The T20 blog is an initiative of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW). Both institutes have been encouraged by the German government to organise the T20 process during Germany’s G20 Presidency in 2016 and 2017. The T20 organises the collaboration of global think tanks and high-level experts in order to provide analytical depth to ongoing G20 discussions and produce ideas to help the G20 on delivering concrete and sustainable policy measures. The blog intends to bring an additional dimension to the way the T20 engages with members of our own research network, the broader public, and the German G20 presidency in advance of the 2017 G20 Summit in Hamburg.
Bringing together more than 400 foreign and security policy elites from the transatlantic community and an irritatingly small number of representatives from the non-Western world, the Munich Security Conference somewhat resembled a couple’s therapy session and an attempt at self-reassurance. Does the West still exist? Do we still need the West? What is the West about? And, finally, a huge question, which world order is it worth fighting for?
On 16-17 February 2017 the foreign ministers of the G20 countries gathered in Bonn, Germany’s United Nations city. This was the second ever meeting of foreign ministers under the G20 umbrella, which brings together 19 of the world’s largest economies, plus the European Union. The discussion among the G20 foreign ministers officially centered around issues of a long-term nature such as the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris climate agreement, crisis prevention and resolution, and opportunities for deepening the G20’s relationship with African economies.
The G20 should play a prominent role in strengthening multilateral institutions. This view was recently echoed at a joint high-level panel discussion between policy-makers and Think20 experts. The panel discussion took place on the occasion of the second ever G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting on 16 February 2017, in the United Nations City of Bonn, Germany.
There is much to discuss as leaders gather in Germany for G20 meetings: from the sluggish global recovery, to the potential for protectionism and threats to globalisation, and the economic and social challenges and opportunities of technological disruption. Reinforced by changing political sentiment over the past year, there is a growing consensus that the global economy is not delivering the benefits that it needs to across the developed world.
In his inaugural address, Donald Trump declared “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first” (a phrase, associated with opponents of entering World War II). Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer commented that “‘America first’ signals the renunciation, and possible destruction, of the US-led world order that Democratic and Republican presidents, starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt, have built up and maintained – albeit with varying degrees of success – for more than seven decades.” (Project Syndicate, “The God of Carnage,” January 27, 2017)