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3rd World Aid During the Recession Background, G8 Summit

Each year, leaders of the annual G8 summit gather together in hopes of making the world a better place. Meetings last just over two days, covering issues ranging from human rights to energy efficiency.

Courtesy of Google Images

Complete with pomp and circumstance, the G8 Summit consists of leaders primarily from Canada, France, Germany, The United States, The United Kingdom, Russia, Japan and Italy.

What the G8 Attempts to Accomplish

Speaking during July’s G8 Summit in Hokkaido Toyoko, then Japan’s Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said, “world leaders will discuss the world economy, environmental concerns, African development and other pressing issues that must be tackled”.

During the summit, leaders’ portray the image that they are seeking unity and prosperity for the nations involved in the meetings and consequently for the rest of the world. However, how big of an impact do the meetings really have on foreign policy and the overall welfare of the estimated 6 billion people worldwide?

During the 2005 summit and repeatedly in 2007, G8 leaders agreed to end world poverty. This means making sure that poor nations such as Africa have enough money in their nation’s reserve to feed and medicate millions of less fortunate individuals living in the third world.

From the outside, the G8 summit may appear to be a win-win situation for countries in need, however although large sums of money are promised, there have been substantial complaints about its distribution.

Opposition to the G8

Courtesy of Google Images

Each G8 meeting is met with some progress, but also much scrutiny. Consensus among the general public has been positive, as third world nations are hopeful that aid will pour in, yet negative as some view the event only as a spectacle.

This year alone, thousands protested at the G8 conference in Japan. According to BBC News, “$280 million” was spent on the security budget alone or roughly $35 million per world leader. Around 20,000 police officers were in deployed in order to keep watch.

Aid organizations and celebrities such as Bono have previously “warned G8 backsliders” asking for aid to be delivered quickly according to the Guardian Newspaper.

The success of the annul G8 summit weighs heavily on member nations setting a realistic plan of action for today’s most pressing issues. As the world’s most prosperous nations come together, they must not leave the rest of the world behind.

Chai Collins



October 24, 2008 Posted by | Chai- Int'l Current Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Background on Russia’s Oil

In the wake of an intense political conflict between Russia and Georgia, the Western world has to stop and think about their relationship with Russia, particularly in regards to oil.

With high levels of Europe’s daily oil consumption originating from Russia, a new level of doubt and scrutiny has risen over the appropriate relationship the west should have with the former Soviet Union.

Russia’s Oil Power

In the past, when Russia was meet with opposition from former Russian territories, Russia responded by

Courtesy of ABC News

Courtesy of ABC News

cutting off oil supplies without warning. According to The Independent, in 2007 Russia halted supplies to several eastern countries, after a dispute with Belarus over exports through the Druzhba pipeline.

This forceful demonstration of power has sent a strong shockwave through Europe and the rest of the west- saying Russia is resolved to remain independent of pressures from the outside world.

However, since the conflict in Georgia began, questions have arisen about the possibility of political sanctions. If the west because truly intolerant of Russia and one day imposed sanctions on the nation, would they retaliate and withdraw their supply of oil?

Strengthening the Global Community

Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, the chairman of Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft, suggests that the energy relationship will continue, despite the possibility of a rocky relationship. “Even during the Cold War, regardless of political or any other circumstances, the Soviet Union always fulfilled its contractual obligations to supply Europe with energy, and Russia, a responsible and reliable partner, adheres to the same principle”.

Although Russian oil companies may seek to reassure Europe of their strong energy commitments to the west, perhaps it is logical for the EU to evaluate with some caution, the depth of their future relationship and energy agreements with Russia and increasingly look into alternative energy options.

Right now, it is in the best interest of the west to continue supporting positive relations with Russia and other eastern nations, in hopes of continuing in this time of peace. Anti- Russian sentiment seems to be low in Europe, however this can only last if ongoing conflicts are handled with care and political differences are to some degree respected.

By Chai C,


October 15, 2008 Posted by | Chai- Int'l Current Affairs | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jet-setters, Moscow welcomes you

If you’re a big spender, Moscow is the emerging place to be. According to Anton Doroshev of Reuters, investments in Russia’s booming luxury real estate market may soon make destinations such as London, New York or Dubai a thing of the past.

Newly built luxurious multi-million dollar homes are sprouting up all across Russia’s capital city. Changing the skyline from old world military to new world chic.

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Real Estate Boom

Now, quick to make a rouble, Russia’s top real-estate moguls are eager to put their city on the map. Marketing to domestic and international investors alike. These high-tech, high fashion houses are in the heart of a city with contrasting wealth.

Moscow’s luxury home market welcomes buyers of residential homes and penthouses selling for upwards of $99 million dollars or 2.5 million roubles

Apart from the jet setters, most of the country barley gets by on an average monthly income of 700 US dollars. According to Moscow’s Institute of Social and Economic Studies of Population, statistics say that only “70% of the general population receives a salary high enough to support the basic necessities needed to live”.

This is due in part to the Russian tax system, which allows the rich and poor to pay an identical tax rate of 13%.

Standards of living are even lower for pensioners than the average citizen. Many live below the line of poverty and receive on average a monthly pension of 100 US dollars. Meanwhile, immersed in oil, Russia is home to an estimated 58 billionaires, making the disparity between the rich and the poor even more massive.

Russia’s Rich

Forbes’ says Russia’s top ten wealthiest citizens are successful in either the metals or oil industry. With ongoing sales of oil to Europe and possibly Asia, it seems likely that Russia’s rich will continue to be power players on the worldwide stage.

With money to burn, lavish properties that trump the likes of skylines in New York City have become popular investments.

Traditionally known as a post world communist country, Russia has struggled to become a respected world player. Given the country’s track record in unfriendly relations and geographical segregation, Moscow’s luxury property boom may be just what they need to put them back on the map.

By Chai Collins


October 14, 2008 Posted by | Chai- Int'l Current Affairs | , , , , , , | Leave a comment