Some Say 2007 Summit Illustrates Need for Global Governance Reform
The 2007 G8 summit convened June 6-8 in Germany. The member states—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—discussed many serious global issues, particularly climate change and aid to Africa. An article on the official website for the 2007 summit described the event as successful, having resulted in agreements among the G8 leaders regarding cooperation with major emerging economies, goals for reducing greenhouse gases, aid to Africa, and liberalization of global trade.
Not everyone viewed the accomplishments of this year’s summit in such a positive light, however. Oxfam criticized the G8 as “having failed to do enough to shore up their wavering credibility or guarantee that they will keep their promises to Africa.” A June 3 article in the Financial Times anticipated problems at the summit due to the G8’s structure, predicting that “unless [the G8 leaders] in some way engage more fully with non-members…they will lose legitimacy as a grouping and, more importantly, fail to resolve challenges that top their agenda.”
The Times’ concerns reflect those presented in Global Governance Reform: Breaking the Stalemate, in which Brookings analysts Colin Bradford and Johannes Linn claim that the current structure of the G8 is obsolete. They argue that without reconstituting the G8 summit into a larger, more representative group of leaders, with a new mandate to provide strategic guidance to the system of international institutions, the world will fall further behind in addressing global challenges.