We can achieve more together than by acting alone
It was a major protocol undertaking: for the meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the major industrialised nations and emerging economies, 36 delegations gathered in the Hanseatic City of Hamburg. A core team of around 20 from the Federal Foreign Office Protocol Directorate-General worked to ensure that the Summit went off smoothly. In the critical phase, this team swelled to 150 staff members. A 120‑page master plan set out the Summit schedule.
The Federal Government expressed its satisfaction with the outcome of the Summit, stating that on the issue of trade, consensus had been reached that it was necessary to keep markets open. Moreover, all parties want to work together to combat protectionism and unfair trade restrictions. They also want to safeguard the stability of the international financial system.
After the Summit, Foreign Minister Gabriel expressed his thanks to the police officers and all other helpers for their commitment in difficult circumstances: “I would like to thank all members of the police forces, emergency services and aid organisations for their outstanding work.”
G20: building resilience, improving sustainability and assuming responsibility
Around 64% of the global population live in the G20 member countries. Together they account for about 80% of gross world product and three-quarters of international trade. At their annual summits, the states traditionally focus on global economic growth and financial market regulation.
Germany’s one‑year G20 Presidency began on 1 December 2016. Under the heading “Shaping an interconnected world”, the German G20 Presidency is setting three priorities: building resilience, improving sustainability and assuming responsibility.
Building resilience: regulating financial markets, facilitating international trade
In order to withstand crises in future, the international financial markets must be made more resilient. Within the framework of the G20, Germany is therefore advocating better supervision of the financial markets, for example the regulation of shadow banking. Efforts to combat tax avoidance are also being addressed, as are the promotion and facilitation of international trade.
Employment policy is another important factor. For example, efforts are to be made to better integrate refugees into the labour markets. Furthermore, against the background of the spread of digital technology, the future of the labour markets themselves has to be addressed.
Improving sustainability: protecting the climate, implementing the 2030 Agenda
Global warming is to be limited to well below 2°C – that is the aim of the Paris Agreement. Climate protection is also a priority for the German G20 Presidency, as is the supply with sustainable and renewable energies.
Moreover, the Summit will look at the implementation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda. Within the G20 framework, Germany wants to make the global economy fit for the future through action to fight climate change and create sustainable worldwide development.
Other topics that Germany wants to promote under this heading include the digitisation of the global economy, fighting antimicrobial resistance (AMR), pandemic preparedness as well as women’s economic empowerment.
Assuming responsibility: Partnership with Africa
The Partnership with Africa is another focus of the G20 Presidency: a lasting improvement is to be made to the quality of life of people in Africa. The aim is to create better conditions for economic investment in Africa and to step up cooperation in the sphere of refugee issues and migration. That is why a joint meeting of the G20 and African states took place ahead of the Summit.
Looking back: Meeting of G20 Foreign Ministers in Bonn
The key issues of the German G20 Presidency also dominated the Meeting of G20 Foreign Ministers which took place in Bonn on 16 and 17 February. At the invitation of Federal Minister Sigmar Gabriel, representatives of the G20, some other invited states and various international organisations discussed issues relating to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, peacekeeping, crisis prevention, stabilisation as well as enhanced cooperation with Africa.
The G20 Finance, Labour, Health and Agriculture Ministers, as well as those responsible for digital policy, also met in the run‑up to the Summit.