COMMENTARY -JUNE 23, 2002
THE G8 WIZARDS of OZ
The very powerful president’s and prime ministers of the most industrialized countries of the world that include the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, Great Britain and Russia, are meeting this week in the mountains of the Canadian Rockies.Frightened off by the protestors in Genoa who demanded a global tax to reduce the indebtedness of poor countries, these former warriors will be secluded from humanity as they consider “the state of the world.”
Canada, which chairs the G8 this year, decided the 5000 feet above sea level location. For the first time ever, they will be sequestered away from the public and the press.All press briefings and interviews will be teleconferenced—sort of like the Wizard of Oz bellowing out from the secret place.
The G8 works in concert along with other very powerful international organizations such as the Bank for International Settlements and the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.Although the Group of Eight has been looked upon as being a global “Board of Directors”, they function more like a global head of state that has eight heads.In trying to figure out the power structure of all these players, I asked Jacques Delores, former president of the European Union in 1996 if the Group of Seven-G7 (now Group of Eight) took orders from the United Nations or if the United Nations took orders from the G7.He replied that neither took orders from one another, they just worked together.
The purpose, structure and power of the Group of Eight has been evolving since the first meeting in 1975 when President Nixon asked four other countries to help manage the world economy in a post-gold standard world where currencies began to float against one another instead of being fixed to a gold standard.In 1998, Russia joined as a political partner only.Over the twenty-seven years since its initial meeting at the White House, the G8 has taken on the burdens of the people of the world who are now referred to as “our people.”Furthermore, Tony Blair made a statement in 1998 that in effect said that since every country has the same kind of domestic problems, they should also work together on domestic issues as well.
The structure of the G8 has changed as they have added a “global cabinet” comprised of the various cabinet secretaries who now meet with their G8 counterparts.Initially only the G7 economic ministers met, but labor, transportation, education, health and human services, justice, energy, environment and defense have been added over time.Whenever the various ministers meet, whether it is the G8 Labor, G8 Energy, G7 Finance (no Russia) or G8 Defense, etc., they now issue their own Statement on the outcomes of their deliberations which are then implemented, thus helping to further solidify the “interconnectedness” of our countries.These directives carry a global mandate for “the good of the people.”None or very few of these mandates are approved by Congress which is left out of the loop.
Up until 1998 when G7/G8 met, the foreign and finance ministers meet about the same time.Another change the British implemented was to separate the foreign and finance ministers meetingsfrom the heads of state.
Another new change in the evolving G8 process was in Genoa last year.There non-governmental organizations were credentialed and allowed to use the International Press facilities and participate in press briefings.
Preparing the way for the G8 were the Labor Ministers who met in April in Montreal, the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in April in Washington, D. C., the G8 Energy Ministers in May in Detroit, the G8 Foreign Ministers Progress Report on the Fight Against Terrorism in June, the G8 Foreign Ministers meeting in June in British Columbia and the G7 Finance Ministers meeting in June Halifax.
Summit priorities include strengthening global economic growth, building a new partnership for Africa’s development and fighting terrorism.Furthermore, there will be a review of the progress made towards meeting various goals set forth in the United Nations Millennium Declaration.Lastly, this meeting looks forward to the ten-year follow-up of the Rio Earth Summit to be held in September in Johannesburg.The G8 agenda is extremely aggressive, solidifying the fact that the world is interconnected in a global parliamentarian system.Unlike Dorothy, you and I will not wake up from a nightmare about a world that does not exist, for this one truly does.