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John Rentoul

John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting fellow at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.

"The Independent's must-read man" - Daniel Finkelstein

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Anyone for the G17 next?

Posted by John Rentoul
  • Thursday, 2 April 2009 at 10:29 pm
Ed Miliband, the Climate Change Secretary, in a post-G20 statement mentioned the forthcoming "Major Economies Forum". What? Another one? 

The wonders of the internet yield the answer. Barack Obama on Sunday invited the leaders* of 15 countries to Washington on 27-28 April to "generate the political leadership necessary" for a successful outcome at the UN climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.

That sounds as if it might even be a bit more important than the NFL draft, when American football teams choose the best of the new players emerging from college football, over the weekend of 25-26 April, although we can guess which will attract more coverage in the US media.

But 15? What gives? Or, rather, who gets thrown out of the G20 balloon?

It turns out that the Major Economies Forum will have 17 representatives, including the US and the EU, which is one of the 20 in the G20, although it is not a country. Plus Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the UN, which isn't a country either. 

So which three countries are members of the G20 but are not invited to Washington for the green summit?

They are: Argentina, Turkey and - interestingly, for a meeting to discuss global energy policy - Saudi Arabia.

*Clarification: Further research reveals that the leaders themselves will not be in Washington. President Obama has invited them "to designate representatives to participate in a preparatory session at the Department of State on 27-18 April in Washington, DC". The leaders then meet, as reported by Geoffrey Lean in The Independent on Sunday last weekend, in La Maddalena, Italy, in July, at the same time as the G8.



G eee s.
airmarshall wrote:
Friday, 3 April 2009 at 02:03 pm (UTC)
G8, G12, G20 even a G17, gee Mr Murgatroyd how many g's are there?
It's a Mediocracy.
zansal wrote:
Friday, 10 April 2009 at 11:41 am (UTC)
World Leaders are now working like middle ranking Civil Servants : organise enough meetings to fill your calendar and you won't need to do any real work.


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