Financial Post G7 Record

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Financial Post, Weekly edition, Sat 17 Jun 95, page 16

Keywords: Economic summits Lobbying Developing countries Other Economic Summit

Different view for alternative summit

Alan Toulin

They're now at every G-7 leaders' summit, but the peoples' alternative summit meeting has a different emphasis.

While the G-7 leaders debate exchange rates and military policy, the alternative summit stresses environmentally benign economic growth and human-centred economic development policies.

The Other Economic Summit (TOES), or the people's G-7, brings together a diverse coalition of public interest groups and non-governmental agencies aimed at cajoling and at criticizing the policy directions chosen by the leaders of the official G-7. They have been meeting in parallel sessions through the Halifax summit though their program cost just $25,000, compared with the $36 million spent to play host to the leaders of the United States, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, Britain and the European Union.

''The G-7 countries are unrepresentative,'' said David Boyle, spokesman for the London-based organization.

Throughout the Halifax summit, the organization has sponsored a series of lectures, films and workshops highlighting alternatives to the economic solutions being pursued by industrial country political leaders.

A TOES spokeswoman, Indian scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva, said the G-7 governments are supporters of a capitalist system that ignores the needs of ordinary people.

''G-7 policies have long since ignored people in the developing countries,'' she told a press conference. ''The protection of capital at the cost of people ... is leading to total social breakdown, total social insecurity.''

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Revised: June 3, 1995

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