Canadian mounty by G8 helicopter 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Ontario — World leaders were searching for common ground on economics,
health, security and other issues Friday as three days of summits began in Canada.RELATED:
Among the issues to be discussed will be fuirther sanctions on Iran over its nuclear
program - building on expanded Security Council measures adopted this
month. The US and EU want tough sanctions but China and Russia only
reluctantly support sanctions, and have balked at new unilateral steps
against Iran, saying any measures should not exceed those called for by
the Security Council.
approves tough Iran sanctions
options remain on the table"
The G-8 comprises the US,
Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy,
Japan, and Russia. The leaders are meeting near Toronto.
On Saturday and Sunday, they will be joined by 12 leaders representing
the fast-growing developing economies including China, India and Brazil.
Barack Obama has called for more spending to keep world economies from
slipping back into recession. He is being rebuffed by leaders in Europe
and Japan, who have emphasized cutting government spending and raising
taxes to try to keep their deficits in check.
Obama is also
calling for an overhaul of financial regulations to prevent another
global meltdown. The G-20 group represents 85 percent of the global
economy and the United States wants this group to endorse the outlines
for global financial reform to eliminate the threat that banks facing
tougher regulations in one jurisdiction will move their operations to
countries with more lax rules.
At a time when leaders were
discussing fiscal austerity, Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper,
has come under criticism over the projected costs of the summits,
including at least $900 million for security and $2 million for a theme
park inside the media center that includes an artificial lake with
canoes, trees, deck chairs and a fake dock.
Leaders also faced
skepticism about how much summits actually accomplish. In an opinion
piece published Friday in the Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail, new
British Prime Minister David Cameron wrote that calls to action and
pledges issued regularly by the Group of Eight and other economic
groupings seldom bear fruit.
"The G-8 needs to demonstrate to the
public that when we get together and sign up to these things, we mean
it," Cameron said.
Unmet pledges getting special attention this
year: the G-8's vow in Scotland five years ago to double international
aid to Africa by 2010 and to make significant strides in providing
access to AIDs treatment to all who need it. Neither of those goals have