Now that the G20 summit has officially ended, experts are trying to round-up the results of the event. The summit brought together presidents and ministers from all over the world, representing almost 90% of the world’s economy.
Analysts had predicted that there would no real major economic breakthroughs, and it seems they were pretty much right. But there were some notable results.
Globalization seems to have been of the major subjects on the agenda. Populist tendencies have cropped up all around the world. Most representatives noted that their co-nationals believe the international trade system has failed them.
Leaders promised to “reject protectionism” and provide equal trade opportunities on a global scale. They also claimed they will attempt to promote growth, and “serves the needs of everyone and benefits all countries and all people”. To this end, representatives pledged to increase job opportunities, and address the issue of job inequity.
Naturally, the conflicts in Syria were high on the agenda. Analysts were hopeful that Russia and the US would finally reach some agreement on this point. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The US side accused Russia of not following up on topics that the two countries had already agreed upon. The US refused to discuss these issues any further with Russia.
Obama’s meeting with Turkish President Erdogan didn’t fare any better. The tensions between the two countries have been running high lately. Even though Obama was sensitive to the issue of the failed coup, he did not pull his punches when it came to Erdogan’s almost dictatorial response. Erdogan himself criticized the US for its’ alliance with Kurd armies. Turkey considers these groups terrorists, and they are actively fighting them in Syria.
The G20 was also the first time Teresa May came to China in her new capacity as UK Prime-Minister. Brexit was obviously an issue to be discussed during the summit. After the UK announced that it will be leaving the European Union, during this short grace period, the UK has to renegotiate economic deals. The US has already mentioned the UK is not a priority.
The chief of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said he would prefer it the UK not start these negotiations before they officially left the EU. The process of leaving the EU will take about two years. Since this is an unprecedented situation, authorities are still unclear about the details of how the exit will unfold.
Minor Media Incidents at the G20 Summit Grab the Spotlight
And since the G20 summit was in the eye of the media all throughout the week, a few minor scandals caught their attention as well. The events were not directly related to the proceedings of the summit itself.
The first, and probably most infamous incident, was President Duterte’s insult towards Barack Obama. During an interview he state that the US head of state would be a “son of bitch” if he tried to discuss the issue of the Philippines war on drugs.
The other incident took place on the very first day of the summit. All of the other heads of state were offered ceremonial staircases, covered in red carpeting, to exit their planes. Apart from Obama, who walked down a set of folding stairs. Conspiracy theorists speculated this is was a Chinese attempt to show their contempt for Obama. But Washington confirmed they wanted the President to use the stairs of the plane.
Image source: Casa Rosada