Furture Role and Reform of the G8
There is widespread and growing recognition of structural, procedural and other shortcomings of the present G8, and the need to reform or replace it. This sentiment has been expressed by the news media, academia and civil so- society, and, increasingly and significantly, by several present and former lead-, lead- leaders and other high officials of G8 countries. They have called for transforma- countries. transforma-.transformation into a different institution so that all significant players could play their full role in addressing global challenges. These voices include, among others, those of former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and even former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt who was one of the founding fathers of the original G5/G7 – predecessor of the G8 (Martin 2007; Schmidt 2007; France 2008; Parker 2009). Despite its proven flexibility and significant achievements over its 35-year history, the G8 remains rooted in an earlier era, and it has not adequately responded to changing political and economic realities over its lifespan. The most pressing issue has been the emergence of crucial new actors outside the G8 framework and their significance in global governance. Without the full participation of major emerging-economy countries that are systemically im-important players, satisfactory initiatives and action in response to global prob- problems cannot be taken. And even wider participation is necessary to address global challenges of climate change, poverty, health and financial architecture.