G20 leaders on Saturday found the minimum common ground on the global economy at a summit in Buenos Aires with a closing communique that left divisions on clear display.
The statement offered virtually no concrete promises and, under pressure from US President Donald Trump, avoided language on fighting protectionism and acknowledged Washington’s disagreement on battling climate change.
Here are key points from the communique by the Group of 20, which accounts for more than four-fifths of the global economy, after the two-day summit:
– Climate change –
G20 signatories to the Paris Agreement on climate — which is all of them except the United States — pledged the “full implementation” of the pact, which they called “irreversible.”
They also took note, without further pledges, of UN scientists’ call for a more ambitious target of reducing warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
But the United States reiterated its withdrawal from the agreement, “and affirms its strong commitment to economic growth and energy access and security.”
– Trade –
Bowing to the view of Trump’s administration, the G20 said that multilateral trade was “falling short of its objectives” on promoting growth and job creation.
It called for reforms of the World Trade Organization “to improve its functioning,” saying progress would be reviewed at next year’s summit in Japan.
– IMF –
Calling the International Monetary Fund crucial to the global safety net, the G20 pledged to provide adequate funding and to meet a goal of finalizing new national quotas in time for the global lender’s spring 2019 meetings.
The quotas determined each member’s voting rights. Major emerging economies in the G20 such as China and India have been pressing for a bigger say at the IMF.
– Corruption –
The G20 “committed to prevent and fight corruption and lead by example,” promising action from 2019 through 2021 on cleaning up state-run enterprises.
– Gender inequality –
The G20 recommitted to a four-year-old goal of reducing the gender gap in the labor force by 25 percent by 2025. It supported doing more, including increasing efforts to bring education to girls.
– Future of work –
Noting that new technologies will transform the nature of labor, the G20 called for “an inclusive, fair and sustainable” future of work, with retraining of workers where needed.
– Infrastructure –
Calling infrastructure a key driver of global growth, the G20 called for greater standardization in contract-making to encourage more private capital.