The G-20 Generates a “Same Boat Spirit” for World Leaders
Media coverage of G-20 summits too often seems to repeat variations on these themes: "Business leaders cry for 'action' at G-20 meeting," followed by "Pleas for urgent reform fall on deaf ears at G-20." The recently completed G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, was no exception in its ability to generate cynical headlines.
This year, however, an alternative way of thinking about the G-20 began to peek through these layers of almost rote skepticism. "G-20 Rapid Response: Progress Slow, But Los Cabos Keeps Innovation in Global Governance Moving Forward," was the headline of a post-Los Cabos opinion piece written by Gordon Smith of the Center for International Governance Innovation.
In a similar vein, Professor Andrew Cooper from the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo wrote, "Those who point to the G-20 as simply a talking shop—or a G0—miss the point. As showcased by the Los Cabos summit, the expectations for the G-20 have to be lowered, but not to the point that the G-20 is associated with the culture of the United Nations. The G-20 at its core serves as the focus group not only for the individual countries at the table, but also for members of different constituent groups within the G-20, and indeed for the global community."
These more optimistic themes were even echoed in China, a sometime critic of the G-20 process. "The international community can be relieved that summit leaders once again demonstrated a 'same-boat spirit' and declared that they were joining hands not only in crisis management, but also in promoting growth, jobs, trade, investment, development, environmental protection, and the reform of international economic institutions, among other things," wrote Liu Youfa, vice-president of China Institute of International Studies, in the China Daily.
This evolution in thinking about the G-20 is welcome news to the Stanley Foundation, a longtime advocate for improved global governance. Foundation program officer David Shorr was on the scene at the Los Cabos summit where he explained to National Public Radio's All Things Considered why the G-20 is both necessary and challenging. "I think we see all around us that power and authority isn't concentrated the way that it used to be. There are more stakeholders. There are more spoilers. There are more players. And that simply makes it harder to do most things," Shorr said.
Despite this greater degree of difficulty, global challenges will not wait. The world needs a venue where the shift in global power can be both accommodated and harnessed. As Shorr said to the Daily Telegraph, "If you're looking for a laboratory of how rising and established powers cooperate or not, there are few better places than the G-20."
|Reporting a Radiation Emergency
Journalists would play an indispensable role keeping the public informed in an emergency resulting in the release of radiation, either accidental or deliberate. But what do they need to do their job effectively? The following recommendations to authorities who would manage such an emergency were drafted by participants in the 2016 Rotterdam Nuclear Security Workshop for International Journalists.
The latest issue of Courier features articles on the state of securing nuclear material as the final nuclear security summit approaches in early April. It also includes a special reprint of an article from the Center for Public Intregrity, "The Stalking Threat of Nuclear Terrorism." Alex Bellamy, an expert on R2P, discusses the progress made in "Acting on the Responsibility to Protect," and three students from a global scholars conference comment about climate change. Lastly, a brief look at the foundation's Iowa Student Global Leadership conference. The full Spring 2016 issue. PDF (2.0 MB) Subscribe for FREE.
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Launching Global Climate Actions
The world recently looked to Paris for the most important global climate change negotiations for achieving a safer climate world: the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As a helpful reference we have compiled this summary of the major work of the Stanley Foundation and its collaborators in an active global role during the past year preparing for this historic event…and the important continuing work ahead. More.
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