In brief

GIGA Expertise on G20 Was Met with Great Interest

The GIGA organised numerous well-received activities surrounding the recent G20 summit.

The GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies made a mark through its activities regarding the German G20 presidency, which reached its high point in July with the G20 summit in Hamburg and lasts through December 2017.

A thematic stream of the GIGA Focus, our brief analysis series, on the G20 was launched in March through GIGA Focus Global and the event “Can the G20 Process Save Globalisation? From China to Germany to Argentina.” Followed by GIGA researchers closely examining the G20’s potential to establish fair practices of globalisation; China–Europe relations; the fight against corruption in Latin America; and efforts towards achieving gender equality in India. The series is permanently available on the GIGA website free of charge.

Nine GIGA events took place in Hamburg and Berlin. One particular highlight was the panel discussion “The G20 amidst Global Transition” at Hamburg Town Hall, where GIGA President Prof. Amrita Narlikar, Germany’s Chief G20 Sherpa Prof. Lars-Hendrik Röller, and Executive Director of the Climate Action Network International Wael Hmaidan analysed the risks and challenges of the G20 process, alongside the expectations and hopes attached to it. In further public events, Prof. Jann Lay and other GIGA scholars were joined by policymakers, researchers, and guests from the world over to discuss how the global trade system can be designed to align with sustainable development goals and why the G20 “Compact with Africa” investment agreement is in need of improvement, among other questions. In cooperation with the Centre for Globalisation and Governance at University Hamburg it was debated how the Paris climate agreement can be implemented, particularly considering the needs of rapidly growing developing countries. We also cooperated with other Hamburg institutions: Prof. Henner Fürtig represented the GIGA in the C20 (Civil Society) network. Prof. Patrick Köllner and Dr. Christian von Soest organised events with the regional Business Associations Asia-Pacific (OAV) and Africa (AV), respectively. In the course of all this, GIGA researchers contributed valuable theoretical outlooks as well as perspectives from various world regions.

GIGA researchers were in high demand as interview partners for German and international media on a wide range of topics related to the G20 summit. The GIGA provided valuable assessments and background information to, among other news outlets, ARD, BBC World News, Deutsche Welle, Deutschlandfunk, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, NDR, Spiegel Online, Süddeutsche Zeitung, SWR, WDR, Welt, and Zeit Online. We counted about 50 different appearances and inputs to the G20 debate; one of Prof. Narlikar’s interviews on globalisation fears was picked up over 160 times. Her advice to the G20 to take those fears seriously is part of her work on how a more just and sustainable globalisation can be achieved; a topic that was recognised by the media as highly pressing.

In the T20 (Think 20) network Prof. Jann Lay, head of the GIGA’s “Growth and Development” research programme, co-chaired the 2030 Agenda Task Force. Dr. André Bank was a contributor to the Forced Migration Task Force. As a member of this international network, which serves the G20 as an “ideas bank,” the GIGA provides research-based policy advice and shares its findings, among other ways, at conferences and the G20 Insights Platform. As a G20 Insights Overarching Vision, Prof. Narlikar’s GIGA Focus “Can the G20 Save Globalisation?” was part of the recommendations made to the Federal Chancellery. This work will carry on, independent of the respective G20 presidency. Continuity is key to success for the globally crucial issues tackled by the G20.

Following the G20 summit, Prof. Narlikar discussed its outcomes for Indo-German Relations with new Indian Ambassador Mukta Dutta Tomar and SAP Director Government Relations Dr. Caroline King at an event hosted by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and OAV. The president’s analysis on the results of the summit was published in the high-impact journal Foreign Affairs online in July itself. Also, G20 Sherpa and Chief Economic Advisor to the Chancellor Lars-Hendrik Röller will give a talk on 27 September 2017 as part of the GIGA Distinguished Speaker Lecture Series. Immediately after the German Federal Elections, we will be able to learn more of Germany’s future role in global governance and the G20 process.

Research-based promotion of solutions in world politics is an abiding mandate of the GIGA. Along those lines, the institute will continue to participate constructively in the G20 process.

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