The G20 Foreign Ministers met in support of multilateralism

The G20, or Group of 20, is the main international forum for economic, financial and political cooperation: it addresses the great global challenges and seeks to create public policies to overcome them. It represents 85% of global GDP and 66% of world population. Foreign Ministers' meetings can be convened by the G20 Presidency when it considers that necessary to discuss the important issues on the global agenda. This year, Argentina, as holder of the G20 Presidency, called a meeting of Foreign Ministers. It is the first time that the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of G20 member countries and guest countries have met in South America.

The G20 Foreign Ministers' meeting took place on 20-21 May, in the City of Buenos Aires. On this occasion, the foreign ministers exchanged views on the international situation and referred to the importance of a rules-based international order, the role of multilateral diplomacy, and the importance of inclusive sustainable development, a principle on which this year's debate is centred, based on the priorities set by the Argentine Presidency.

At the end of the meeting, the Argentine Foreign Minister, Jorge Faurie, held a press conference with his counterparts from Germany and Japan—the other two members of the G20 troika. Mr Faurie pointed out that member and guest States agreed on the importance of "having and maintaining multilateralism," in a context where it is "under pressure, which is why we believe it is so important for the G20 to provide answers."

He also stated that the foreign ministers reflected "on the key concerns around the world, especially with regard to the efficiency of multilateral organizations." In addition, the Argentine Foreign Minister mentioned the importance attached to the impact of technological transformations on employment and the so-called fourth industrial revolution. Both Heiko Maas (the German Foreign Minister) and Taro Kono (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan) agreed with these views.

The purpose of the G20 Foreign Ministers' meeting was to create an opportunity for debate, without a preset agenda, on key matters of current international affairs, in order to consider the context in which the G20 could provide an answer to the critical issues that concern societies in States around the world. As stated by Argentine Foreign Minister Faurie at the press conference following the meeting, "the G20 has to yield results to improve people's lives."

Minister Faurie's statement reflects the key notion that underlies the Argentine Presidency and the working topics our country has chosen to spur debate and stimulate outcomes at G20 meetings throughout this year. "The future of work," "investment for infrastructure," and "food security" are matters that directly affect the people and citizens of each country, and these are the issues that concern us all. Argentina has placed them at the core of the leading countries' agendas, and asked their foreign ministers to address them openly and frankly in Argentina. In this context, group members addressed these issues and offered their support, as they have done at the various G20 work meetings, for the matters proposed by the Argentine Presidency.

The meeting was helpful for the Foreign Ministers to exchange views on the political framework to advance the fundamental matters on the current agenda, in order to support multilateralism and a world based on shared rules and agreements, even if additional efforts are required on certain issues in respect of which there is some disagreement. The meeting ended with an exchange on the issues and challenges faced by the international community in its efforts to achieve, in this century, equitable and sustainable well-being for all humankind. This contributed to the strengthening of the role of the G20—a group that, over the past few years, has played a key role in the design of political and economic rules and actions.

In addition to the full members of the G20, the meeting was attended by the countries and regional blocs invited by Argentina: Chile, the Netherlands, Spain, Jamaica (representing CARICOM), Singapore (representing ASEAN), Rwanda (representing the African Union), and Senegal (representing NEPAD), who shared the views of each region and of developing countries.

The Argentine Foreign Minister also took this opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Japan, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Rwanda, South Africa and Chile, and signed with the latter the Agreement on the Enhancement of the Cristo Redentor Border Crossing.

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