G8 Summit 2013: Does the Third World Economy Still Stand a Chance?

In the year 2000, over 40 countries had joined forces in alleviating poverty across third world countries spanned in and around Africa and Asia. The G8 countries spearheaded this coalition movement, which was titled Jubilee 2000. However it wasn't a blatant cancellation of the debt that was employed, but a structured program determined by the IMF. Under this scheme, some countries were relieved of paying their entire debts, whereas others were allowed to have a lesser amount than the original debt estimate. Certain ravaged countries like Mozambique were only given a 4% reprieve, which exposed rather gaping holes in this mission.

But since 2000, the G8 countries broke into several smaller organizations that dealt with separate facets of increasing development and helped the cause of improving living conditions across the third world countries, taking note especially of aspects such as sanitation, food, health, the environment, and energy consumption. This also saw many successive campaigns undertaken by the wealthiest countries of the world. One of the most poignant of these efforts had come together in 2005 in Scotland during the 31st G8 summit. It was then decided unanimously to provide relief to certain indebted countries entirely. This debt cancellation was overseen by the World Bank, the IMF, and the African Development Fund. Alongside this, 2005 also saw a big crusade from the UK, where a mass movement was underway entitled Make Poverty History which advocated for better aid, less taxation, and complete debt reprieve.

Something this utopic and idealistic, though, has had its jerks on the way. The Western countries took to occupy most of these ravaged areas, owing to incessant territorial and regional conflicts. This was exacerbated by the increase in arms trade that a lot of G8 members were involved in. This automatically brought forth a platform for a violent conflict too. A series of projects across Africa, such as Global Partnership for Education and programs promoting water conservation and sanitation, have caused volunteers from the first world to work with the local people on a direct level. But owing to the recent violent histrionics in these countries, there have been countless casualties for both the first world workers and the third world victims. This gains more prominence especially because Asian countries such as India and China are rallying for an opposing block to the G8. They accuse G8 of making development imperialistic.

In the event of complex eco-political dynamics such as debt relief and upheaval of the social expenditure, it is imperative to understand that financial support of countries isn't entirely enough, but what is most important is to be abreast and well-versed with the political and societal landscape of these countries. The Lough Erne Accountability report that had been prepared ahead of the 2013 summit does talk of the positive work which has been done in the past few years, especially post-2005; however at the behest of revolutions across Africa and in parts of Asia, it isn't just the matter of unilateral development anymore. The situation is more interconnected and requires multidimensional sustenance keeping in mind social, political, territorial, and economic needs.

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Shiralie Chaturvedi

Enthusiastic, compulsively passionate and opinionated about world politics. Currently pursuing MA in Media Studies from The New School. I sometimes rant on about fashion too!

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