From November 30 to December 1, 2018, the Group of Twenty (G20) summit was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This was the 13th meeting of the G20 and the main agenda items were about trade, refugees, immigration, environment and climate change.
The most important issues were about environment and trade. Through the summit, 19 countries, except the United States of America reconfirmed their participation in the Paris Agreement on climate change. All leaders agreed that the recent trade conflicts have negative effects and settled the need of reforming the WTO (World Trade Organization).
Despite the successful conferences, there were some controversies. The leader who attracted the most attention was the prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, because he has been accused of directing the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi who was a Saudi Arabian journalist living in exile. President Macri of Argentina said the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi is such an important case that it could be an agenda of a summit. Other G20 leaders seemed to avoid having bilateral talks with Prince bin Salman directly.
The protest against holding the G20 summit in Argentina was huge, so many Argentine citizens demonstrated in front of the city hall in Buenos Aires. The protesters complained about IMF financial regulations placed on Argentina. When Argentina had a big economic crisis, they were helped by an IMF bailout. Many Argentines think that wasn’t helpful at all, so now some of them are against the IMF. Furthermore, some extremists pointed out the problems of capitalism. Some protesters complained about the Argentine government’s traffic control and the response of police to the protesters during the summit. However, according to local news, the protests were quite violent, so there are also many citizens who criticized the protests.
Before the summit, trade negotiations between the U.S. and China became an issue. Since last year, President Trump has complained about unequal trade between the U.S. and China. But after the summit, the two leaders negotiated there will be no additional tariff between the two countries for 90 days.
The G20 summit finished well, but the fact that there were some controversial issues and so many protests against this event will give us some lessons. Whenever the G20 summit is held, there are many conflicts about holding this event in the chosen country. Of course this kind of global event can have conflicts, but if the way the conflicts are expressed is violent and not peaceful, or the government only tries to hide and repress them, not only the host country but also modern society will be harmed.