News / Europe

Packed Agenda Faces G8 Leaders in France

French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech during an Interior and Justice Ministers of the G8 meeting on the fight against transatlantic cocaine trafficking, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, May 9, 2011.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech during an Interior and Justice Ministers of the G8 meeting on the fight against transatlantic cocaine trafficking, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, May 9, 2011.

Multimedia

Henry Ridgwell

With uprisings heating up the Arab world and the world's economy uncertain, there will be plenty for world leaders to discuss at this week’s G8 meeting in France.  Differences over how to respond to these global challenges have the potential to cause disagreements among G8 leaders.

A packed agenda awaits world leaders as they make their way to the French seaside town of Deauville for the G8 summit. At the head of the list: the question of how the rest of the world should respond to the uprisings across the Arab world.

NATO is engaged in a bombing campaign against Colonel Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in Libya, and there is concern in some countries that mission creep is taking hold.


Stephanie Rickard is an expert on international relations at the London School of Economics. "There will potentially be some conflict, particularly with Russia. Russia has already made clear that they don’t support what is going on in Libya, they don’t think that intervention is the way to go and so there’s potentially room for disagreement between Russia and some of the other G8 countries. But again that disagreement will probably take place behind closed doors," she said.

The violent suppression of uprisings in Syria and Bahrain will also feature high on the G8 agenda. Analysts say disagreement is likely over how the outside world should deal with the issue.

Visiting Britain ahead of the G8, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a clear warning to the Syrian leadership. "President Assad faces a choice: he can lead the transition to democracy that the Syrian people have demanded or he can as President Obama said on Thursday get out of the way, but there is no doubt that if he does not begin to lead that process, his regime will face continuing and increasing pressure and isolation," she said.

Pakistan will also face scrutiny at the meeting after the U.S. killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden earlier this month on Pakistani soil.

In addition, Western leaders have warned that the conflict in Afghanistan is in danger of being overshadowed by the so-called Arab spring.

Another regular topic at recent G8 meetings is Iran’s nuclear program. The European Union has renewed its sanctions against Tehran, accusing it of trying to develop nuclear weapons.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said pressure on Iran must be maintained. "It is important not to forget, while so many things are happening and changing in the Middle East, that Iran continues with its nuclear program. We have called in the United Kingdom for many months for an intensification of peaceful pressure on Iran," he said.

The fallout from the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant in Japan will also be discussed. G8 host France has called for new international safety standards for nuclear plants.

With Japan slipping back into recession and the debt crisis still haunting Europe, the world economy remains in a fragile state.

On top of that comes the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the International Monetary Fund, after he was charged with sexual assault in the U.S.

However, says Stephanie Rickard of the London School of Economics, those issues may be further down on the agenda. "It’s important to remember that the G8 in 2009 specifically said that the G20 is now going to be the forum for international economic issues. So the G8 has sort of delegated that to the G20 and now the G8 is focusing squarely on security and geopolitical issues," she said.

As this Normandy resort prepares for the G8 invasion, there will be little time for world leaders to enjoy the seaside surroundings.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs