Picture of Martyn Overy
On Globe: Two Worlds
by Martyn Overy - Saturday, 5 July 2003, 12:40 PM

Another Q8 meeting, located in Evian, France. Bottles of Evian water sell for up to £2. Yet, millions of people in many countries have difficulty obtaining any water for basic living requirements.  The location of the meeting, at a place which has derives its main source of wealth on the sales of this mineral water, only serves to highlight the differences between the self-proclaimed 'developed' countries, and those countries where millions are struggling to live. Corporate influences are to seen at this location, where Evian water is the 'official' drink of the summit.


Q8 is a 'Group of 8" comprised of eight 'developed' countries: Japan, France, USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Canada.

The summit meeting has a strong focus on economic and social issues. After the summit the results are presented to the world. However, most of the world is less concerned with mere words and statements, and much more concerned on how these countries are going to make significant strides in assisting and developing other countries, for the benefit of 'mankind'.

These summit meetings have a history of making the news, as protesters gather in the vicinity to express their opposition to globalisation and capitalism. These protesters arrive from all parts of the world. Many of the protesters view the meeting as a group of countres meeting to look after their own collective interests, rather than to consider active and sustainable solutions to global needs.

The Q8 members realise the significance and extent of this global divide. They must endeavour to try to ensure that people around the world have the right to exist. Countries need at the very least a sustainable programme and development, with no strings attached.

Actions certainly speak, and mean, more than words. President Bush has just signed a $15 billion global AIDS Bill. He stated that it is the ''moral duty'' of the United States to take action on this disease which has killed over 20 million people on our planet. The USA is expecting other Q8 nations to make significant contributions to combat this disease.

The Q8 has, at least for this venue, opened the summit to 'developing' nations. This has been the result of President Jacques Chirac's desire to ensure that solutions to global problems cannot be solved or dictated by a minority of countries, namely those comprising Q8. Just how much attention these nations will receive remains to be seen in the next three days.

Further Links

World Bank Thematic Programs


World Resources Institute

World Global Trends