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How far will G8 manage to go?

06-28-2010 15:36 BJT

by Xinhua writer Huang Xiaonan

HUNTSVILLE, Canada, June 26 (Xinhua) -- The Group of Eight (G8) concluded its 2010 annual summit here on Saturday. Though the summit reasserted its essential role in international affairs, experts regarded it as a transition that will confine the G8 to a limited agenda.

U.S. President Barack Obama leaves after taking part in a 2010 G8 Summit photo with the "My Summit 2010 Youth" at the Deerhurst Resort at Muskoka, in Huntsville, Ontario, June 25, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
U.S. President Barack Obama leaves after taking part in a 2010 G8 Summit photo with 
the "My Summit 2010 Youth" at the Deerhurst Resort at Muskoka, in Huntsville, Ontario, 
June 25, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

"With the conclusion of the summit, we see the division of agenda," as development, climate change, security issues are going toward G8 and G20 is focusing more on economic issues," said Erin Fitzgerald, chair of G8 Research Group, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

As its significance is declining, many experts saw that the G8 is no longer the top body on economic issues after going through the global financial crisis.

"I think that the G8 and the G20 have different areas of focus. The G20 deals mainly with finance and economic issues, while the G8 deals with development, security, climate change, energy, and so forth," Fitzgerald said.

Noting that G8's agenda is "much more expansive" than that of G20, she said "even the G20 crisis committee deals primarily with economic issues."

While it is difficult to say where the true "locus of power" is, it is safe to say that for now, the two groups maintain distinct agendas and different areas of expertise, agreed many experts.

David Steven, a fellow at New York University's Center on International Cooperation, said the G8 was dealing with pretty much a "diffused agenda," basically the stuff the G20 isn't going to deal with.

Instead, the latter would deal with all the "important issues" in the financial and sovereign debt crisis, he said.

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