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I have just reread an article I wrote for Ekklesia from last year’s G20 in Cannes, and while I sit here in the evening sun in Los Cabos with world leaders just a few miles away tucking into their Summit working dinner, I feel angry.
Los Cabos is hot and rammed full of federal police and offshore gunships and the military atop armoured vehicles. Late last night, when the US President touched down in the local airport, the town was awash with sirens and helicopters and outriders.
Across an area the size of an airport, large hangar-like buildings house plenary spaces, meeting rooms, press galleries, food courts, offices and exhibition spaces; Rio+20 is huge. 50,000 people have come. It’s the biggest UN conference ever, and expectations are running high.
I am sitting in the press pit at the G20 in Mexico and as the Eurozone and the election in Greece threaten to wipe development off the agenda here yet again, CAFOD’s economics analyst Tina Weller has quite a lot to say. So I am handing over to her for a few words:
This week in Los Cabos in Mexico heads of state from the G20 nations are meeting. Every year this meeting is crucial – it is a focal moment for discussion and action on economic and financial reform and improving the structures that feed into both, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF); and it is a moment when multilateral decisions and progress can be made on issues vital to the wellbeing and flourishing of the poorest, such as food security and development.
At the end of the G20, Nicolas Sarkozy’s frustration at the UK’s stance on a number of issues, including the financial transaction, or Robin Hood tax, was evident. During journalists’ questions at the final communiqué press conference, the BBC’s Paul Mason got short shrift from the French President.