As the G20 gets into full swing, there appears to be no shortage of pessmists professing that the entire talkfest risks being a momentous failure unless significant measures can be reached and agreed upon to address the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
Given that previous G20 meetings have focused on efforts to end global poverty, the prognosis, by their own scorecard is not good.
The French, are already talking about pulling out. Which isn’t really too much of a surprise really when you think about it. If history is anything to go by – the French are too busy quaffing bordeaux, puffing on Gitanes while scraping the croissant crumbs off the bedsheets as they prepare for the next shag – in order to be concerned about worldy affairs.
And who can blame them?
“Je ne moi” or ‘not me’ (as they say in France).
However, in a report published in The Australian, the head honcho of the United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has warned that failing to act to halt the global economic crisis could lead to widespread social unrest and failed states.
“What began as a financial crisis has become a global economic crisis,”
“I fear worse to come — a full-blown political crisis defined by growing social unrest, weakened governments and angry publics who have lost all faith in their leaders and their own future.”
He said the global economic downturn affected the poorest countries the most, and noted that in these countries “things fall apart alarmingly fast”.
“Unless we build a worldwide recovery we face a looming catastrophe in human development,” Mr Ban wrote.
World leaders meet in London today to decide how to tackle the global financial crisis, but are divided on whether to boost the world economy with an injection of capital, or to focus on new rules to prevent another such crisis.
Mr Ban called for a “truly global stimulus” package, and argued that developing countries need $US1 trillion over 2009 and 2010.
“There is a thin line between failing banks and failing countries, and we cross it at our peril.”
That’s all very well for him to say. There is no shortage of people making grandiose statements about the perilous state of affairs that currently surrounds us. But are things really that dire?
What do you think?
Is that a chocolate croissant sur le table…?