Global development finance – Cooperative multilateralism still has a chance

Photo: Money

After the G7 summit in Canada it is questioned whether the global summitry, be it G7 or G20, can have any value anymore or whether it should be scrapped altogether, at least as long as cooperative multilateralism is regarded as useless by the largest economic and military power, the US. Is there anything substantial to be expected from the next G20 Summit in Argentina in November this year or from the next G7 summit in France in 2019?…

After the G7 Summit: When you think it can’t get any worse…

Photo: ShredderThe G7 Summit on 8 and 9 June 2018 in Charlevoix, Canada, ended in the worst possible outcome. Even an open clash at the negotiation table would have been better than President Trump’s post-summit withdrawal from the joint communique. On his road of destruction of the existing international order, Donald Trump has deprived the G7 of its operating principle: the forging of shared purpose as a basis of joint action among a select group of important countries. This is a bad omen for the upcoming G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the end of the year.

Look for water bottle diplomacy in Charlevoix

Photo: La MalbaieIf global leaders are running an iron-man race to achieve their national and collective commitments to the Paris Agreement, the G7 meeting of leaders in Charlevoix will be an uphill section of an already grueling course. Expect G7 leaders to reach for aluminium – not plastic – water bottles to quench their thirst during this difficult stretch of the race. Light aluminium water bottles will be heavy with meaning, as G6 leaders consider if they want to limit their ambition to facilitate a G7 consensus on protecting oceans and reducing plastics pollution, or draw the line – acknowledging that action on climate change cannot wait for the next US presidency – and show leadership by issuing an ambitious G6 leaders’ communiqué on climate change, oceans and clean energy.

Bringing positive energy to the trading system: EU, Japan and Africa move to sign mega-trade deals

Photo: Containers in HamburgTrade policy headlines are dominated today by the ups and downs of the United States-China relationship, the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Brexit process. There is concern on the effects that disintegrating closely linked economic partners could have on growth, jobs, supply chains, and consumers. The perils of a return to unilateralism and power-based mechanisms threaten the relevance of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Among the challenges confronting global trade governance, however, there is positive energy coming from several regions of the world in the form of renewed and pro-active leadership on preferential trade agreements (PTAs) on the part of the European Union (EU), Japan and Africa. This energy is welcome as it is a source of global cooperation, but more is needed to make sure it complements the multilateral trading system.