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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid