The G20 undermines the UN

G20 meeting in Osaka : Merkel against the men's associations

Donald Trump jokes with him. Vladimir Putin greets him with a laugh like an old buddy. And in the family photo of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman can stand in the middle. Between US President Trump and host Shinzo Abe.

Saudi Arabia will host the summit next year. As a reminder, according to a UN report, bin Salman is responsible for the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. And death sentences are being carried out in rows in the country. It is a "family picture" that says a lot.

The G20 is in the deepest crisis since it was founded in 1999 and the summit of heads of state and government was established in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008. Much has been achieved for better global financial rules to avoid such meltdowns. Now we could possibly agree on global minimum taxation rules next year. But everything has become more insecure.

Because the supporters of multilateralism and trustworthy politics are off the shelf. This manifests itself in the scenes in Osaka. Trump is doing billions in arms exports to the Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia is also slowing down climate protection agreements. The West, meanwhile, is divided into two camps between the US and the EU. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) is on the far right of the photo, almost to the side. And she knows: we will see if she is trembling again. She was still missing, a debate about her health - she sends the message: Everything is good.

She passed the stress test in Osaka after the latest incident during the swearing-in of the new Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD). Anyone like her who has been Chancellor for almost 14 years in these turbulent times must have robust health. She has a real bilateral speed-dating at the G20 summit, with Trump, Putin, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, China's President Xi Jinping and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among others. On the sidelines, he also spoke to Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro for the first time, under whom the deforestation of the rainforest is progressing.

This time it arrived on time for the start - in addition to the “Theodor Heuss”, the second available long-haul airbus was also sent to Japan as security: the “Konrad Adenauer”. Merkel had a serious breakdown with it on the way to the summit in Buenos Aires at the end of November 2018 and had to travel by line. The climate balance of the trip is not the best, just like the climate issue in Osaka in general becomes a predetermined breaking point.

For the first time, there is the threat of a G20 summit without a final communiqué

Alongside the USA, Saudi Arabia and Brazil are becoming insecure cantons - there is a goal of limiting global warming to a maximum of two degrees, but by no means sufficient measures to achieve it. Why do we need such expensive G20 summits, including numerous cordoned-off, deserted streets in Osaka, when there is hardly any consensus and a lot of conflict - the Japanese hosts are trying to cover up the conflicts with diaper-soft formulations. But for the first time there is a very concrete threat of failure, a G20 summit without a final communiqué. The Sherpas have to negotiate so that there may still be something tangible by the end of the summit on Saturday.

Merkel's weird opening meeting with Trump

Merkel has an offbeat opening meeting in Osaka. US President Donald Trump showered her with praise, Merkel looks pretty serious. She already knows that. Carrot and stick, outside of personal conversations, he likes to rage against the German trade surpluses and the too many German cars that drive through New York. "She is a fantastic person, a fantastic woman," said Trump to Merkel, who is sitting next to him, with the American and German flags in the background. She is really a "great friend."

On other days he castigates their refugee policy as crazy - he wants to solve the migration crisis on the border with Mexico simply with a wall. Still nothing has been resolved. On the German side, there is certainly concern that if there is an agreement on the trade conflict with China's head of state Xi Jinping - they will meet on Saturday to attempt a solution in Osaka - Trump could turn back to the customs dispute with the EU, which is only temporarily suspended.

Merkel tries to appease him with the billions invested by German companies in the USA in the barren area L-6. But he cares more about domestic politics at the meeting in the presence of the German and American journalists - that can be understood as an affront. For the home audience, he prefers to deal with the TV debate of the democratic presidential candidates.

Trump prefers to talk about "Sleepy Joe" and the Democratic debate

“I don't know if you saw it. It wasn't very exciting, I can tell you, ”says Trump, who thinks he has a good chance of being re-elected in 2020. Merkel sits next to it with an unmoved expression. He later tweeted that it was probably not a good day for “Sleepy Joe” (Biden) and “Crazy Bernie” (Sanders), that somehow seems to interest him more.

And it undermines the G20 format, not just by blocking a commitment to free and fair trade and more climate protection. He shifts most of it to bilateral meetings, which he stages as a Trump show - and thus weakens the joint rounds. Of the five work sessions in Osaka, he'll end up missing at least two. And then there is also Vladimir Putin, who is also meeting Trump for a longer discussion, they get along personally - and agree to work for more gun control. But there remains, for example, in addition to the ongoing issue of possible Russian interference in the US election campaign in favor of Trump, the unsolved problem with the canceled INF nuclear disarmament treaty.

Putin criticizes Merkel and praises Trump

In an interview with the Financial Times, the Russian President stated in line with the summit: Merkel's decision that hundreds of thousands of refugees could seek refuge in Germany in 2015 was a "cardinal mistake". He praises Trump on the other hand. It is true that he cannot judge whether it is right to build a wall on the border with Mexico. But it is bad if nobody takes action in the face of mass migration. Putin also thinks that the liberal idea has outlived itself. Trump knows very well "what his voters expect from him". He has his own vision of the world.

Most EU countries are particularly concerned that this is an anti-liberal vision - the escalation with Iran also plays a role in the hallways of the exhibition center in Osaka - the hosts are always carrying flags to and fro at lightning speed all rooms are properly furnished for the many meetings.

But much remains a beautiful appearance. The G20 countries represent two thirds of the world's population, 80 percent of the world's gross domestic product, but also 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions - if they no longer manage to come up with common, multilateral solutions, that's bad news for the future of this world.

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