G-20 Meet – The Aftermath

With the G-20 meet coming to an end, discussions have already begun in media circles about whether it can be touted as a success or not. A majority of people believe that the meet is not likely to make any tangible impact, hosted as it was by lame-duck President George Bush. The meeting was criticized from the beginning for its inadequate representation of the members of the ‘Third World’, with India and China being the only developing countries in the meet. As a result, the burden of representing the needs and grievances of poor, undeveloped countries as well as developing nations fell on the two countries. Both India and China aggressively tried to voice their concerns over how it was the developing countries which had to bear the burden of the global financial crisis in spite of the fact that they had a small role to play in the onset of the global meltdown. However, it remains to be seen whether their aggressive lobbying will actually result in some benefits in the form of rescue packages for poor countries that are reeling under the vagaries of this economic crisis.

Questions have also been raised over the authority of President Bush to hold such a conference at a point when he is almost out of office and the President-elect Obama is yet to assume power. As a result, any plans proposed by Bush might never materialize even if they receive his approval right now. Besides, Russia has also questioned the ability of the United States to lead such a discussion when the US itself is staring at one of its worst recessionary phases ever. However, at the same time, we must also take into consideration the fact that in spite of its relatively unstable economy, the US still remains the biggest superpower in the world today, and it is the US dollar currency which determines the fate of millions of investors and shareholders all over the world.

The US has also come under criticism for the extreme right-wing stance taken by President Bush during the G-20 meeting. President Bush went to great lengths to explain how capitalism was the foundation of the US economy and that the US would always stand against protectionism and barriers to free trade. Such an extreme right-wing ideology has been actively opposed by the French President Nicholas Sarkozy, a firm believer of socialism.

The G-20 meet, which has commonly been dubbed as Bretton Woods II, will be deemed successful only if it succeeds in making a tangible difference to the lives of the thousands who have been affected by the global crisis. Efforts are being made to ensure that bodies like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank also pitch in to soften the effects of the credit crunch by assisting underdeveloped nations. Whether this latest attempt to save the world from the brink of recession will help or not, only time will tell.

Namrata Singh
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