Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Folie de Grandeur

A NATO Summit of Heads of State and Government will be held on 3–4 April 2009 in Baden-Baden and Kehl, Germany, and in Strasbourg, France. The meetings will be chaired by the NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. The President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Angela Merkel, will host the meetings.

'NATO summits are not regular meetings like the more frequent NATO ministerial meetings, but are important junctures in the alliance’s decision-making process a the highest level. Summits are often used to introduce new policy, invite new members into the alliance, launch major new initiatives, and build partnerships with non-NATO countries.' (Wikipedia).

At the last NATO Summit, Croatia and Albania were invited to join the alliance. A decision to review Georgia's and Ukraine's request to join the NATO Membership Action Plan in December 2008 was taken, and no doubt their membership will be up for consideration again at the Summit at the beginning of April, particularly in view of Georgia's offer of 400 'peace-keeping' troops to assist 'our NATO allies' in Afghanistan (reported by Tass today).

Why, then, is Gordon Brown calling a meeting of the G20, which is not held at head of state level but at Finance Minister and National Bank chairman level, on 2 April? After all, anything that could be discussed has been discussed in Rome this week at the G7. Everyone's attention will be concentrated on a crucial NATO Summit meeting, given the importance of relations with Russia for the new United States President and for the European Union, the discussions of secure energy supplies, and the relations between what used to be Soviet Asia and areas of tension and war abutting them.

Discussing global financial regulation (again) pales into insignificance beside the importance of settling secure energy supplies, and relations at every level between NATO, and NATO aspirant countries and their now powerful and volatile neighbours.

And why is Downing Street putting out press releases suggesting that the G20 meeting on 2 April is the first day of an ongoing meeting? It will start and finish on 2 April, no matter who turns up, which is still moot.

At a Downing Street press conference Brown 'released a blueprint that he hopes will ensure the meeting in London, which begins on 2 April, will be a success. "The Road to Recovery" details the measures needed to drag the world out of recession. He conceded that the London economic summit meeting in April needs to be the start of the global economic recovery. The G20 world leaders, including Barack Obama, were coming to Britain to work towards a "global deal and grand bargain," Mr Brown said... the world could then "move towards recovery in the next few months" if agreement was reached..... (Telegraph):
"If we can get that action in place and rebuild trust and confidence in the world economy then recovery will be quicker. That is why we are putting a lot of emphasis on the meeting on 2 April. If we can get agreement then that is a major step forwards...You can see this is a global problem and it cannot be solved without global action, international co-ordination. That is why I have been pressing so hard that some of the measures we have adopted in Britain we can persuade other countries to adopt... That is what is at the crux and how we can move towards recovery in the next few months."

That's quite an agenda for an afternoon meeting.

What with one half of the Executive leadership of New Labour effing and blinding his way round New York receptions because one of his hosts points out our economy is collapsing, and the other making these kind of grandiose claims for what he intends to do after reducing it to the unemployment-ridden, bankrupt, credit-starved rubble we live in, surely the time has come for the country to be consulted on who governs or even just who represents us to others.


Anonymous said...

In the circumstances, perhaps a more appropriate date for Gordon Brown's G-20 meeting would have been 1 April?

Anonymous said...

He is grandstanding, of course.

Like so many other failed or failing Prime Ministers, he thinks if he makes a big splash abroard people will notice how important he is and forget the crisis at home.

With any luck, he'll get off the plane back and say "Crisis, what crisis?"

Just like the good old days.

banned said...

If he says Global one more time I think I'll be sick.
Hopefully no-one else will attend leaving him to look a complete fool.