Go Toronto - G8 and G20 are Coming to Town

It's been a busy newsworthy year for Canada, and we are in the international headlines again. After an extended proroguing of parliament and hosting the Olympics, Canada is also hosting both the G8 and G20 summits. From all media reports, we are hearing about increased security which has been heightened and put into place, more than 700 new security cameras installed, and the downtown core has already been designated into a tight red zone area. Travel alerts have been issued to tourists to avoid the city of Toronto in response to the Summit meetings.

In various other media reports, we are being informed  about protestors coming into Canada through the border towns and the City is busy planning for protests as well as safety concerns for those residing and working in the area. Toronto is bracing itself, hoping for the best and planning for the worst. Local hospitals have also performed emergency prepardness by completing security drills as Canada is gearing up for one of the more larger and controversial political summits.

Canada will host the G8 summit in Huntsville, Ontario on June 25 and immediately afterward will host the G20 summit in Toronto for two days. The G8 is an informal group of eight of the world's leading economic powers: Canada, France, United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Japan, and Italy. The annual summit is a chance for the leaders of the G8 countries to meet face-to-face and develop common approaches to urgent challenges facing the world. The first summit, with six countries participating, was held in 1975 in Rambouillet, France. A year later, the group expanded to include Canada. Russia joined the summit process in 1997. The G8 has evolved from a forum dealing largely with macroeconomic issues to an annual meeting with a broad-based agenda addressing a wide range of international economic, political, and social issues.

The theme for the G20 2010 summit is "Recovery & New Beginnings". The G20 was established in 1999 in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Leaders from the G20 countries meet regularly to discuss key issues in the global economy. Toronto's tourism, business and banking, culture, diversity and environmental leadership will be in the world spotlight and lasting international business relationships will be developed. Despite the looming fear of prostests and clashes with law enforcement, there will be many voices given a chance to be heard.

Before leaders meet and arrive in Ontario, a diverse and vibrant group of girls will be hosting their own summit The G(irls) 20 Summit organized using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and have over 5000 members signed up online from all over the world. The G(irls) 20 has the support of 20 NGO's, Google, as well as media partners and companies. Their agenda is an important one. A woman aged 18 to 20 from each of the member countries of the G20 will be invited to Toronto at no expense fora first time grouping and gathering, which is intended to raise awareness among world leaders of the role girls and women play in global economic productivity, and their often untapped potential.

Topics like, maternal health, gender equity, are on the agenda as well as the United Nations Millienium Development Goal affecting girls & women. This includes eradication of poverty and hunger, and achieving universal primary education. It's a progressive initiave and will encompass fresh ideas and new perspective on some of the most hard hitting experiences that young girls and women experience on a global scale. It is my sincere hope that the hard work this amazing group is doing will be well recieved, heard and ultimately implemented. You Go Girls!

For further information on the G20 Summit & what's on the agenda visit: http://www.g20.utoronto.ca/ and http://www.girlsandwomen.com/.

Canada, internet, United Nations, Women's Rights, World Poverty