What was discussed at the G20 summit? - ERDAL TANAS KARAGÖL

What was discussed at the G20 summit?

The thirteenth G20 summit was held between Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in Argentine capital Buenos Aires. The G20 summit is an important meeting both because it has determined the world agenda since 2008 and also because economic issues are discussed.

Not only the biggest economies of the world but also developing economies like Turkey have a say in this meeting, which this makes it even more important.

Highlights of the meeting were publicized in the communique of the meeting, which was conducted on presidential levels. In this declaration, which consists of 31 articles, the necessity for an international economic order that is committed to certain rules is especially stressed.

Among the highlights, in reference to the international order, making the World Trade Organization more functional, the fight against climate change, sustainable development in healthcare, sustainable future for food and how working life can be adapted to the new order brought by technological developments was discussed.

The ineffectuality of the world trade organization

The World Trade Organization which was established in 1995 in Geneva has started to lose its functionality.

That is to say, this organization which was originally established to solve commercial disputes, to extend national trade policies and to cooperate with international institutions proved to be useless in the case of “trade wars” started by the U.S. in the previous months.

In the G20’s final declaration, although there is an important reference to reforming the World Trade Organization, the “trade wars” launched by the U.S. was not quite mentioned.

However, it is obvious that the trade wars started by the U.S. will affect major economies of the world, particularly those of China and the European Union, thus the whole world economy. Moreover, with the expectation that it will also affect the world’s trade volume, it is suggested that the world economy in 2019 will also negatively affect growth projections.

Therefore, in an environment where world trade is drifting away from a predictable structure with rules and taking a more chaotic shape, it is essential to reform the structure of the World Trade Organization.

This reform needs to answer the expectations of the developing countries, rather than solely protecting developed economies out of old habits.

We expect that this demand for reform should take place in every international institution.

A system that is fair and just

Another subject of the G20 summit was the Paris Climate Agreement. Despite objections from the U.S., the importance of fighting climate change and entirely applying the agreement was emphasized, stressing that the agreement is “irreversible”.

Another important subject was the refugee crisis. In developing new route maps for the refugees, the steps taken by Turkey for the Syrian refugees must be taken as an example. Instead of the approach that places the security concerns and fears at the center which is widely adopted across the world, Turkey, at every opportunity, always stressed that world needs to take an approach that places human values at its center.

Although Turkey was left alone in its struggle with the major flow of immigrants coming from Syria, it didn’t compromise providing humane living conditions for the refugees, meaning that instead of locking them in refugee camps, it established tent cities and container cities and made great sacrifices. So, it had great expenses with the aid it gave to the refugees.

It still continues giving these generous aids.

This, obviously, is also an important route map for the G20 countries, as it is for the whole world.

In the light of all this, we hope for a world system where rules are effectively and equally applied by taking justice and fairness into consideration, and all countries are represented fairly in all institutions…


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