Everyone had such low expectations regarding whether the G-20 summit would actually accomplish anything (other than the usual Nicolas Sarkozy tantrum), that the resulting announcement of $1.1 trillion worth of funding pledges is being hailed as the biggest multilateral breakthrough since George H.W. Bush started complaining about the lack of quality Chinese food at the UN building.
But seriously, a $1.1 trillion program? (The full G-20 statement is available here.) To paraphrase the late U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen, a trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money!
On an aside, if this G-20 set-up becomes a regular fixture, what will it mean for the future relevance of the G-8? Or the UNSC? As others have argued before me, the G-20 could well be representative of the 21st century’s equivalent of the Concert of Europe (which, despite its name, was not the brainchild of Bob Geldof).