jueves, 21 de junio de 2012

"Obama and Felipe Calderón Blow Chance to Talk Substance at G-20" (Newsweek/The Daily Beast, June 21, 2012)

The most important lesson learned from the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos is that for the heads of state of the largest economies of the world, banks are more important than people.

The final declaration gives lip service to unemployment, poverty, and corruption, but the real work at the meeting was about how to save European banks and financiers. International financial stability is clearly a condition for economic prosperity, but the common people should not be forced to pay for the irresponsible behavior of the wealthy. Nor should the poorer countries be browbeaten into bailing out the rich ones.

Mexico, as the first country from the “developing world” to preside over the G-20 and host a summit, failed to use its leverage to push the organization away from short-term fixes and toward long-term solutions. Mexico´s President Felipe Calderón was more interested in using the meeting politically at home to boost his party's chances at the polls in the July 1st presidential elections, than in pushing for a new international agenda.

Calderón also used the meeting to garner personal support and international notoriety. He sees this as his best insurance policy against eventually being held responsible in international tribunals for the humanitarian crisis caused by the “drug war” that has taken over 60,000 lives during his administration.

As a result, Mexico and other developing countries have been stuck with the short end of the stick. For instance, part of the agreement hammered out in Los Cabos requires all of the G-20 members (United States, the European Union, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, China, Canada, Argentina, South Korea, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Australia) to increase their funding to the International Monetary Fund in order to help protect against a European meltdown...