G20 in Hamburg – pathetic

One day after and some rest one may finally ask the question what did the summit achieve for whom politically?

This is the attempt approaching the reality of the G20 summit. It will name the deeply undemocratic and aggressive behavior of the police, the impressive and courageous protest, and the outstanding demonstration of the 76,000 as well as the condemnable actions of the criminal mob. We will learn how many provocateurs were involved. An independent commission is highly needed.

What were the political and material results of the G20 summit?

The costs: the official costs of 130 Million Euros have long been exceeded. The figure of 300 Million Euro is closer to the reality. But there are many costs which cannot be even figured: missing revenues for small shops, for people not being able to go to work, the provoked traffic chaos, tourists who stayed away from Hamburg, and many more.

Did these immense costs bring “political benefit”?

Looking at the final declaration explains the summit-dummy:

Things not included:

  • No single cent for the global climate fund of the United Nations, the fund is not even mentioned;
  • No further financial and political support for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations. They are being named for propaganda but no measure towards its realization is agreed upon. People suffering hunger and poverty still wait for active support. Following this path, Africa will never have a chance to develop itself.
  • No single initiative for the realization of the Paris Climate Agreement. How can the agreements of 2015 become reality? How can emissions be reduced, how can the poorest being helped in the struggle against global warming? Nothing is mentioned in the final declaration. Germany still does not phase out its coal plants and will not reach any climate goals with this government.
  • Disarmament is not mentioned. How can SDGs and climate change aims be reached if there is no reduction of the 1.7 Trillion USD in military expenditure?
  • There is no mentioning of civil conflict resolution and crisis prevention. War and crisis will continue to cost thousands of lives from Afghanistan to Syria daily.

What is included in the final declaration?

  • A confession to the failed neoliberal economic and trade policy. Both, global neoliberal world trade or protectionist national trade are carried out at the expanse of the poorest countries. Both are the opposite of just and fair trade. This failed, exploitative, and unjust trade policy is being praised and continued despite of all the knowledge on its failure.
  • The German government, in a multilateral framework, pursues an aggressive strategy of export surplus. This leads to immense unequal developments, to economic instability, and to political crisis and conflicts in countries in Europe and in other parts of the world.
  • For years more fossil energy. Particularly in the USA but also in many other G20 countries. Germany participates actively in the exploitation of the fossil resources. The necessary phase out of the fossil age is being postponed and the planet is endangered in its existence. The effects of climate change increase day by day and hit the poorest of the poor more. This injustice can hardly be topped.
  • The mendacity involving migrants and immigrants is established: keep them off the fortress Europe no matter how. Trump can easily relate with his own wall. Except in soak-box oratories, human rights are an alien word.
  • What cannot be left out is a confession to “growth”. As if unhemmed growth is not responsible for the crisis and catastrophes of our time. And as if the simple insight that unlimited growth is not possible on our planet has not yet reached the rulers of the world.
  • The emancipation of women is being reduced to the development of a minority of women to despicable capitalists á la Ivanka Trump. “Emancipation” via exploitation – no thanks.
  • “Old wine in new wineskins”. This the summary of the results of the final declaration of the summit which have been ostentatiously announced as the formulations of a G20 for Africa. Neoliberal trade policy, opening of “markets” and reduction of custom tariffs as an even larger overexploitation of resources and country. This is the old story responsible for the disastrous situation in many countries of the continent. Dictators are being courted. Solidary help for capacity building and development looks differently.

For achieving these results which are not only a dummy but also a strike against the Paris Climate Agreement,

  • democracy was suspended,
  • environment destroyed by thousands of air miles,
  • huge amounts of money wasted,
  • and the system of the United Nations weakened.

It is irresponsible politics. And for what? For the profit of few corporations and banks, for a few global players. The tens of thousands courageously and determined protesting on the streets are a sign of hope. Many more have to join to end this ecologic, democratic and misanthropic madness.

P.S. if there will really be a ceasefire in Southwest of Syria – great. But the two gentlemen could have met cheaper, longer and more easily in Alaska (this plan has long been secretly negotiated in Jordan).

Reiner Braun, Co-President of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), Kristine Karch, Co- Chair of the International Network No to War – No to NATO