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The Big Picture – G20 summit: Key takeaways

The Big Picture – G20 summit: Key takeaways



The 2015 G20 summit recently concluded at Antalya in Turkey. Terrorism was a prominent topic on the G20 agenda. At the end of the summit, a joint statement was released by G20 leaders, committing the participant countries to cooperating in resolving the global terrorist threat. However, cooperation between nations in fighting against terrorism is an issue demanding much stronger determination. During the summit, the G20 leaders also said that by 2018 the global GDP would pick up by at least 2%. However, given the state of world economy today, it is not an easy task.

The G20 is a global forum attended by the leaders of the world’s leading economies, aimed at discussing economic and financial cooperation. Its members account for approximately 85% of global GDP and 80% of global trade. Turkey took over the G20 term presidency from Australia in late 2014.

During the recent summit, G20 leaders have also committed to reduce youth unemployment and the gap in women’s labor force participation in the world. G20 countries are aiming to reduce youth unemployment by 15% by 2025 and the gender gap by 25%. Another most significant outcome from the summit included pledges by international leaders to strengthen their commitment in the fight against ISIS.

The G20 leaders have also pledged to work together for a successful Nairobi ministerial meeting on world trade and have called for the prompt ratification and implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. The G20 leaders have agreed to step up the fight against corruption and plug tax loopholes exploited by multinational companies, as part of the efforts to enhance the resilience of financial institutions. Concerns were also expressed over the acute and growing flow of foreign terrorist fighters and the threat it poses for all states, including countries of origin, transit and destination.

G20 countries have decided to cooperate on managing borders, sharing information on suspected terrorists, airline safety, countering terrorist propaganda and freezing terrorist assets. The leaders have also urged for quicker implementation of the Financial Action Task Force, which involves stopping individuals from sending money to terrorist organizations like ISIS. Terrorist financing was first addressed during the G20 summit following the Sept 11 attacks in the U.S.

Refugee issues also featured prominently during discussions. EU leaders said it would continue to maintain current status quos on registered refugees, despite the fact that one of the suspects of the Paris attacks came from Syria, an issue that is likely to further complicate border policies. And Turkey urged summit leaders for more financial aid to help the country cope with the million Syrian refugees flooding across the border, which is having a negative impact on Turkey both culturally and economically. Reaching a political solution to end the conflict in Syria was also a major topic during the summit.

While the summit included productive talks on key security issues facing G20 leaders, the conference did little to address major steps for alleviating impending economic challenges engulfing the world economy. Leaders hardly touched upon specific measures to curb the effects of China’s slowdown and subsequent turmoil across emerging markets as well as plunging oil prices.