Gather Round—It’s World Family Meeting Time

July 14, 2017

Have you ever been part of a family meeting? It’s usually a time when important things are discussed with other people living in the house because the outcome of the meeting impacts everyone. Perhaps it’s a discussion about the next family vacation. Perhaps it’s a discussion about whether the family should adopt a puppy. Or perhaps it’s a more serious discussion about how each person in the family has a responsibility for keeping the house in tip-top shape. Well, imagine that the world is your family and the world’s most powerful countries are the people living in the house. Now, hold that thought …

By Scholz & Friends – Vektordaten: https://www.g20.org/Content/DE/_Anlagen/G7_G20/2016-g20-broschuere-bpa-de.pdf, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59111017

Last week, the European Union and nineteen of the world’s most powerful countries met in Hamburg, Germany for the G20 Summit. The G20 Summit is an annual meeting that began in 2008 where twenty of the most powerful world leaders and members of their government gather to discuss topics that will impact the world. It’s serious stuff, we know! But believe it or not, the decisions of one country can greatly impact other countries, especially when it comes to the economy and trade. After all, countries depend on each other for things like oil and other goods that they may not have or produce very little of on their own.

Over the years, however, discussions at the G20 Summit have grown to cover other topics as well. During the G20 Summit in 2005, for example, discussions on climate change led to the beginnings of the Paris Climate Agreement. This year, there were discussions between countries about the refugee crisis, women in business, and climate change once again. All great things, right?

By The White House from Washington, DC – President Trump’s Trip to Germany and the G20 Summit, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60737920

Definitely. But as with family meetings, people don’t always agree. While trade deals were being made between countries, and pledges were made to continue the fight on climate change at the summit, protestors outside of the summit grew loud. Protestors voiced their dislike for what they saw as a meeting of country leaders who were helping greedy corporations make more money through trade agreements.

If you had a chance to participate in the G20 Summit, what topics would you want to discuss with world leaders?