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Sunday 17 December 2017

Five things you need to know about the G20 summit

World leaders including Angela Merkel at the start of the first working session of the G20 summit in Hamburg (AP)
World leaders including Angela Merkel at the start of the first working session of the G20 summit in Hamburg (AP)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

With the G20 currently taking place in Hambourg in Germany, we have the five things you need to know about the summit.

1) What is the aim of the meetings?

The Group of 20, or G20 as it is more commonly known, meet to discuss policy issues around the promotion of international financial stability.

Since 2011 the summit has been held annually. Meetings are usually held behind closed doors, and the group does not have the power to enforce decisions that it makes.

2) Who gets to attend?

The G20 is attended by governments and central bank governors from twenty of the world’s major economies.

Collectively the G20 account for around 85pc of the gross world product.

The Irish government and central bank governor does not attend, however the European Union is the final member of the panel and it is represented at the event by the European Commission.

Read more: G20 summit to strengthen multilateral co-operation, says German Chancellor Angela Merkel

3) This year Germany takes its place as a global leader

Germany is emerging as a global leader. Germany’s recent global prominence really started with the Euro crisis which thrust Germany into a position that historically it wasn’t keen on.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been in power in Germany for the past 12 years, has not shied from the role of a global leader, and there is the growing recognition in Germany that it has a role to play in global soft power.

4) Climate change

Ms Merkel is using the event to try find a co-ordinated solution to the climate change issue.

It is expected that US President Donald Trump will face a hostile reception from other nations following his decision to pull the US from the 2015 Paris climate change agreement last month.

In a joint statement on Friday, Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the so-called BRIC countries) called on the G20 to push for the implementation of the Paris climate deal despite Trump’s decision last month.

"The Paris agreement on climate change is an important consensus that doesn't come easily and must not be given up easily," Chinese President Xi Jinping said.

Read more: EU and Japan trumpet trade deal as rebuke to a closed America

5) Security issues

Around 20,000 police officers will work to police the G20 event as the summit faces threats from both protesters and the possibility of a terror attack.

Police have said that they are expecting around 100,000 protesters from around Europe to attend the event.

The protesters say that the G20 has failed to solve a number of issues threatening global stability.

 

(Additional reporting from Reuters)

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