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Rethinking Global Priorities at the G8 Summit

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The G8 summit convenes June 17thin Ireland, returning to Great Britain for the first time sine 2005. The two-day summit assembles heads of state from the group of eight (Canada, Japan, US, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia) as well as leaders from the European Union. As in years past, leaders will discuss a wide range of issues, often with specific directives on global issues and concerns. In a speech earlier this week, Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom spoke of the policy initiatives he has prioritized, saying,

 

“When trade isn’t free, we all suffer. When some businesses aren’t seen to pay their taxes, that is corrosive to the public trust. When shadowy companies don’t play by the rules… that makes life harder for other businesses to turn a profit.”

 

He continued, highlighting three key initiatives for the summit,

 

“That is why I want this year’s G8 to bring a new focus on these issues: trade, tax, transparency.”

 

To its credit, the summit always invites international discussion and a unique look into the global priorities. It also invites its fair share of due criticism. Notably, advocacy groups push for more progressive agendas focusing on humanitarian relief, and action on specific developmental goals. 2013 proves to be no different, and just as leaders call for a discussion on trade, taxes, and transparency, organizations such as One.org and Oxfam are suggesting a different narrative, and it's gaining steam. Leading UK Aid organizations have collaborated to create the second ‘Make Poverty History’ campaign with a focus on food.

 

“Why food?” asks One.org, “Because Africa needs to grow and thrive – feeding itself, lifting millions from poverty and preventing chronic malnutrition.”

 

From David Beckham to Tony Blair, the effort to fight inequalities in hunger has received growing attention, and leaders are keying in on three specific objectives: encouraging sustainable food practices, ending foreign land grabs, and fighting malnutitrion. Calls for civic discussion, activism and intervention will culminate in this and next weekends' "The Big If" rallies. Tens of thousands are expected and encouraged to show up in Hyde Park, signaling a civic desire for a narrative shift.

 

From "Enough Food IF," an explanation of the issues that contribute to global hunger that need to be discussed at the G8 Summit:

 

Here's a preview of "The Big IF" event in London on June 8, building momentum to change the discussion at the G8 to focus more on issues of global hunger and poverty: