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G20 summit: less-developed nations still struggle to shape agenda

As competing agendas descend upon Toronto for this weekend’s G20 summit, the so-called BRIC countries expect to get an equal voice, but less-developed countries remain concerned about being heard.

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomes Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to the G8 and G20 Summit at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario, Canada, Friday.

Charles Dharapak/AP

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As Brazil’s ambassador to the European Union once put it, “there are new kids on the block” in world politics and trade. That's evident at the G20, where Brazil and other “new kids” Russia, India, and China, collectively known as the BRICs, expect to have an equal voice at the table during this weekend’s summit.

“No one asks anymore: ‘What are you doing here?’ Because it’s obvious what Brazil is doing there. It has the weight,” says Ernesto Araujo, deputy head of mission at the Brazilian embassy in the Canadian capital, Ottawa.

But as their stars have risen, other less-developed countries in the G20 and worldwide have been left wayside. G20 members South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, and Indonesia – along with the world's least developed countries, which aren't even at the table in Toronto – remain overshadowed.

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