10 July 2017
G20 Leaders' Summit in Hamburg

Germany’s G20 Presidency motto: "Shaping an interconnected world"

Chancellor Angela Merkel has declared herself satisfied with the outcome of the G20 summit. In the field of trade agreement was reached that markets must be kept open. The major industrialised states and emerging economies also agreed to fight protectionism and unfair trade restrictions.

Speaking during her final press conference of the summit, Merkel explained that she had clearly voiced German and European interests and, in her capacity as host, had pressed all sides to embrace compromise.  The Chancellor said: "That was the spirit in which we worked here. And that is reflected in the Leaders’ Declaration." In this context Angela Merkel again pointed to the motto of Germany’s G20 Presidency "Shaping an interconnected world".

Keeping markets open around the world

During the global economic and financial crisis some ten years ago, the G20 demonstrated its strength when it played a crucially important part in stabilising national economies and financial markets. Merkel reaffirmed: “What was true back then is still true today: we can achieve more if we act together than we could alone”, adding that “Markets must be kept open”.

International trade based on clear rules

Merkel reported that there had been extremely intensive discussions on trade, but summit participants agreed to fight protectionism and unfair trade practices. The rules-based international trading system, as embodied by the World Trade Organization (WTO), played a vital role in this. The Chancellor warned that bilateral agreements too must always be WTO-compliant.

Resilient financial system

Merkel cited another focus of the Leaders’ Declaration as the aim to ensure stability in the international financial system. She pointed to the Hamburg Action Plan which was also adopted at the summit. The Leaders’ Declaration stipulates: "We will promote greater inclusiveness, fairness and equality in our pursuit of economic growth and job creation. To these ends, we endorse the Hamburg Action Plan."

Better equipped to deal with pandemics

The Chancellor spoke on the problem of pandemics, which could jeopardise economic stability as a whole. For this reason the G20 participants discussed at length the role of the World Health Organization (WHO). Merkel underlined that during Germany’s G20 Presidency, all G20 health ministers met for the first time, which was also attended by the WHO Director-General. The G20 was "now better equipped" to deal with a pandemic, said the Chancellor.

Enabling women to participate more fully

Women’s empowerment also played a central part at the summit, according to the Chancellor. She mentioned the initiative "#eSkills4Girls". The Leaders’ Declaration says that in developing countries in particular, it will “promote opportunities and equal participation for women and girls in the digital economy”.

Accepting responsibility for Africa

The motto of the new G20 Africa Partnership, another focus of the summit, presented by the Chancellor was "Accepting responsibility". Merkel said the G20 Africa Partnership was launched “in recognition of the opportunities and challenges in African countries as well as the goals of the 2030 Agenda," reads the Leaders’ Declaration. In this context, Angela Merkel declared that education was a "central factor" and "the key to sustainable growth" on Europe’s neighbouring continent.

Climate policy – no attempt to conceal dissent

With a view to the fields of climate and energy, discussed at the summit, the Chancellor said, "Where no consensus can be achieved, the declaration must reflect dissent." She regretted the announcement of the USA that it would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. But, Merkel said she was delighted that all other G20 members agreed that the Paris Agreement is irreversible. The Agreement must now be implemented as swiftly as possible.

Chancellor condemns violence "in the strongest possible terms"

The Chancellor condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the "unfettered violence and unrestrained brutality" seen during the riots that accompanied the summit in Hamburg. She stated clearly: “Those who act in this way are not interested in voicing political criticism or in demanding a better life for the people of this world." Anyone acting in this way sidelines themselves from the democratic community.

Thanks to all security forces

At the same time Angela Merkel voiced her express thanks to all security forces and to all those who worked hard to prepare for the summit. She stressed that the thanks came not only from her, but also from all other G20 leaders. Angela Merkel reported that she had spoken with the head of the police operations in Hamburg and thanked him personally. She would also be attending a meeting with Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz, to thank the security forces for their work.

Help for victims of the violence

The Chancellor pointed out that she had already spoken with the Federal Finance Minister, and that ways will now be explored with the City of Hamburg to help the victims of violence deal with the damage sustained. Talks between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the City of Hamburg on this are to begin without delay, Angela Merkel announced.

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