Multilaterals should mean actions more than words

Cheming Yang

With the conclusion of G20 Hangzhou Summit, China has successfully completed its mission as the 2016 host. In addition to G20, China had also in recent years hosted the APEC Summit. With all the forums held around the world and throughout the year, ordinary people definitely have difficulty understandings what they means and what impact they will have on their daily lives.
G20 was initiated in 1999 and consists of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union (EU). Some guest countries and the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the Financial Stability Board, the International Labor Organisation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) are also invited to attend G20 Summit.
How about G7 or G8? This forum originated with a 1975 summit hosted by France that brought together representatives of six governments: France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, thus leading to the name Group of Six or G6. The summit became known as the Group of Seven or G7 in 1976 with the addition of Canada. Russia was added to the political forum from 1997, which then became known as the G8; Russia was, however, suspended in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea.
Multilateral forums certainly serve as great opportunities for countries around the world to get together, talk out their differences and forge consensuses. However, with the increase in the number of multilaterals, it also means that a lot of the existing mechanisms are not working as expected. There are a lot of statements released by these meetings. But we need to see whether these words can be turned into actions. In other words, they need to follow up on whether their resolutions are in fact implemented. Actions speak louder than words. And let’s hope 2016 G20 marks the beginning that words uttered by the world’s major powers will be turned into actions right away.


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