French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is calling this weekend's planned Group of 20 summit on the global financial crisis "the beginning of something"—a tacit acknowledgement that the work of reforming world financial institutions and rules will be a long and arduous process.
At a meeting with reporters, Kouchner also reflected the French view that a smaller, G-14 framework was preferable to the wider G-20 meeting organized by the Bush administration. "The G-20 is not a perfect format," he said, "but this is the beginning of something." He added, "It will be the beginning of a new consideration on finance and development and industry."
The G-14 brings together the Group of Seven major industrialized power—the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan—plus the key emerging nations of Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.
The G-20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, and the United States. The European Union is also a member, represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank.
Some nongovernmental analysts believe that the G-20 is too large and has too many competing agendas to be an effective driver of financial reform.
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