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Constrained G20 Agenda May Be Lost Opportunity for Canada, CIGI's "Three Voices" Report Warns

WATERLOO, CANADA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/15/10 -- The lack of a wider G20 agenda may be a lost opportunity for Canada, according to a report released today by The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

Canada is well aware of the challenges that the enlarged, diverse leadership of the G20 poses for the G20 leaders, and has kept the Toronto summit focused on the crisis commitments made earlier," states the report, Leadership and the Global Governance Agenda: Three Voices.

Yet Canada "has struck an approach that conveys a 'sense of instrumentality and technical acumen' . . . it has not sought to enlarge the G20 agenda beyond the economic and financial focus," says the conclusion of the Canadian-voice segment of the report. "The old axiom, 'Strike while the iron is hot,' is not being applied here."

The "Three Voices" in the special report are those of researchers at three leading global think tanks in Canada, China and the United States. They are CIGI, The Stanley Foundation in the United States and the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) in the People's Republic of China. These organizations joined together in 2009 to examine the many challenges facing global governance leadership in the rapidly evolving context of "messy multilateralism."

The report is broken into three sections or "voices." Each one is prepared by an expert from one of the think tanks, informed by the work of the respective institutions. The trio includes: CIGI Senior Fellow Alan S. Alexandroff, author of "Leadership and the Agendas for the 2010 Canada Summits;" CICIR's Vice President Wang Zaibang, author of "The Architecture and Efficiency of Global Governance;" and David Shorr, Program Officer of The Stanley Foundation, and author of "Being More Strategic about Global Leadership and Its Multilateral Outlets."

Other questions addressed in the report include:

--  Will the G20 succeed in coordinating a global response to the worst
financial crisis since the Great Depression?

--  Can this new enlarged leadership circle successfully transition from a
"crisis committee" to a new longer-term "steering committee" for the
global economy?

--  Can leaders with widely divergent views and values share responsibility
to fashion solutions to other great problems from climate change to
nuclear security?

--  Can the G7/8 successfully address nuclear weapons and other security
challenges presented by North Korea and Iran?

With back-to-back leaders' summits announced for Canada in June 2010 - the G8 in Muskoka, followed by the G20 in Toronto - the three policy-research institutions decided to collaborate in several conferences probing key topics in this field. The most recent one took place in Toronto, hosted by CIGI, from June 10-12, 2010.

"The roundtables covering these many global governance challenges were lively and engaging, says Dr. Alexandroff, who coordinated the Toronto conference. "Along with the Canada, U.S. and China keynotes exploring the wider global governance views of these three critical G20 countries, the partners now look forward to the next cycle of summits. The three partners plan to meet after the Seoul summit and before the French summits to explore, among other things, G20 progress in financial regulatory reform; the success in constructing a framework for strong, sustainable balanced growth; and, more generally, leadership challenges for the United States, China and other G20 rising powers."

Leadership and the Global Governance Agenda: Three Voices is part of a series of CIGI publications on G20-related issues coming out in the weeks leading up to this year's G8 and G20 Summits hosted by Canada from June 25-27, 2010. To view or download a free copy of the special report, visit:

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, nonpartisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, advances policy debate, builds capacity and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI's interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2002 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit:

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