Global Trade Governance Not So Global
This week’s lead story in The Economist addresses what folks have suspected for a while — a lot of the institutions that are supposed to promote all sorts of good things like trade, good economic policy, human rights, and stability are getting more than a little outdated.
“CLUBS are all too often full of people prattling on about things they no longer know about. On July 7th the leaders of the group that allegedly runs the world—the G7 democracies plus Russia—gather in Japan to review the world economy. But what is the point of their discussing the oil price without Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest producer? Or waffling about the dollar without China, which holds so many American Treasury bills? Or slapping sanctions on Robert Mugabe, with no African present? Or talking about global warming, AIDS or inflation without anybody from the emerging world? Cigar smoke and ignorance are in the air.”
All that on top of the bad publicity that some leaders like Gordon Brown got for devouring an 8-course dinner after attending G8 meetings on food shortages. Now I have my two cents on this one: the Japanese are among the most gracious hosts in the world, as my wife’s treasure trove of teapots and beautiful stationary from her father’s Japanese colleagues can attest. Should a world leader refuse hospitality fit for a world leader?
Dennis Patterson and Ari Afilalo would have something to say about all this. The G8 and international institutions, not the big, delicious meals.
Turning a big, special meal down would probably be a bit impolite, but the renovations to facilities and infrastructure detailed on the same Independent article are pretty wild, because after all, Japan is in dire need of infrastructure improvement… right?
Oh well. Here I go, shamelessly posting the dinner menu in full, grabbed from The Independent. Whoa. They’re even drinking Latour. And as for the dessert: un-sexiest dessert name ever.
UPDATE: Some blogs have coined this whole affair G-Ate Gate.
Smoked salmon and sea urchin “pain surprise” style
Hot onion tart
Winter lily bulb and summer savoury
Folding fan modelled tray decorated with bamboo grasses
Kelp-flavoured cold Kyoto beef “shabu-shabu”, asparagus dressed with sesame cream
Diced fatty flesh of tuna fish, avocado and jellied soy sauce and Japanese herb “shiso”
Boiled clam, tomato, “shiso” in jellied clear soup of clam
Water shield and pickled conger dressed with vinegar soy sauce
Boiled prawn with jellied tosazu vinegar
Grilled eel rolled around burdock strip
Fried and seasoned Goby with soy sauce and sugar
Hairy Crab “Kegani” bisque soup
Salt-grilled bighand thornyhead with vinegary water pepper sauce
Milk fed “shiranuka” lamb flavoured with aromatic herbs and mustard
Roasted lamb and cepes and black truffle with emulsion sauce of lamb’s stock and pine seed oil
Special cheese selection, lavender honey and caramelised nuts
G8 fantasy dessert
Coffee served with candied fruits and vegetables
Le Reve grand cru champagne
Corton Charlemagne 2005
Chateau Latour burgundy
Ridge California Monte Bello 1997
Tokaji Essencia 1999 from Hungary