G7, G8, G20, Gee Whiz: Does any of it matter?
A “new world order” has arrived, says the Toronto Star: the G20, or Group of 20 countries, rather than G8 (and before that G7) has been announced, and from now on, these little G-something summits will now include China, Brazil, India, Australia and Mexico, among others. That’s Great. The whole process of global policy at the G-8 meetings always seemed a bit, oh, ineffectual given than China, India, Brazil and many others were not at the table; especially since most global policy on anything — from climate change to trade to nuclear arms reduction — can’t work without them.
But “New World Order”? Really? That’s a nice editorial headline, but there’s not much substance to it; the term implies transformative change, but is that really what happened here? Just as Voltaire said, the Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire — and the G-20 is neither New (the Group of Something has been around for a long time), nor the World (it’s only 20 countries) nor an Order (it doesn’t even have a Security Council!).
The Group of 20 will no doubt make greater gains on a host of issues, but I’ll prefer the wait-and-see approach on how much they accomplish, and how new, worldly and orderly it all seems along the way.