Global Summit in Question

With the G8 and G20 summits just around the corner there has been much debate about whether these international meetings are necessary and whether the cost of hosting the meetings has gotten to an unreasonable level. Personally I believe that the summits are valuable on a global scale but as one news article states, it needs to be a “constant and regular gathering tuned to a world with unprecedented changes and currents underway.” Because of the constantly changing and revolving nature of the world and its economies, countries need a way to tie themselves together in a collaborative fashion. PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts that only the United States and Japan, among all developed countries, will remain in the world’s top five economies by 2030. For this reason, as well as others, the world needs to listen to more than one superpower and global development issues should continue to be discussed and debated by world leaders. As we have seen, and will continue to see, globalization has led the world’s markets and economies to become more intertwined and interdependent. Having these meetings allows the world to connect and reflect on global issues at hand. Generally the meetings are effective and provide an opportunity for international leaders to come together in a meeting of the minds to discuss economic issues, such as global recovery.

Although I believe the G8 and G20 meetings are necessary and productive they tend to draw a ridiculous amount of financial resources from the hosting countries. As CBC shares , this year alone Canada will spend close to $1 billion on hosting the two summit meetings. In addition, it seems as though costs have been growing exponentially since Canada last hosted the G8 in 2002, spending only $200 million. In comparison, the salaries of hired security members and inflation have not increased enough to account for the incredible change in price over the last eight years. Not only that but the an article in National Post looks at the hundreds of residents, businesses and workers who will be “confined to or excluded from their homes and places of work” as a result of the protests and security precautions in light of the G20 summit. Boats in the Toronto habour will be limited and citizens living in the downtown area will be completely restricted in regards to their activities and location.

Even though the results of the summits tend to be beneficial on a global scale, it it highly debatable whether the drained financial resources and overspending on security are truly necessary to successfully host the G8 and G20 meetings. Unfortunately, other summits have been unwilling to publicize the true costs and effects of hosting the meetings so it is challenging to accurately compare Canada’s cost and frustration to that of countries which have previously hosted the summits.