The G-20 summit saw 19 leaders of the world’s most powerful countries come together to discuss and find solutions to the most pressing economic pitfalls facing the world right now.
Angela Merkel’s chosen agenda — which included the topics of climate change, mass migration, and free trade — was thought to have been a direct dig at President Trump, who in the past has received international backlash for his stances on these issues. However, the G -20 summit pressed on as it always does, even amid unusually charged anti-globalization protests that occurred in Hamburg, the city where the summit was held.
For most of the summit, many of world leaders present criticized Trump for his isolationist and environmental policies. A major takeaway from the summit is while the other 19 leaders reaffirmed their loyalties to the Paris Agreement, they were also forced to acknowledge Trump’s withdrawal from it.
In terms of Sino-U.S. Relations-the focus as expected was North Korea since tensions were already high before the G-20 summit after the regime of Kim Jong Un had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier that week.
To the surprise of many, President Trump, who had days before chastised China for growing its trade relations with the hermit kingdom, took a conciliatory tone on Saturday at a meeting with Chinese President Xi. Both leaders affirmed their commitment to keep working on two pressing issues: North Korea’s nuclear threat and bilateral trade issues.
Another important issue addressed during the G-20 summit was the introduction of a new ‘des-escalation’ deal for Syria.
According to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who sat in on the meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the U.S. along with Russia and Jordan had reached a ceasefire agreement in southwest Syria to reduce violence of the conflict in this zone.
Although specific details of the ceasefire were not settled during meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei declared later that day at a news conference that “at first, security around this de-escalation zone will be ensured by forces and means of Russian military police in coordination with Jordanians and Americans.”
After the Trump-Putin meeting, Tillerson went on to say that both presidents had a “lengthy discussion of other areas in Syria “ where U.S. and Russia can work together. Furthermore, he assured that de-escalation deal in southwest Syria was the “first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria.”
One last major highlight of the two-day meeting was the commitment of the Trump administration to women empowerment. First Daughter Ivanka Trump unveiled a $300 million Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative at the World Bank that will provide financial and non-financial resources, including loans , mentoring and technical assistant to women-led start-ups in developing countries.