G20 Foreign Ministers meet in BonnEnlarge image The G20 foreign ministers meet in the former government district in Bonn (© dpa)
A first for the Foreign Minister: G20 meeting under the German Presidency
The participating foreign ministers and diplomats at the G20 Summit have converged on Bonn from all directions – from Japan to Mexico, and from Russia to Canada. “This is an affirmation of what foreign policy calls multilateralism – i.e. cooperation by everyone with everyone else,” Foreign Minister Gabriel said before the first working session. It was not without reason that Gabriel had invited his counterparts to Bonn. As he stressed, holding the meeting in one of the cities where the United Nations is based was a mark of support for international cooperation. The UN Secretary‑General, António Guterres, is also attending the meeting.
“Shaping the global order – foreign policy beyond crisis management” is the overarching theme of the meeting in Bonn. Recently, foreign policy has been preoccupied with addressing acute crises and conflicts. This informal meeting, however, is intended to examine long-term objectives and the ways in which foreign policy can tackle key global challenges. “Foreign policy is, and must be, more than crisis management,” Gabriel noted.
“Only if we work together will the world be stable”
Enlarge image A working session at the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bonn (© photothek.net)
Foreign Minister Gabriel is well aware that no individual country can tackle the major international problems of our times alone. As he noted, terrorism, water scarcity, climate change, forced migration and humanitarian emergencies cannot be resolved by isolation, but only through cooperation and by means of joint strategies. That is, he said, what makes the G20 Summit so important. Together, the G20 nations account for almost two-thirds of the global population, more than four-fifths of gross world product and three-quarters of global trade. The world’s largest economies that are represented in the G20 bear special responsibility and must jointly address the root causes of conflicts, as well as the options for peaceful crisis prevention and conflict resolution, Gabriel went on to say.
Meeting focuses on the 2030 Agenda, peace, and cooperation with Africa
Enlarge image Foreign Ministers Sigmar Gabriel and Sergey Lavrov spoke about German-Russian relations and the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine (© Ute Grabowsky/photothek.de)
The meeting is therefore focusing on implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. The 2030 Agenda was adopted at a UN summit in September 2015 by all UN member states. Civil society, too, played a key role in drawing up the Agenda. With its 17 goals, the Agenda promotes sustainability in the social, environmental and economic spheres. The G20 wants to become a key driving force in the implementation of this global project.
Another focus is on the long-term sustainment of peace in the world today. Prevention and forward‑looking foreign policy will be at the heart of this debate.
A third focus of the meeting is on cooperation with Africa. Together with an African Union representative, the G20 will discuss what general conditions are needed to combat poverty, strengthen state institutions and ensure that more is done to harness the potential of many African states.
Shaping an interconnected world
The meeting of Foreign Ministers is being organised by Germany as part of its G20 Presidency. The major event of this year’s Presidency will be the summit meeting of G20 Heads of State and Government in Hamburg on 7 and 8 July.
The motto of Germany’s G20 Presidency is “shaping an interconnected world”, and discussions centre around “building resilience”, “improving sustainability” and “assuming responsibility”. Find out more:
Last updated 17.02.2017