“The July 2017 G-20 Summit: Beyond The Theatrics


If anything, this is the first time this century is faced with a seemingly intractable set of overlapping problems.They range from Poverty and Unemployment, Human Rights and Climate Change, to xenophobic levels of fear of Global Terrorism, Wars in the Middle East and Africa and, importantly the climacteric threat of war in the Japanese Peninsula.The latter concern must receive priority attention at the Leaders’ Summit, because of its implications among the powerful States for global leadership in Economics, Finance, Global Trade, Climate Change, Human Rights and mounting geopolitical concerns such as tensions in US-Europe, US-Russian and US-China relations.By any measure, It is a tall order for this Summit to fill. Some philosophical reflections follow:

-There must be full commitment on the part of the Summit Leaders to reaching clear consensus on the issues discussed.

-They must avoid posturing and “strongman” theatrics. Genuine one-to-one dialogues in private meetings will add more to mutual understanding and acknowledged synergy than feigned social chatter in the corridors of the august meeting chambers.

They must realise that they hold the fate of the planet in their hands and it behooves them to ensure that, all peoples, not just the few chosen, have the right to live in peace and dignity as part of our shared humanity.

This latter point is acknowledged by peoples of all faiths that the Creator of the Universe has given Man the Intellect to distinguish between good and evil and has entrusted him the stewardship of His Creation, which includes all living creatures as well as the flora and the fauna.

It is hoped the Summit Leaders, through positive attitudes and non self-serving dialogue, will be able to reach a compact on the thorny issues of Terrorism in the first place and the North Korean nuclear threat a close second. Mutual trust within the US-European geographical mix will then automatically pave the way forward to resolution of the Middle East conundrum. ”

The author, a Canadian citizen, is a former senior UNHCR official who worked at the Geneva Headquarters and as (Regional) Representative in Malaysia, Japan, Australia and the Sudan. He resides in Geneva, Switzerland.

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