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Chapter 1
Introduction:
The Challenge for the First L20 Summit

The Right Honourable Paul Martin
Former prime minister of Canada
[Print version]

No one should underestimate the significance of the first G20 meeting at the leaders level that will take place on November 14th and 15th, 2008, in Washington DC.
That the world requires a steering committee that reflects the reality of today’s world in order to break the deadlock that has affected so many of the world’s significant issues, from climate change to reform of the great institutions of globalization, has become self-evident.

No one should be surprised that the decision arose out of the need to deal with the current global financial crisis. The decision to create the G20 at the level of finance ministers and central bank governors almost a decade ago also arose out of a global financial crisis.

What is important now is that the discussions do not simply lead to an empty communiqué, but to meaningful progress in making globalization work.

For the first time in many years, most of the right players will be around the table. They must not miss the opportunity to:

This is the beginning of a new era — one in which rising great powers are not invited for lunch and then dismissed. It is the beginning of an era where true dialogue between indispensable nations occurs as they seek to reconcile their differences so that the world may progress.

I believe that November 2008 will be long remembered for two events: one that occurred on November 4th with the U.S. presidential race and the other that occurred on November l5th when the first G20 meeting occurred.

Both had Washington at the epicentre, but their consequences will reverberate around the world.

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