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."
The Stanley Foundation is looking for a dedicated, dynamic individual who has a passion for working in the field of event management and prefers a small-business atmosphere with opportunities for international travel. Read the full position announcement.
|55th Strategy for Peace Conference
The conference, brought together experts from the public and private sectors to meet in a distraction-free setting and candidly exchange ideas on pressing foreign policy challenges.
Divided into roundtable talks, the cutting-edge discussions are intended to inspire group consensus and shared recommendations to push forward the debate on the foundation’s key policy areas.
The newest issue of Courier features an interview with award-winning author Anchee Min on China, peace, and human dignity. The issue also examines the need for more ambitious climate diplomacy in order to protect areas like the Marshall Islands and explores the critical need for preventing political violence that can lead to mass atrocities and genocide.
|Nuclear Security Video
The Stanley Foundation produced a 13-minute video looking at what needs to be done to stop terrorist groups from acquiring enough fissile material to make a bomb. The foundation talked with over a dozen diverse and distinguished experts from the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group and the Fissile Materials Working Group to see how today's patchwork of voluntary arrangements can be forged into a long-lasting system. Watch the video.
Our bimonthly newsletter looks at a Latin America network to stop mass atrocities as well as a seminar for journalists aimed at demystifying nuclear lingo. We also have a slideshow of our annual Investigation U. summer camp for students.
In the latest, you’ll find many extras—from upcoming events to multimedia resources. Sign up now
This Now Showing event-in-a-box toolkit Before the Killing Begins: The Politics of Mass Violence considers how early preventive strategies by governments and the international community should build much-needed capacities within countries, and make it harder for leaders to resort to violence. It aims to encourage discussion of how future efforts might better protect populations under threat, giving new resolve to the promise of never again. Sign Up.
The Stanley Foundation publishes policy briefs, analytical articles, and reports on a number of international issues.
|Watch and Learn
Stanley Foundation events, talks, video reports, and segments from our Now Showing event-in-a-box series can now be viewed on YouTube. To receive regular updates on our video posts, please subscribe today.