Mr Brown's 'development presidency'

Share
Related Topics

Planned months in advance, the annual summits of the Group of Eight most prosperous nations have a record of being taken over nonetheless by short-term concerns. This year's meeting, which takes place next week in the US state of Georgia, will be an opportunity for last-minute diplomacy on Iraq, to the likely exclusion of longer-term, less eye-catching, themes.

Planned months in advance, the annual summits of the Group of Eight most prosperous nations have a record of being taken over nonetheless by short-term concerns. This year's meeting, which takes place next week in the US state of Georgia, will be an opportunity for last-minute diplomacy on Iraq, to the likely exclusion of longer-term, less eye-catching, themes.

So it is characteristically prudent of the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, to set out his priorities in advance - as he does in this paper today - not just for this year's G8 summit, but for next year, when Britain will hold the presidency. Britain, France and Canada have all used their presidency of the rich countries' club as a platform for advocating a fairer deal for the poor. Where Britain has the chance to be different is in the scale and specifics of its ambitions, its realism and in its effort to join the dots.

Mr Brown is also right to point out how poorly the rich world has fulfilled the pledges it has made so far. The world trade talks have got nowhere and not one of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa is anywhere near being attained. Either there must be a major effort, backed with cash, to make up for lost time, or we should revise the objectives and vow to be more honest in future about what can realistically be done. Anything else will breed more cynicism about the intentions of the rich.

To his credit, Mr Brown is proposing the former, and to make Britain's leadership of the G8 the "development presidency". The 20th anniversary of Live Aid next year and the recently launched Commission for Africa both offer opportunities to galvanise public support. But this will not be easy: the current crisis in Sudan has met a largely apathetic response. The vicious circle of repressive government, civil war and famine is an old and familiar story.

Mr Brown writes of a project on the lines of Marshall Plan for Africa, when the US transferred 2 per cent of its national income to make possible the post-war reconstruction of Europe. Another purpose of the Marshall Plan was to revive a world trade system at risk of collapse. The inexorable advance of globalisation dictates a similar agenda today.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas