The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit extended.
Apart from the routine anti-capitalist protests that events like World Economic Forum, G20 and G7 Summits see, the G20 Summit at Hamburg is also going to be stormy because of two factors – North Korea and US President Donald Trump.
North Korea’s first ICBM test that was surprising successful, giving it the capacity to launch nuclear powered missile on the American mainland, has left the major world powers divided. A Russia-China joint statement was soft when it put the onus of North Korea’s missile launch on annual US-South Korea military drills in the region and deployment of the US anti-ballistic missile defence system THAAD in South Korea.
Trump who had said earlier he would not allow North Korea to have an ICBM, has reacted strongly saying US is drawing plans for its “pretty severe” response. The US, with South Korea, held military drill in response to North Korea’s ICBM and the US allies held an emergency UN Security Council meeting where US’ UN Ambassador Nikki Haley asserted that the US could use “considerable military forces” if situation demanded.
The G20 Summit leaders are meeting in Hamburg against this backdrop where Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, all primary stakeholders in the North Korean crisis, will see face to face each other and the issue will certainly dominate the talks.
The other big issue is climate change that is expected further eclipse the traditional G20 agenda, which is essentially financial and economic in nature and aims to bring social change through implementation of economic policies, i.e., achieving balanced economic growth for a resilient global financial system to take on issues like social empowerment, healthcare, corruption, employment, climate, infrastructure, along with the recent addition of combating terror financing and spread of digital technology.
The 43rd G7 Summit held in Italy on May 26-27 had seen fireworks when the group of the world’s most industrialize nations, i.e., US, UK, Germany, Canada, Japan, France and Italy, had become a virtual 6+1 with Donald Trump pitted against its other six members on his non-committal stand on climate change and the global Paris Climate Accord of 2015 that aims to cut down carbon emission levels to handle global warming.
The final G7 Communiqué after the Summit put the blame squarely on Trump with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying bluntly that Trump had already made up his mind to withdraw from the Paris Accord. And within a week, Trump, a harsh critic of the Paris Accord who used to term global warming a hoax during the campaign days, pulled the US out of global deal on June 1 for which he got global condemnation with countries rallying in favour of and reiterating their commitment to the Paris Accord.
The Presidency of G20, the group of the world’s 19 largest economies and the European Union, keeps on rotating and is currently with Germany which is hosting the 12th G20 Summit of the heads of states and governments in Hamburg. The G20 convention says the agenda of any G20 Summit is laid by the host country and discussions follow the theme accordingly.
And since Angela Merkel has made it clear that climate change discussions will be central to the Hamburg G20 Summit, it will be interesting to see how Trump and the American delegation manage the appearance of their isolationist instance here.