As the storm gathers in the Gulf of Mexico and the washing machine effect begins to swell, we are still at least 30 to 45 days from a relief well being functional to cover the gaping hole left by the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Paradoxically, austere confidence appears to be on the political leaders' menus this Saturday night after the callous optics of lakeside diplomacy.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was the only leader of the G8 courageous enough to actually go for a Deerhurst dunk in the lake, while maternal health took a beating in the name of counter terrorism budgetary profligacy. In Toronto, black clad would-be fence climbers are mingling with torched police cars on Bay Street and the tourism industry shakes it's head in dismay.
The G20 is failing Africa, both in terms of delivering on development promises and in providing the African Union with a permanent voice within the international political club. This was the message delivered by the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) members during a Saturday press conference at the Toronto summit's Alternative Media Centre.
"Africa, as a continent, just as the EU does, should have a permanent seat at the table. Over 52 states are excluded. Countries rich in natural resources that the whole world has benefited from are excluded. Countries rich in human resources are excluded," said Sonia Kawami, GCAP Project Co-ordinator for Ghana.
Here is a (non-exhaustive) guide to five of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's plans at the G20 and G8 meetings. In an effort to keep it relatively short, I have added numerous links rather than expound on every issue. Use the article as an outline and then go find out more by checking the links for background and references.