New Delhi, July 6: The G20 Summit, to be hosted this year in Germany, which will see the coming together of 20 of the World’s biggest economies to discuss, debate and resolve various issue of global and continental importance begins on Friday. While already leaders of these nations have arrived at Hamburg, ahead of the main event on July 7 and July 8, many of these nations have developed differences ranging from environmental issues to prevailing tensions or war-like situations, and are expected to use this platform to at least find a resolution acceptable to all.
While main issues to focus, given the global-political scenario, can be broadly divided into two general categories, primarily as Environmental and Political, here we will look at these in a bit detailed fashion. While the G20 Summit in its definition aims to strengthen the resilience of the global financial system and proper regulation of all financial markets, it also organises bilateral talks among the members to discuss and if needed resolve differences, at the disposal of the two nations involved. The first meeting was hosted by Germany as well after the formation of the group in 1999.
The members who have been listed in the G20 Summit as eligible economies and have taken part in this 2017 meet are 19 countries and the European Union. The nations that are part of this group are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, China and South Africa.
With the global political dynamics changing over the period of one year severely, and more so in the last few months, perhaps the Summit is well-timed to resolve the differences which has visibly surfaced within several members and non-members of the G20 nations.
The issues which we can expect the nations to touch upon in this meet are the United States of America’s pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, Britain’s drift from the European Union, Syria, North Korea nuclear tensions and although off the table, but possible mentions of the rising tension between India and China. Let us try to understand the present state of each of these pivotal issues which makes this G20, an affair to remember.
1. US pulling of Paris Climate Accord
The nation looked at the decision of US President Donald Trump with an expression of predictable horror, when he declared that the United States of America will no longer be part of the Paris Climate agreement. While his decision was censured by citizens of the US and other nations alike, this G20 platform will be reportedly used by a couple of nations to show President Trump that in this issue, the US is isolated from the rest and as Greenpeace Director Jennifer Morgan would say,’ The only game in town.’
Among the nations which are expected to directly take part in this metaphorical intervention of President Trump are British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. While May will reportedly express Britain’s full commitment towards the Paris agreement and in her one-on-one talks with him will stress how the accord should not be renegotiated, Chancellor Merkel who said that the US’s withdrawal from the agreement was ‘extraordinarily regrettable’ said that her sentiments will remain similar to what it was during her last meet with Trump.
2. Britain’s drift from European Union
The decision to exit the European Union is irreversible now and it has been accepted by all, citizens of Britain and the European Union alike. Given that this decision to exit the Union by Britain, popularly called BREXIT, will have obvious impact upon the economical set-up and future of both Britain and the Union, G20, which is primarily an economic platform might resolve a few issues which they may encounter. While it is true that the main focus might not be upon the BREXIT phenomenon, but ignoring the economic decisions might not be possible for either of the parties here.
3. The beef over Syria
The long standing issue of Syria and its future, threatened by, on one hand the Assad regime and its alleged atrocities on the people and the rebels on the other, and worsened by the presence of the Islamic State terrorists. While primarily it has been speculated and confirmed by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that US President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will seek to find a common ground over Syria, the most important decision both countries may arrive could be regarding establishing no-fly zones and on the ground ceasefire norms.
While the statements of Tillerson does suggest that the US accepts the fact that it has unresolved issues with Russia, but he also emphasised that the two nations have the potential to coordinate in Syria in a way that can create a state of stability and serve their mutual security interests.
4. North Korea and its prevailing Nuclear threat
Over the period of the last few weeks, Northern Korea has showed its nuclear prowess and this has not gone down well with leaders of several nations, especially the United States. In regard to this, Trump has already issued a warning of repercussions in response to this ‘very bad behaviour’ of North Korea. So, in this G20 summit the US will expect the other member states to respond to it, especially, a response from Russia.
Reports claim that Polish President Andrzej Duda earlier on Thursday met with President Trump where both of them discussed that all nations must confront the threat from North Korea. However, Russia and China issued a joint statement in which they emphasised calling for a diplomatic solution to Northern Korea’s nuclear weapons programme. As per a report by UK’s Express, ‘the two nations vowed to work in ‘close coordination to advance a solution to the complex problem’.
5. Indo-China strained relations
In a recent spat between the two neighbouring countries, India and China have been engaged in a stand-off where the proximity of an impending war is closer than people might expect. In the present scenario, India has, on behalf of Bhutan deployed army at Doka La, the present point of conflict between the three nations, with India and Bhutan on a side and China on the other.
It all began with China’s decision to construct a road which in a way threatened India’s and Bhutan’s national security. As a reaction to this, since Bhutan has no diplomatic ties with China, it approached India, who supports it both militarily and diplomatically. So India deployed its troops to the Doka La area, which is known in China as Donglong, after which China alleged that India has trespassed into their territory, obstructed the construction of the road and issued veiled threats of war.
Following this, there were early speculation as to how the two leaders of the two countries would react as they will come across each other in the G20 meet, and many also said that perhaps a bilateral talk can resolve the issue. But on Thursday, China announced that such a talk is not on their itinerary and quashed any such claims saying that the atmosphere is not right for such talks. This seems to be in line with an earlier comment by Beijing, where in they said that the ‘ball is at the Indian court’ and set that the precondition to any resolution si that India withdraws its troop from Doka La.
With such vital developments around the world and involving several powerful economies, G20 does provide a platform where undoubtedly the nations must strive to arrive at a point of understanding where as Merkel earlier stated, there must be a win-win situation for all in the world, instead of winners and losers, a point which emphasises the need for understanding and arriving at solution using compromises on both sides and fair advantage for all.