ABC News' David Kerley and Sunlen Miller report:
TORONTO — So … they just finished the G-8 meeting and now they are starting the G-20 meeting here in Toronto. Two meetings with 8 of the same participants, isn’t that a bit much? When global powers are meeting, why not just merge the G-8 into the G-20? The global industrial powers that make up the G-8 (U.S., U.K., China, Japan, Germany, Russia, etc.) decided years ago to add some of the growing economic powers in the world (India, Brazil, Turkey, etc.). To differentiate the meetings here, the Canadian Prime Minister decided the G-8 would deal mostly with world health issues, before the G-20 turns its attention to world economic issues.
That’s why they held two different meetings in two different venues in Ontario, Canada. Tell us Mr. Prime Minister, host of both meetings, should the G-8 go away and just make this one big club?
“I would seriously doubt that,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said at the post G-8 news conference before he boarded a helicopter headed to Toronto and the G-20 meeting.
It’s about size, he says. “The G-20 has done a magnificent job so far in really the year-and-a-half it’s been around, and it’s been tackling the economic crisis. But there are, quite frankly, limits to what you can discuss and what you can achieve in a group of 20, and of course, there’s always other participants as well. It leads to much less formal discussion that you’re able to have in a group like the G-8 and also there’s much less, beyond the economy, there is much less commonality of purpose than you’d have at the G-8.”
He even went farther, calling the G-8 “essential.” Quite the club.