We intend to extend anti-terrorist measures, says Angela Merkel
Closer cooperation on fighting terrorism – that is what the G20 heads of state and government have agreed in a joint communiqué in Hamburg. Their working sessions on the first day also addressed trade policy and global growth. This evening’s programme provides for a concert at the Elbphilharmonie, with the Philharmonic State Orchestra.
The G20 summit kicked off with the traditional family photo.Photo: Bundesregierung/Güngör
International terrorism knows no borders and is “a threat to all of us”, said Chancellor Angela Merkel in a statement to the press following the working sessions of the first day of the summit in Hamburg. Terrorism affects both free trade and economic growth. There was a consensus among summit participants that the G20 must address the issue, she reported.
Better information sharing in the fight against terrorism
It has been agreed that the G20 states will cooperate more closely within the framework of the United Nations. It is also important in future to share information far more effectively, stressed the Chancellor. This applies to the work of Interpol, but the data sources of other countries too must be used.
With a view to the financing of terrorism, the work of the Financial Action Task Force must be strengthened, underscored Angela Merkel. More discussion is also needed on how to cap terrorists’ sources of financing more effectively. And the mechanisms of radicalisation must be taken into account in terrorist prevention measures.
Angela Merkel reported that discussions focusing on the internet and terrorism had been “extremely intensive”. The G20 expects providers of online communication platforms to delete terrorist information swiftly, reiterated the Chancellor. Angela Merkel termed the encrypted communication used by terrorists via messenger services a major problem. Where there are grounds for suspicion, she said, it is necessary to have the tools to better monitor terrorists’ communications.
Use the time for urgent economic reforms
Chancellor Angela Merkel also mentioned the health of the global economy. She reported that the issue had been addressed in the working sessions, along with financial market regulation and trade. Currently the global economy is enjoying a more peaceful period than was the case ten years ago, said Angela Merkel. That means, however, that “it is now time to genuinely implement the necessary reforms”. She gave the specific example of labour market reforms.
Trade and climate – difficult discussions
In the field of trade policy, discussions are “very difficult, and I do not want to claim anything different,” said the Chancellor. The overwhelming majority stressed the need for free and fair trade, she reported, as well as underlining the importance of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In the field of climate policy, Angela Merkel expressed her regret that the United States of America intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. During the discussions at the summit, there was a clear majority in favour of realising the 2030 Agenda.
Violent protests – Angela Merkel thanks security forces
Finally, Chancellor Angela Merkel broached the violent protests on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg. “I have great sympathy with peaceful protests,” she said clearly. Violent protests, on the other hand, jeopardise lives, endanger police officers and local residents and are quite simply “unacceptable”. Angela Merkel thanked the security forces “most warmly” for their “extremely hard work”.
“The greater the pressure, the firmer the knot”
In the morning the Chancellor welcomed the heads of state and government of the G20 states at Hamburg’s trade fair and exhibition grounds. The retreat that followed focused on fighting terrorism. In the early afternoon a family photo was taken of all participants.
In her welcome statement, Angela Merkel pointed to the symbolism of the reef knot in the logo of Germany’s G20 Presidency. Like the city chosen to host the summit, the logo has a maritime flair. “The greater the pressure on a reef knot, the firmer it becomes,” said Angela Merkel with a view to the urgent challenges facing the G20. Our motto “Shaping an interconnected world” also points to the need for cooperation.
Solutions often only possible on the basis of compromise
The Chancellor thanked the Sherpas for their work on preparing the summit meeting. She also thanked the many civil society groups, including women, youth, the scientific community, the private sector and trade unions for their engagement in the run-up to the Hamburg summit. A great many international organisations also helped the G20 greatly by providing excellent materials which could be used as a basis for discussions at the summit, said the Chancellor.
With a view to the major global challenges of our time, Angela Merkel said, “We realise that time is short. And that is why solutions can often only be found if we are ready to compromise and if we move towards one another, without however abandoning our genuine convictions.”
G20 is aware of its huge responsibility
The G20 states together represent two thirds of the world’s population, four fifths of global GDP (gross domestic product) and three quarters of global trade, underlined the Chancellor. “It is absolutely right that those who are not here expect us to do a good job.”
The trade-policy topic addressed during the first working session in the afternoon was global growth. The second working session was dedicated to sustainable development, and climate and energy.
Alongside the member states, the Presidency of every G20 summit regularly also invites international organisations to attend. In Hamburg they include the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations. Spain is a permanent guest at G20 summits. The German Presidency has also invited Norway, the Netherlands and Singapore as partner countries. And the African Union (AU), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) are taking part in the Hamburg summit.
Concert in the “Elphi” with Beethoven’s Ninth
This evening Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband Professor Joachim Sauer will be hosting a reception for the heads of state and government and their partners in Hamburg’s new concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie. At 19:00 a concert will be given by the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, conducted by Kent Nagano. They will be playing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, one of the most famous pieces of classical music. The first day of the summit will be rounded off by a dinner for the heads of state and government.