Climate change will impact all human societies, and especially the poor. As acknowledged by the G20 agriculture ministers’ declaration in January 2017, the agricultural sector is crucial for food security, climate change adaption, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, managing water scarcity and human migration, and achieving peace and stability. Agricultural trade will play an important role.
The G20 has made tackling corruption a priority in 2017, highlighting in particular the harm caused in impeding the development of the poorest countries, threatening market integrity and distorting open competition. This damage is nowhere more evident than in public procurement. Public money is wasted, infrastructure is built to poor standards, public services are provided inadequately.
Last week in an interview with Reuters, U.S. President Trump labelled the Chinese as “grand champions at manipulation of currency”, indicating he has not fully backtracked from his campaign promise to designate China as a ‘currency manipulator’ on ‘day one’ of his Presidency. The position of Washington on this topic has not exactly been crystal clear, however, with the new U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, announcing on the same day as Trump’s comment that the Treasury was in fact still going through the formal process of analysing Chinese currency practices, and that no judgements would be made prior to the completion of that process. Read the rest of this entry »
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.