So the G7 met in Japan this past week. And the media did in fact pay some attention to it. But the attention was largely for the wrong reasons. This caucus/club was often in the past dismissed by those not invited to the party. Countries and experts alike referred to the G7 as the ‘Rich Man’s Club’. The emergence of the G20 – at the time of the global financial crisis – redirected attention to this Informal as opposed to the G7. There was criticism of course. Media, experts and representatives of those countries not included reflected on the lack of legitimacy, failing to be universal, self-identification, etc. But the G20 was never attacked for being a narrow interest as the G7 had been. The G20 was the first, and remains the most notable global summit platform of established and emerging powers. Indeed at the time of the G20’s creation, there was much discussion of the likely passing of the G7 summit. Obviously that didn’t happen.
With the recent turn of the calendar to 2014, we find ourselves closing in on August 4, 2014. That date records a civilization-shaking anniversary. On that date 100 years ago the European powers went to war – to be joined by the Ottoman Empire and Japan and then later, the United States. August 4th thus marks the commencement of World War I. Not surprisingly there is a growing flood of historical analyses and reflections on the ‘War to End All Wars’.