In a potentially ominous sign for this year’s G20 Summit, pieces from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung were played to a sold-out audience in the Elbphilarmonie (Hamburg’s new concert hall, which is also the venue for the G20 Summit starting July 7). Translated into English as ‘the Twilight of the Gods’, the opera is the final episode in the lengthy ring-cycle saga which looks at the rise and fall of rule by the supreme powers, and how infighting among the gods in Valhalla is the cause of their ultimate destruction. Were it not five hours in duration, Angela Merkel could do worse than reminding G20 leaders of the themes Wagner’s opera addresses ahead of their two days of meetings.
In her pursuit for stronger global health governance cooperation under the aegis of the G20, Angela Merkel is showing what can be achieved when leaders are both experienced and driven enough to steer the G20 towards achieving useful and effective outcomes. Although the challenge of finding meaningful consensus between leaders in global governance forums appears to have increased in recent times – the recent G7 leaders meeting at Taormina being a notable example – small wins can and should still be pursued.
This statement is supported by renowned scholars from rising powers of the South as well as Germany. The common position demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the Paris Accord and expresses our determination to deepen joint knowledge creation on existential issues for human survival and sustainable development, for global justice and social integration.
In 40 days time, leaders at the 2017 G20 Summit in Hamburg will sign off on the twelfth G20 Leaders communique. Over the last two days of the 2017 Think20 Summit in Berlin, held under the moniker of ‘Global Solutions’, prominent experts and policy makers have taken the opportunity to consider ideas that might be addressed at the Leaders’ summit, to reflect on Germany’s presidential year, as well as cast their minds forward to Argentina’s upcoming G20 presidency and beyond.
In the wake of the tense G7 Leaders Summit in Italy, it is clear that advocates for multilateralism, cross-border cooperation, and globalism in general, must redouble their efforts if they are to successfully counter growing populist support for inward-looking nationalism. In a refreshing reminder of the resolve of those committed to global cooperation, the 2017 Think20 Summit has successfully brought together several hundred policy experts, researchers, officials, and stakeholders with an interest in the G20, from across the world, in order to discuss, consolidate, and give one final push to the large body of policy work that the Think20 community has managed to produce over the last six months.