At first glance, the communiqué of the G20’s Hamburg Summit is an ordinary piece of international diplomacy. However, as is often the case, context is key to assess its real importance. Two context factors defined this year’s negotiations of G20 leaders in the exhibition halls in the city center of Hamburg. Within the negotiation room, an unruly US president questioned a number of common positions that had already been adopted by the G20 in previous years.
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.
The chairs of the Think20, together with the other G20 Engagement Groups Business20, Civil20, Labour20, Science20 and Women20, published a Joint Statement for Open and Inclusive Societies. On the occasion of the meeting of the G20 Foreign Ministers on 16 and 17 February 2017 in Bonn, Germany, and in view of growing challenges to the international community, the Engagement Groups call upon the G20 countries to reinforce their efforts for effective multilateralism and coordination of future-orientated domestic policies that shape globalization in an inclusive way.
The German government has identified deeper cooperation with Africa as one of the top priorities for its G20 presidency. Against this background, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), as the coordinators of the T20 process in 2016/17, together with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), are hosting the T20 Africa Conference: Building alliances for sustainable development on 1-3 February in Johannesburg, South Africa.