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New Internationalist

Not the only game in town

Remember the 2005 G8 Summit at Gleneagles – when rock-stars and NGOs combined to Make Poverty History? The G8 leaders responded with speeches and promises to make massive increases to aid for Africa. Their promises now lie in a broken pile. As the leaders of the Western World gear up for the G8 Summit in the German coastal town of Heiligendamm in early June this year, campaigners are collecting to point out to the G8 and the world that on a range of crucial international issues, they are not the only game in town. Nicola Bullard, a senior associate with Focus on the Global South, is today’s co-host. She is about to join the blockade of the Summit, and takes us through the membership of the G8; how it works; the power it presently yields; and why it’s loosing its legitimacy.

  • Oliver Pye, from the University of Bonn, in Germany takes us to the blockade and explains the local and international issues that will be on the picket lines.
  • After Nicola focuses our attention on China – the rising super-power that’s missing from the G8’s guest-list – Ya-Seng (Arthur) Hsueh drops in to provide a powerful example of China’s current international clout. A public health specialist recently retired from the National Taiwan University, Arthur takes us through both how Taiwan’s continuing bid to join the World Health Organization has been blocked for more than a decade by China, and why this compromises world health.
  • Then there’s the economic system that the G8 helps prop-up, and how the Majority World is striking back. Jon Ungphakorn, a former Thai Senator, and now a prominent social activist on public health and HIV/AIDs, explains why the Thai government is putting its people before profitable patents, and Abbott pharmaceutical company’s vicious response.

Today’s feature CD is Mudanin Kata performed by David Darling and The Wulu Bunun. The Bunun are indigenous peoples dispersed throughout Taiwan known for their sophisticated vocal music.

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