What We’re Reading 7/8/09: G8 Summit Edition

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NPR’s Morning Edition: G8 Summit Picks Up Where G20 Left Off
NPR’s morning edition covered the G8 today, reporting that at the top of the summit’s agenda will be a review of the commitments G20 leaders made three months ago in London. The piece includes an interview with ONE’s Tom Hart. Listen by going to the link and clicking “listen here.”

AFP: Aid Agencies Demand G8 Honors Promise to Africa
Agence France-Presse reports that leading aid organizations demanded Wednesday that G8 countries, and in particular summit host Italy, take urgent action to make up a 23-billion-dollar shortfall in aid promised to Africa. The story includes quotes from Olly Buston. It also quotes Bono and mentions Bob Geldof’s interview with Berlusconi.

New York Times Editorial: Oh, That G8
The New York Times editorial board writes that there are urgent problems facing the G8, including the need to revive earlier promises to help the world’s poorest nations. But despite the necessity for G8 action, “expectations are low” for the summit in L’Aquila because of “inexcusably lax” planning by Italy, and the political weakness of many leaders attending (including Steven Harper and Dmitri Medvedev). Among other actions it recommends to President Obama, the editorial urges that he push for the G8 to meet the aid commitment goal of $105 billion a year by next year.

Reuters: G8 Food Security Plan Timely – World Bank’s Zoellick
The G8 has released a plan to boost food security through increased farming investment. World Bank President Robert Zoellick commended the plan but added that the G8 should not only focus on production, but also on addressing hunger and malnutrition. Drafts of the G8 pact have said leaders will agree to mobilize billions of dollars for agricultural investment, with the United States ready to give $3-4 billion over a multi-year period. Zoellick said that the World Bank has discussed the possibility of setting up an agricultural fund to invest in developing countries with some G8 countries.

Reuters: G8 Plus G5 Agree to Conclude Doha in 2010: Draft
A draft communiqué says that tomorrow at the summit G8 leaders plus Brazil, India, China, Mexico and South Africa ( the so-called “G5”) will agree to conclude the Doha round of world trade talks successfully in 2010. The talks have been stalled since a meeting of ministers last July failed to resolve them. A G8 official says that the G8 countries have recognized they need the agreement of the “G5” countries to have any realistic chance at success.

Financial Times: Key Polluters Focus on Climate Action
Representatives of the world’s sixteen largest greenhouse gas emitters held an emergency meeting yesterday to try to salvage backing for a strong statement on climate change planned for the G8 summit. Signals that China and India would not sign up to headline emissions reductions led the US to call the closed-door meeting in Rome. The meeting was preparation for a key climate change debate tomorrow between the sixteen countries of the Major Economies Forum (MEF). The debate, called by President Obama and co-chaired with Silvio Berlusconi, will bring together the leader of the world’s biggest emitters for the first time.

And some more info on Obama’s upcoming trip to Ghana…

Politico: Barack Obama Gives Africa Tough Love
Politico covers President Obama’s recent interview with AllAfrica, reporting that he “doled out some tough love” ahead of his historic visit to Ghana later this week. The article says the President is warning African government officials that it’s time for “African leadership to take responsibility and be held accountable” for the state of their governments and countries.

-Grace Lamb-Atkinson

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