The G20 Summit in Brisbane this weekend will be attended by world leaders such as Barack Obama, David Cameron and Vladimir Putin.
Much of the media’s focus has been on an expected showdown between Tony Abbott and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the MH17 tragedy, but there is a lot more to this economy-focused summit than Abbott’s proposed shirtfront. After Mr Putin and Mr Abbott came face to face in Beijing on Tuesday at the APEC summit without incident, rumours that our PM hit the visiting Russian with a shoulder-charge-like AFL tackle have subsided.
- Promoting stronger economic growth and employment outcomes
- Making the global economy more resilient to deal with future shocks
- Strengthening global institutions to ensure they reflect the new realities of the global economy
Essentially the summit is focused on making sure the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) doesn’t happen again, or at least to the enormous scale in 2007 and 2008.
G20 stems from the name Group of 20 as 19 individual countries and the European Union band together for the annual economic summit.
It started in 2008 as a response to the GFC and the group has since met eight times in cities around the world, including London, Washington, Cannes and Seoul. This is the first time Australia has hosted the summit.
Over the past five years, G20 summits have proven successful at dealing effectively with the pressing economic problems of the day. In fact, few summits can lay a claim to influencing the world’s economic fortunes as the Washington Summit with its 47-point Action Plan, or the London Summit with its agreement on a $5 trillion stimulus and a $1.1 trillion package for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
In a controversial decision, Tony Abbott has decided that climate change will not be discussed at the summit as he wants to avoid it being cluttered by issues unrelated to the economy. Climate change has been discussed at each of the previous summits.
Up to 3000 domestic and international media representatives are also expected to attend the meeting. Due to the large number of prominent members of society who will be gathering, there is a heightened security risk in Brisbane. As such, Brisbane residents can expect their regular lives to be disrupted on Saturday and Sunday, with the Brisbane CBD, South Brisbane and routes to and from the airport and the city listed as areas to avoid.
Most of the international delegations will arrive on Friday in special aircraft from their home countries. – Louis Dillon
Top photo from John’s Flickr photostream.