oliticians, civil servants and protestors convene in Hamburg for the start of the G20, in what’s billed as a showdown between Europe and the US over climate change, migration and free trade. But campaign group Global Justice Now has slammed the agenda as “the same tired and failed policies which produced monsters like Trump in the first place”. They argue for fundamental change to defeat the serious danger which the so-called right-wing populists like Trump represent to the future of the world.
Nick Dearden, speaking from the G20 counter summit currently taking place in Hamburg said:
“For all the nice talk about climate change and ‘helping Africa’, this G20 puts forward the same solutions that have so badly failed to create a more equal and sustainable world for the last 20 years. ‘More market, more big business, more finance, and a few tweaks to iron out the problems.’ But it requires more than tweaks – the model itself is broken.
“This G20 has been hailed as a showdown between the responsible free trade leaders of Europe and the dangerous populist strongmen like Trump, Putin and Erdogan. But it’s exactly because of these free market policies which have so badly undermined democracy and trust in political institutions that an extremist like Trump is now in the White House. We need a new model to undermine the racism and thuggery of Trump and his ilk – one that values human life before the profits of the superrich.”
Specific G20 policies
Nick Dearden, speaking on the G20 theme of ‘Building Resilience’ (trade, finance, tax, jobs, investment) said:
“The G20 can’t, on the one hand call for a fairer system and a ‘globalisation that works for all’, while also constantly caving in to the demands of big business. The development of financial markets, ‘structural reforms’ like those imposed on Greece, more and more open markets – these are the same failed policy instruments that have created such massive inequality and a deep lack of trust in politics. Of course we want a fair tax system and fair trade rules, but that doesn’t come about by giving the market whatever it asks for. It doesn’t come from the liberalisation of capital markets or digital technology. We need to regulate big business and control capital, distributing the benefits of technology throughout global society. That’s how you undermine leaders like Trump – but there’s precious little of that on the agenda.”
Nick Dearden, speaking on the G20 theme of ‘Improving Sustainability’ (climate, development, IT, healthcare, women) said:
“There’s plenty that can be done to combat climate change and the coming health crisis. We could radically reduce carbon emissions, provide large scale financing to help other countries develop without fossil fuels, and insist that public funding for health means accessible medicines for all. None of this is on the agenda of the G20, and their actions – and lack of them speak louder than their rhetoric.”
Nick Dearden, speaking on the G20 theme of ‘Assuming Responsibility’ (migration, food security, terrorism, Africa) said:
“Europe and the US certainly bear a huge responsibility for the multiple crises we find ourselves in. The flows of migration we’re seeing at the moment stem directly from Western policies – a desperately unfair economic system which has created joblessness, crisis and unprecedented inequality, as well as invasions and wars which have ripped apart the Middle East. it’s just incredible that those leaders directly fuelling terrorism will be sitting in the room, pretending to come up with solutions. And when people seek a better life? They are met by the barbarism not only of Trump but also at Europe’s border.
“How can we continue to live in a fortress and yet pretend to care about the future of Africa? The G20’s Africa partnership says it all – it’s a partnership with big business to exploit African countries. Their food security policies will displace thousands more small farmers so that agribusiness can take hold.
“Before asking how they can make things better, perhaps the world’s leaders should question how they have created such utter chaos and mistrust.”
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