With the G20 poised to arrive in Toronto in a few weeks, the finance ministers, heads of state, and bank governors of the world’s 19 most developed economies (plus the European Union) will deliberate at the Metro Convention Centre. In theory, they’ll discuss the most prescient issues in international governance, including climate change, child mortality, economic regulation and resource conservation. What they’ll accomplish has been the at the centre of much public scrutiny in recent months, with critics going as far as to say the entire event smells of a state-sponsored dinner party. What can possibly get done in a fifteen hour meeting, anyway? The estimated $1 billion security tab doesn’t exactly help matters, either.
The coverage of the debates in mainstream media has been extensive, though not exhaustive. Lost in the discussion about logistics, security costs, and effectiveness is the intended purpose of such meetings.
In a modest attempt to fill said void, I offer a resolutely objective (SIKE! …objectivity is a myth) discussion of the other side of the proverbial coin.
Pro-summit activists counter that, though the model might be imperfect, it offers sophisticated economies a chance to deliberate on important issues. Dialogue can only be constructive. The world’s most successful economies cooperating in the interest of stability is a fairly admirable goal. Say what you would like to about what they ultimately accomplish, but if you were to design a miracle solution to all the world’s ills, chances are it would start with world powers talking to each other.