G20 Summit declaration: multilateral trading system ‘falling short’ and needs fixing

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Argentina's President Mauricio Macri and the G20 leaders attend the plenary session at the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 1, 2018. (REUTERS /G20 handout)
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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands prior their talks at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on Dec. 1, 2018. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump attend the plenary session at the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires on Dec. 1, 2018. (G20 Argentina/Handout via REUTERS)
Updated 02 December 2018
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G20 Summit declaration: multilateral trading system ‘falling short’ and needs fixing

  • Summit declaration stopped short of agreement on the two biggest challenges facing the G20: The future of world trade and climate change
  • US President Donald Trump has taken a stance not shared by most of the other leaders

BUENOS AIRES: The G20 Summit of leaders of the world’s most powerful nations ended in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, with a consensus for “fair and sustainable development through an agenda that is people-centred, inclusive and forward-looking.”

The official leaders’ declaration stressed their common goals in the future of work, infrastructure for development, a sustainable food future and a gender-mainstreaming strategy.

“We have addressed our agenda promoting dialogue and the search for common ground. Building consensus requires the commitment of the society as a whole,” the declaration read.

But it stopped short of agreement on the two biggest challenges facing the G20: The future of world trade and climate change. 

On these issues, US President Donald Trump has taken a stance not shared by most of the other leaders.

The declaration struck a neutral formula on trade, reading: “We welcome the strong global economic growth while recognizing it has been increasingly less synchronized between countries and some of the key risks, including financial vulnerabilities and geopolitical concerns, have partially materialized. We also note current trade issues.”

The declaration sought to reconcile the US position with the majority opinion. “International trade and investment are important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development,” it said. “We recognize the contribution that the multilateral trading system has made to that end. The system is currently falling short of its objectives and there is room for improvement,” the declaration added, calling for further reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

On climate, the leaders said: “A strong economy and a healthy planet are mutually reinforcing… We recognize the importance of comprehensive adaptation strategies, including investment in infrastructure that is resilient to extreme weather events and disasters.”

They declared the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which most countries in the world have signed, to be “irreversible.” 

The declaration thanked Argentina for hosting the G20, and the leaders said they look forward to the next scheduled meetings, in Japan next year and Saudi Arabia in 2020.

The Kingdom played a full role in the Buenos Aires summit, with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meeting world leaders of the UK, China, Indonesia and South Africa, among others. 

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jaadan took part in the G20 Investor Forum, organized by the World Bank and held on the sidelines of the main event with a view to promoting long-term sustainable investments.

 


Climate-change protesters target London Stock Exchange and Canary Wharf

Updated 25 April 2019
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Climate-change protesters target London Stock Exchange and Canary Wharf

  • The Extinction Rebellion group has caused mass disruption in recent weeks across London
  • Police said 1,088 arrests have been made since the main protests began last Monday

LONDON: Environmental activists glued themselves to the London Stock Exchange and climbed onto the roof of a train at Canary Wharf on the final day of protests aimed at forcing Britain to take action to avert what they cast as a global climate cataclysm.
The Extinction Rebellion group has caused mass disruption in recent weeks across London, blocking Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge, smashing a door at the Shell building and shocking lawmakers with a semi-nude protest in parliament.
At London Stock Exchange’s headquarters on Thursday, six protesters dressed in black suits and red ties were blocking the revolving doors of the building.
At the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station in Canary Wharf, five protesters from the group climbed aboard a train and unfurled a banner which read: “Business as usual = Death.” One glued herself to a train.
“Extinction Rebellion to focus on the financial industry today,” the group said in a statement. The “aim is to demand the finance industry tells the truth about the climate industry and the devastating impact the industry has on our planet.”
Police said 1,088 arrests have been made since the main protests began last Monday.
The group advocates non-violent civil disobedience to force governments to reduce carbon emissions and avert what it says is a global climate crisis that will bring starvation, floods, wildfires and social collapse.
The group is demanding the government declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and create a citizen’s assembly of members of the public to lead on decisions to address climate change.