What do Canada and South Korea have in common?

At the conclusion of the Pittsburgh G20 Summit, Canada’s Prime Minister Harper and South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak announced that they would both host G20 summits. Here at ONE, we were curious to see how this announcement would play out, since South Korea had already been tapped for the next G-20 and Canada was in line for the next G8.

On Monday, Prime Minister Harper announced that Toronto, Canada, will host the G-20 Summit on June 26 and 27, 2010. He was joined by President Myung-ba, who announced that Seoul, South Korea, will host a second G20 in November 2010.

Since 2005, the G8 has long been a place where world’s wealthiest countries make commitments to partner with developing countries to fight poverty and eradicate preventable disease. In Gleneagles, Scotland, seven of the current G8 countries made a series of commitments designed to bring the world closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. You can read more about that meeting here.

The transition from the G8 to the G20 could be beneficial, especially since the recent global economic downturn taught the international community a painful lesson about the inter-connectedness of financial sectors. However, the world leaders participating in these summits need to provide more clarity about how development issues will be addressed.

During Monday’s announcement, Prime Minister Harper briefly referenced these concerns about developing countries, saying, “We have demonstrated leadership by providing new resources and guarantees to strengthen international financial institutions, namely innovative new capital arrangements to help ensure the Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank have resources they can count on throughout the crisis. We intend to continue playing a role in defining the path forward in 2010.”

This acknowledgement is a good step in the right direction. ONE, along with organizations and individuals around the world, will be working proactively to make sure that these twenty nations follow through on plans to strengthen the financial institutions that can help finance poverty-fighting initiatives – institutions like the African Development Bank.


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