Are they keeping the words they gave at the G20? - HATICE KARAHAN

Are they keeping the words they gave at the G20?

Chinese President Xi Jinping gave the leaders of the G20 summit a very important message: “We should avoid futile talk.” When I heard this warning that I couldn't help but acknowledge it as totally right. I remembered something I had discussed while writing about a previous G20: The G20 should go beyond being a “talkfest” and real cooperation should be actualized.

Of course it is an important advantage and gain for world leaders to gather together and discuss issues. But how effective is the summit in terms of actualizing cooperation after months of hard work? To what extent do they go beyond just talking? This is the real reason and issue that needs to be discussed.

In fact, if you were to remember, the message Turkey gave last year while hosting the G20 was about 'implementing.' This indicated that more needed to be accomplished besides just nodding to approve the findings. The world's most important 20 signatures are under the manifesto, but what happens after? I should answer this question and move on from that point.

In this respect, the University of Toronto writes a “Compliance Report” after the summit. Let's call it complying with the promises. Well then, what does the team do? After the G20 summit ends, they closely observe member countries and see the steps they take toward fulfilling the manifesto. Thus, a report of the countries and their promises is written based on the analyses made since the Washington summit in 2008.

The research group published the Antalya summit (November 2015) report before the Hangzhou summit started. Now let's see what the “Antalya Summit Final Compliance Report” has determined.

Compliance rate is 78 percent


The report is very comprehensive, but I will summarize it under a few categories. I shall start with the “general compliance of Antalya.” Before I go further, I would need to add that the report is comprised of 13 chosen compliances.

Within this respect, the analysis shows that the success rate of all the compliances and the countries is 78 percent according to the given Antalya results. Thus, that means Antalya scored just below the 2012 Los Cabos score of 79 percent and above the 2013 St. Petersburg rate of 72 percent and the 2014 Brisbane rate of 71 percent.

Women became prominent in the workforce

After making the above general note, let's see how well the 13 promises were fulfilled after Antalya. It is clear that the G20 performs well in some points and fails to show any success in others. Therefore, within this respect, the highest success rate is 98 percent in “gender in the workforce.” Thus, this clearly shows that the G20 countries have fulfilled their promise of lowering the gap between men and women in the workforce.

Four of the promises have scores of 90 percent, which makes us conclude that the overall result is “good.” The engagements related to “inefficient fossil fuel subsidy” in energy and specific to is, draws attention as a failed category.

The US and UK in the lead

Now let's take a look at what every G20 member got in terms of fulfilling their promises. The two most successful countries are the U.K. and the U.S. with a rate of 88 percent. The EU has a higher rate than Canada, Germany, India, Italy and Korea, which reached a success rate of score 85 percent. If we can overlook the ones in between and get to Turkey, we scored a rate of 65 percent, equal to that of Indonesia and South Africa. Japan follows us with a score of 62 percent.

Where did we lose points?

Now let's take a look at why we scored 65 percent. We should note our neutral stance and our short fallings. Within this scope, we understand that we had an unsuccessful period in regards to the fossil fuel subsidy and the cost of employee foreign currency transfer. According to the report, we have not been able to reach the ideal rate in terms of anti-protectionist trade, the IMF, terrorism, information exchange in financial regulation and the ICT. On the contrary, we have received pluses for refugees, fiscal policies, FATF practices against financing terrorism, trade assistance in development, tax administration and female employment.

At this point, you could probably say many things about the methodology. The -1/0/+1 rating system, choosing the criteria or the importance of the issues can be questioned. However, the report is important in that it presents the compliances and the developments in this respect...

Before Antalya, after Antalya...

I would like to add a detail before I end my column today. It seems that Turkey's score has increased after Antalya. As, 65 percent is the best score we received until today. Our score in 2012 and 2013 was 63 percent while it dropped to 50 percent after Brisbane.

As a result, if we were to go back to the question at the start, according to the above mentioned report, the G20 has kept its words to an extent. On the other hand, as I drew attention in my earlier columns, cooperation is possible only to an extent as there are hidden agendas in the global struggle.

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