Giving voice to the voiceless at the G20 summit

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Unless you have been stuck on an island, you know that today the G20 held a summit in London to agree on measures to deal with the financial crisis. Perhaps the most important of the measures announced was a trebling of funds available to the IMF - a necessary step to help fight a fire that is rapidly spreading to emerging markets.

But what about the voice of the voiceless? While the G20 represents a big leap in representation over the G7 or the G8, there is still a big gap. The poorest countries still don't have a seat at the table, and some of the countries within the G20 don't really provide full voice to their citizens. One positive step is an invitation to 50 bloggers to attend the G20 summit on equal footing with more traditional media outlets. This was arranged by the G20 Voice

So can this make any difference? 'Yes', says Dani Kaufmann, one of the lucky 50:

In sum, at least 40% of the citizens of the G-20 may suffer from a significant Voice Deficit. There is no guarantee that the will and aspirations of the common citizen in these countries is represented by the government leader in official attendance.  Further, let us keep in mind that even in some richer countries the existence of capture by elites of important aspects of regulation, policies and laws also results in a (subtler, but real) voice deficit for the common citizen.

Along other initiatives, projects like G20Voice should help address the voice deficit in the G-20, and promote further accountability by the leaders.

Expect a round-up of the most interesting blogging from the G20 Voice here on PSD blog. 


Ryan Hahn

Operations Officer

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