Warning: This post was published more than 11 years ago.
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The G8 is one of the few groups which truly has the power to change the world at the stroke of a pen. But, despite their huge wealth, they won’t.
Even if these largely Westernised countries offer enormous aid to those most in need, their inability to see the world from the eyes of the desperate will hinder any attempt to help: They are far to focused on Western cultures and ways of approaching problems to provide genuine solutions. They can’t even agree that condoms are the best way of preventing the spreading of HIV, despite mountains of evidence proving this, so how on Earth do they hope to tackle the far trickier problems of poverty?
But just because these countries can’t get together and change the world for the better doesn’t mean that we should write the G8 off as useless. However unproductive, argumentative, and ineffective the meetings are, we should celebrate the fact that at least these eight leading nations are co-operating and even holding meetings in an age of cynicism, distrust, and warfare.
Achievements aren’t everything. The symbolism is just as important. That’s why, now more than ever, the G8 summit really matters.
Originally written for Channel 4 News