The 2017 G20 Summit, Hamburg, Germany

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Introduction

In the year 2017, Group of Twenty (G20 Summit) held their twelfth meeting in Hamburg, Germany. In the meeting, certain issues such as international trade, regulating the financial market, economic growth around the globe were to be focused upon. Matters that have serious global significance were to be discussed by delegates, diplomats, and leaders of several nations. Along with that – migration, health, occupation, economic empowerment of women was also to be brought into focus.

The Group of Twenty (G20 Summit) is an informal forum for international cooperation, and consists of 19 major economies plus the European Union.
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How did the meeting go?

Unfortunately, the meeting did not turn out as it was expected to be. The summary paper that included the issues to be discussed was rather vague. The press release or the report of the conference made by the twenty participants can be regarded as the sole success of the summit. Resolutions that were determined to be followed failed to be legitimately bound. Instead of jointly agreeing upon trade or steel production – disagreements remained. US President Donald Trump blamed both China and Europe for dumping. Whereas Germany had prior decided to make climate protection as one of the primary issues of the meeting, Trump never said a word about climate protection. 19 states although agreed to the Paris agreement from which the US had withdrawn, Turkish President later revealed his disagreement. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump had a former rivalry on matters related to North Korea, Syria, and Ukraine. Added to that, the accusation of Russia’s intervention in the US elections was also to be analyzed when the two renamed leaders meet in person. Trump stuck to his decision of making sanctions toughened in regard to conflicts in Ukraine which ended up raging Putin. The US President also angered China when the nation made an approval to Taiwan of $1.3 billion arms.

G20 Summit leaders gather in Germany's Hamburg amid protests
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Protest against the summit

Since the very first day of the meeting, i.e. on 7th July, protestors played loud Jimi Hendrix music in order to obscure the classical music of the concert hall. Huge population gathered on the streets of Hamburg, showing their protests against climate protection, globalization, and capitalism etc. A violent form of protest was exhibited in the form of setting cars or trucks on fire, looting shops, lighting firecrackers amongst many others. Police had to try hard to manage the uncontrollable situation. There was the use of tear gas and water cannon etc to scatter the protestors and handle them. Never before had such a massive and violent protest taken place so close to an international summit. Police helicopters had to initiate patrolling when an entire supermarket was looted and plundered and cash machine was set on fire near Schanzenviertel. In several areas, the police faced difficulty in putting out fires as well as controlling the rage of the mob. In fact, a condition was worsened to the extent of cancellation of German Finance Minister’s visit in Hamburg. According to an official source, nearby 111 policemen were injured and dozens of people were arrested. To this horrifying incident, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that peaceful protest can be understood but such violent forms of protest are totally unacceptable.

G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany
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