Simon Maxwell

Rome exceeded expectations; will the G8 do the same?

Rome exceeded expectations; will the G8Group of Eight do the same?, ODIOverseas Development Institute (London) Blog, June 2008

The Food Summit in Rome turned out better than expected. It was not derailed by Robert Mugabe. It survived the unedifying wrangling over a final communiqué. It gave the topic a good hearing. It confirmed some practical actions. And it passed the torch successfully to the G8 in Japan in July.

As usual, delegates spent too much time arguing about statements of principle and too much time on political issues only loosely linked to the summit theme. Not surprisingly, they found it hard to reach agreement on contentious issues, like biofuels. But there have been some large new pledges, and a high degree of consensus on the twin issues of agricultural development and social protection for the poorest....................

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