, Arab countries and emerging economic powers have a decisive role in promoting democracy, peace, human rights, economic and social progress by remaining impartial and committed towards the noble mission.

Best Wishes to G-8 and G-20 nations attending the 2010 summit.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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