G 20 SUMMIT A PHOTO OPPORTUNITY!

Image credit : Newsweek. South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Brazilian President Michel Temer, Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, U.S. President Donald Trump, European Council President Donald Tusk, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Financial Stability Board President Mark Carney, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Saudi Arabia Minister of State Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, United Nations Secretary-general Antonio Guterres, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc pose for a family photo at the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 7.
LUDOVIC MARIN/REUTERS

 

One more G 20 summit has ended,  now in Germany, without paving way for any tangible improvement in the ground situation in the world for the better.

Why protests?

This G 20 summit has been marked by protests against the G 20 leadership when over 160 police officers were injured, dozens of activists hospitalized and more than seventy protesters were detained. Typically, the German Chancellor thanked the security forces for their work,  as the G 20 leaders met behind a heavy police presence in a no- go zone that was off limits to the protesters and most of the people.

While the German Chancellor is right in condemning the violent form of protests as unacceptable, she also should have gracefully accepted the justification for such protests, as G 20 summit has become a cosmetic show of so called world leaders from a few countries  , who are not representative  of the countries all over the world.  The protestors think that some countries have joined to discuss the world issues between themselves to benefit themselves with least consideration for other developing nations. The protestors further are of the view that G 20 members want to discuss matters in the cross section of subjects relating to the countries who are not part of the G 20 summit.  For example, USA and Russia were talking about the Syrian crisis without involving Syrian government or any people representative from Syria.

Why undermine UNO?

Obviously, the right forum to discuss such matters and thrash out the problems confronting the world is the United Nations Organisation and not a group of countries which seem to be of the view, that they can think of the world and direct the world movement. G20 summit is an event that has inevitably undermined the importance of United Nations, though it may not be intended that way by G20 members.

Inequality  between members

One wonders how the countries participating in the G 20 summit have been shortlisted who have organized themselves as a forum.  Even between these member countries, there is high-income inequality. Among G 20 members,  Germany recorded the lowest income inequality while South Africa registered the highest.  There are considerable differences in the industrial growth and technology development between these countries. There is little common between all of them.

One is not clear as to what the G20 summit sought to achieve except as a get together of selected few countries for whatever purpose.

Paris Climate Accord

The world countries joined and formulated a draft policy to manage the world climate issues and arrived at the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.
However, President Trump of USA has now rejected the accord in one stroke, and other G20 members and rest of the world remain surprised and do not know how to go about further in combating global warming issues, without the participation of the USA which continues to be as one of the significant polluters in the world.

Discussion on trade issues in vacuum

On the subject of commerce, there is agreement that there should be a fair trade which is a universal expectation and not confined to G20 members alone. But, the G 20 members have sought to discuss world trade issues between themselves,  unmindful of the needs and priorities of other countries who are deeply concerned about trade-related issues and are not part of the G20 summit.
The decision of the summit about the trade issues is unlikely to be binding on the members, as G20 summit does not have the moral authority that United Nations has. Ultimately, all  G20 members would be chalking out the trade policies of individual member countries based on their self interest, as it has been happening after several  G 20 summits earlier.

Whither anti-terrorism strategy?

The world is now suffering due to terrorist activities with hundreds of innocent people losing their lives in one part of the world or the other.  Many countries affected by terrorist acts could do nothing about this, as several countries themselves are suspected to be involved in encouraging terrorists directly or indirectly as part of their self-centred geopolitical strategies.

Indian Prime Minister  Modi spoke strongly against the terror groups and named a few of them.  In spite of such strong speech from Mr. Modi,  there was acute silence amongst other G 20 members, without any tangible and coordinated action plans.

Cosmetic handshakes and photo ops

Some of the G 20 members like China and India or USA and Russia have running confrontation between themselves and have mutual suspicions. Cosmetic laugh and handshake between these members are not going to make them less hostile to each other.

At the end of the G20 summit, the leaders of the member countries will go back to their place after enjoying their retreat and world will become no better. For these G 20 members, the G20 summit is one more photo opportunity.

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