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.
There are seven months left until the 2017 G20 Summit takes place in Hamburg. With the German Government having released its priorities as the incoming G20 president in December 2016, what can we realistically now hope for in Hamburg? One way to think about this question is to cast our minds forward to July 9, the day after the Hamburg Summit, and consider whether the announced priorities are liable to have helped or hindered G20 negotiations in 2017. However, this raises a further question – what sort of achievements or progress should we be looking for to determine if the Hamburg Summit is a success?
Donald Trump will become President of the USA on 20 January 2017. Even if he only implements part of what he has announced, a political earthquake will be unleashed. This will radically change the conditions the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement. Efforts to organize global cooperation need to be massively expanded: the EU needs to strengthen its international profile, and it needs a 100-day programme outlining its priorities. The German G20 Presidency can help to strengthen climate protection and the 2030 Agenda. These are the foundations upon which the transatlantic partnership as well as dialogue between societies must move forward.