The annual G-20 summit: A gathering of leaders from the 19 wealthiest nations in the world, plus the European Union, is traditionally met with crowds of protesters. This year, the summit was held at a downtown venue in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7-8, 2017.
Protesters set fire to vehicles, barricades and even threw rocks at police officers. Some demonstrators were chased across rooftops, and others were sprayed with water cannons. Nearly 200 police officers were injured and a number of protesters were arrested. The agenda for the 2017 G-20 summit included free trade, climate change, and helping refugees and migrants.
President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement and previously said the accord was trying to disadvantage American workers. Trump suggested new tariffs and trade hurdles and pledged to help the U.S. coal industry make a comeback.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated, “I think it’s very clear that we could not reach a consensus, but the differences were not papered over, they were clearly stated.”
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May believes the U.S. could rejoin the Paris accord. She met with Trump at the G-20 summit and said a US-UK trade deal would be signed soon. French President Macron remains hopeful the U.S will be welcomed back to the Paris Climate agreement.
Leaders of the 19 nations at the G-20 summit renewed their pledge to implement the Paris deal, despite U.S. non-participation. Chancellor Merkel also said the U.S would “endeavor to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently.”
While attending the G-20 summit, President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who assured him that Moscow had not interfered with the 2016 presidential election. Russia, the U.S., and Jordan created a ceasefire deal in southern Syria.
Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and they discussed efforts to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
Pope Francis chimed in about the G-20 summit, saying Trump’s alliance with Putin is hazardous. He included them with China and North Korea, along with Putin and Bashar al-Assad of Syria, as dangerous alliances. The Pope fears that Trump and Putin will cause harm for the poor and migrants and told the Italian Daily News, “The G-20 worries me, it hits migrants in countries in half of the world and it hits them even more as time goes by.”
The Pope urged Chancellor Merkel to think about the poor and refugees when going forward with policies at the G-20 summit, and not to see migrants as criminals. He wants leaders to focus more on sustainable economic growth. Merkel is expected to lead the discussion on how Europe will cope with the huge number of migrants, since 2015.
The G-20 was formed from the G-7, after the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. Members contribute 85 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP). The U.S. has remained the world’s largest economy for 20 years.
Another summit will be held on Dec. 12, 2017, in Paris.
Written by Nicole Thompson
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Sunday Express: Pope Francis Slams Donald Trump’s ‘dangerous’ G-20 alliance with Vladimir Putin
BBC: G-20 Hamburg Leaders Fail to bridge Trump Climate Chasm
Quartz: Thanks to Donald Trump, the 2017 G-20 Summit has even more fireworks than usual
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr’s Page – Creative Commons Licensed