G-20 summit

Global challenges need global responses

Posing with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching (third row, centre) are participants at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires. Among them are (first row, from left): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie; US President Donald
Posing with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching (third row, centre) are participants at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires. Among them are (first row, from left): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie; US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania; Argentinian President Mauricio Macri and his wife Juliana Awada; Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan; German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Second row from left): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine; French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte; Queen Maxima of the Netherlands; Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie; UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Brazilian President Michel Temer. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is on the extreme right in the third row.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Argentina President says no single country can tackle key issues like climate change

Argentinian President Mauricio Macri has opened the Group of 20 leaders' summit in Buenos Aires with a call for the world's largest economies to come together to tackle common challenges amid growing doubts about multilateralism.

"In the last few years, current multilateral mechanisms, including the G-20, have come under fire because of social, political and economic shifts within each country and across the globe," said Mr Macri, whose country is hosting this year's summit as G-20 president.

"Many people look at us and have doubts regarding these summits and what they're good for. It is our duty to show to the world that today, global challenges require global responses. We can't resolve problems such as the future of work or climate change issues on our own," he said.

The run-up to the meeting has been marked by deep disagreements between the major powers over issues such as trade and climate change.

This year's summit is the first to be held in South America, and will tackle issues including the future of work, infrastructure for development, financial stability, climate sustainability and international trade.

Mr Macri reminded the leaders of how the G-20 came together in a spirit of dialogue to prevent a worsening of the global financial crisis 10 years ago.

"Even though the agenda that brings us together today is different, I'd like to ask you to act with the same sense of urgency that brought us together in 2008. In a diverse world, with so many different protagonists with their own background and culture, the essence of the G-20 is to foster dialogue while respecting differences and encouraging actions based on shared interests," he said.

 
 
 
 

He called the summit an opportunity for world leaders to come together to address challenges head on and work through their differences for the common good.

"This has been the case for the last 10 years and I do hope that within today and tomorrow's discussions, we can lay the foundation for consensus for the next decade. We have an enormous task ahead," he said.

Countries can come together with the understanding that they each have their own preferences, values and interests, but with a common goal of fostering sustainable development, he added.

"The solution is dialogue, dialogue and dialogue," he said.

But the Argentine leader acknowledged that consensus was not possible overnight, saying: "It is a process with progress and setbacks, and which will continue even after the G-20."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 02, 2018, with the headline 'Global challenges need global responses'. Print Edition | Subscribe