Indecision rules G8

Doug Hite

Leaders of the eight most powerful countries in the world – representing 65 percent of the world’s economy – gathered for the annual G8 Summit in Germany earlier this month. This was the 33rd annual meeting for the group of eight, whose topics often include global poverty, security and environmental issues.

The eight national leaders – Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, the United States, Canada and Russia – were given an agenda for the three-day gathering that focused primarily on improving economic growth in African countries, “reduction of global imbalances” and movements toward peace and security.

In the spirit of the last 32 G8 meetings, none of these goals were achieved.

It should be noted that the meeting wasn’t a total waste. G8 nations promised $60 billion in aid to combat epidemic diseases in Africa. Of course, they didn’t really set a timeline for when the $60 billion must be paid, and the agreement didn’t stipulate how much each country must pay. Additionally, the majority of the money promised is actually from previous agreements, such as a $30-billion aid package the United States pledged last year.

President George Bush could not attend the aforementioned part of the conference due to an acute case of bubble-gut (possibly caused by indulging in too much German kartoffelknoedel and wienerschnitzel).

In Bush’s absence, who should come to the rescue but U2’s lead singer, Bono, who attended the G8 to represent his new organization, “The ONE Campaign,” which boasts $30 million being spent to sway political figures’ opinions concerning poverty, especially in the poorest African countries. Following the G8’s lead, Bono also got absolutely nothing done.

Before Bush’s own gassy situation complicated matters, he made less potent suggestions concerning the reduction of greenhouse gases and air pollutants on a global level. Following the American president’s lead, the other seven nations agreed on a new proposal to “seriously consider” decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050. After all, it’s a lot easier to promise to consider a prospect 43 years in the future than to actually follow the Kyoto Protocol or create tangible guidelines for protecting the environment.

During this hectic week of empty promises, Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin did find time to get concrete changes made. In a surprising show of solidarity, Putin offered the use of a Russian radar site in Azerbaijan to aid in Bush’s Reagan-esque missile defense program in Europe. The purpose of the program is to implement technology for intercepting missiles launched by “rogue states” in the region.

So that’s good. African children are still hungry, Darfur is still experiencing genocide, AIDS has reached epidemic proportions, the earth may spontaneously combust at any time, Bono’s still a douchebag and the eight people who can do something about it have decided to focus the majority of their attention on the various ways they can blow stuff up.

But don’t give up on these guys yet. There’s always next year’s conference in Toyako, Hokkaido, Japan.

Watch out, Toyako: Be prepared to become the new home of indecision.

Doug Hite is a junior English major and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].