G20 summit proved to be productive
Summing up the results of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, the deputy head of the presidential expert department, Russian president’s representative in G20 (sherpa) Svetlana Lukash said that the main achievement of the summit was a confirmation that all key economies are ready to work together based on common rules and multi-faceted a approach to respond to global challenges, strengthen key institutions of global governance as a central platform for resolving all possible differences, also based on the principles of consensus and multilateral cooperation.
According to Lukash, the summit’s declaration enshrines its readiness to multilateral cooperation and work within the framework of such international organizations as the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and a number of others. "Many expected the situation at the APEC summit may be repeated, when the leaders were not able to agree on common approaches and made agreement on the final communiqué. Indeed, all discussions took place in a very challenging mode. Due to all the contradictions we were not sure till the last moment that it is possible to agree on these decisions. But nevertheless they made it," the sherpa said.
She considers the end of the acute phase of recent trade disagreements to be the most important agreement in Buenos Aires: "The countries confirmed their readiness to work further with the WTO, they understood the need to modernize its main institutions and start reforming this basic regulatory international trade tool. That was the key discussion on the first day of the summit. A common decision of all leaders fixed in the declaration was the desire to jointly reform the WTO, taking interests of all its members into account. Further this process will be launched already within WTO. Of course, the G20 countries would not be the only source of agreement on this reform. This should be done together, taking into account interests and approaches of all WTO members. But the G20 has always shown leadership and always tried to initiate overdue reforms in the institutions of global governance. This happened earlier on the example of such institutions of global financial governance as the IMF, the World Bank, and now it's WTO’s turn."
At the G20 summit, the leaders also discussed the key challenges of the global economy - trends that will determine the future of mankind. “First of all, it concerns the transition to a digital economy. What would labor markets be like, whether we will lose work in the future due to robotization and digitalization of all spheres of life, how should we adapt people to new conditions, providing them with the necessary skills, how to change the approach to education and modernize the education system - it was a key priority not only of the Argentina’s Presidency, but of all the G20 member countries, and of course unconditional priority of Russia's national policy," Lukash said.
Other challenges, according to her, are related to climate change: “It is important that the countries, despite the U.S. separate position on the Paris Agreement, managed to agree on a unified approach in the fight against climate change. All countries will fulfill their commitments at the national level. For some of them it is fixed within the framework of the Paris Agreement, someone will do everything possible at the level of national policy either way. We hope that this such unity in G20 will provide an impetus to develop a set of rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement."
The summit also discussed migration issues. “Everyone has different approaches to the issue of migration, migration policy, refugees, the flows of displaced persons, which predetermine the development of many economies now. At the summit, they agreed to continue the dialogue in this area. Next year, during Japan's Presidency, they need common approaches on how to act in this area both to resolve current migration crises and possible developments in the future," Lukash promised.
As a key topic of the summit, she also focused on cooperation in reforming the international tax system: "In 2013, during Russia's Presidency, the international tax system reform was launched, the G20 project against tax base erosion was adopted. This project has been successfully implemented, a lot of initiatives have been launched. All countries note that the measures implemented within the framework of this project had a serious economic impact both at the level of individual economies and in the field of international cooperation in general."