Monday, July 13, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Rich and poor nations were not able to overcome divisions and mistrust at the Major Economies Forum meeting and Group of Eight summit last week. While some progress was made, leaders of wealthy nations failed to take responsibility for climate change, said the World Wide Fund for Nature.
The two meetings saw positive developments such as a common goal to limit global average temperature increases to 2ºC, but disappointed with the lack of ambitious reduction targets and serious financial commitments by industrialised countries.
WWF Denmark CEO Kim Carstensen said that wealthy nations have to show true empathy, real leadership and give solid financial commitments.
The failure by the MEF to agree on halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is a sign of mistrust between developed and developing nations, she added.
World leaders have signalled the demise of the Group of Eight wealthy nations club, saying that only a forum including the major developing economies could decide on important global issues.
US President Barack Obama says that it is "wrong-headed" for the major industrialised nations to think that they can solve global problems, such as climate change and the economic crisis, in the absence of major powers like China, India and Brazil.
During its annual summit in Italy last week, the G8 met the leaders of China, India, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Egypt, spontaneously forming the so-called Group of 14.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said that he thought this new grouping would become the dominant international talking shop. South African President Jacob Zuma welcomed the shift towards a bigger forum, which was also backed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the Group of 20 would be the crucial body in the future.
In his visit to Ghana on Saturday, US President Barack Obama told Africans that Western aid must be matched by good governance, and urged them to take greater responsibility for stamping out war, corruption and disease plaguing the continent.
Obama chose to visit stable, democratic Ghana because he believes that it can serve as a model for the rest of Africa.
In his address to the Ghanaian Parliament, Obama spoke of a "new moment of promise" but stressed that Africans must also take a leading role in sorting out their problems, as "development depends upon good governance".
Offering the new administration's most detailed view of its Africa policy, Obama took aim at corruption and rights abuses on the continent, warning that growth and development would be held back until such problems were tackled. He said that the US would not impose any system of government, but would increase aid for African nations behaving responsibly.
Also making headlines:
Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille says that the ruling African National Congress is aiming to hinder the DA in the Western Cape, with its proposed Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill.
Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota states that there is no leadership tussle in his party.
Zimbabwe is to review its indigenous ownership laws to seek investment in local firms.
And, speaking at the Group of 8 summit, World Bank president Robert Zoellick urged caution on predictions of economic recovery.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.