By Hanif Ghafari

The G20 fruitless summit

December 5, 2018

TEHRAN - The 2018 G20 summit in Buenos Aires, was the thirteenth meeting of Group of Twenty (G20), which was held on 30 November and 1 December 2018 in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Incidents such as Angela Merkel's airplane technical failure, Mohammed bin Salman wandering in Buenos Aires and his compulsory stay at the Residence of the Saudi Embassy in Argentina, Trump's cold behavior with the President of Argentina, mistaking the Chinese President with another by the President of Argentina and the minor 3.5-magnitude earthquake in Buenos Aires, taking place less than one day before the summit, were among the sidelines of this summit. However, the main question about the "philosophy of holding the G20 Summit" and the "outcome of this meeting" remains unanswered!

The fact is that the G20 members have been meeting several times during the Obama presidency and after the economic crisis in the West. Even at that time (during which there was no barrier called "Trump" at the White House), the top 20 world leaders could not come to a collective and credible solution to solve the existing economic crises.

 More than ten years have passed since the beginning of the economic crisis in the United States and Europe, and European officials continue to call for the adoption of austerity policies as the only way to keep the status quo. This is in spite of the fact that many of the economists and politicians in the West are pessimistic about the transition from this economic crisis which is ruling over the international system.

At the moment, in addition to the underlying crisis affecting the G20, we are witnessing another crisis called "the presence of Trump in the White House"! The U.S. President explicitly rejects the multilateralism considered by the G20 member states and violates international trade law by unilateralism. Currently, the main concern of G20 members is how to confront Trump's protectionist policies and orders.

 In the meantime, there is essentially no opportunity for convergence among G20 members to face the current economic crisis in the international system. Numerous problems and damages had hardly hit the G20 member states' infrastructure as well as their superstructure, and it should be acknowledged that the top 20 economic powers in the world have not yet decided how to deal with these two types of problems. 

Finally, it should be concluded that the recent G20 summit has become a symbol of the lack of cooperation between the participating members in the international system, rather than a symbol of convergence of the world's most powerful economic players. 

The next point to be noted here is that the secret security and political equations among some of the G20 players (including the membership of some of these countries in NATO) has severely shadowed their economic relations. This has led many of the G20 member states' decisions to be influenced by other factors and relations.

 At any rate, it was quite clear that this costly summit was of no significant role in solving the economic crisis of the world today, and except for some news stories which we heard about the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, there was no remarkable outcome. Without a doubt, unless the tensions between the Group 20 member states are resolved, this failure will remain strong, even if Trump leaves the White House forever!

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