News / Americas

World Leaders Gather in Mexico for G20 Summit

Los Cabos, Mexico. (VOA/Greg Flakus)
Los Cabos, Mexico. (VOA/Greg Flakus)
Greg Flakus
LOS CABOS, Mexico - The leaders of 19 nations and the European Union, known as the Group of 20, are gathering at the Mexican beach resort Los Cabos for a two-day summit, to be held Monday and Tuesday, with worries about economic crises in several European countries overshadowing most other issues.  Officials from G20 working groups say the drive to help needy countries remains a major focus of the summit.

Mariachi musicians greeted delegations from around the world as they arrived at one of Mexico's most luxurious beach resort areas. But, although much of their work in the next two days will take place in hotels and conference halls within view of the beaches, the leaders attending this summit will be spending much of their time talking about the debt problems facing Greece, Spain and Italy.

The G20 host, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, says participants in the summit should firm up their pledges to the International Monetary Fund of more money to deal with the debt crisis. G20 nations promised to provide more than $400 billion in new loans in April, but several have yet to follow up on that pledge.

Representatives from some non-governmental organizations are worried that the G20 focus on the problems of relatively rich nations in Europe might detract from efforts to help poor, non-industrialized countries where most of the world's neediest people ​reside.

"The last two summits have been dominated by the Eurozone crisis, by Greece, and that means that there is very little agenda time for other issues," said Christina Weller, lead economic analyst for London-based Catholic Agency for Overseas Development.

Weller argues that G20 leaders would be helping their own countries by doing more to help the millions of people in developing nations who cannot participate in the global economy. She says poverty is more than a moral blight.

"It is also an economic problem. It lowers demand. That is where the growth should be is in those markets and if you tackle poverty, everybody benefits," said Weller.

But, although the world leaders who meet here for two days may have little time to discuss much beyond the debt crisis in Europe, officials from those nations continue to advance their work on previously approved agendas such as economic development and poverty reduction.

The director of Mexico's Agency for International Development, Rogelio Granguillhome, who co-chairs the G20 Development Working Group, told reporters that this effort has advanced steadily, in the past few years.

He says this group, which met here in Los Cabos in May, is presenting leaders with concrete and precise recommendations on such issues as infrastructure development, food security and green growth. This group also worked in concert with representatives of the business sector, who are holding a concurrent meeting, called the B20, at a nearby beach hotel.

The director of policy and business practices for the International Chamber of Commerce, Stefano Bertasi, says corporate leaders from around the world take part in these forums in an effort to be partners with governments in promoting economic development.

"We want this to be an enduring, ongoing process of collaboration and discussion that takes place before summits, during summits and after summits," he said.

Bertasi says that, although there are areas of concern for businesses, like  the rise of protectionism and higher taxes, there are many areas of mutual interest such as the promotion of green energy.  He says the way business leaders often work out differences on various issues can serve as a model for government leaders as they struggle to find agreement.

"If we bring consensus views and ideas, brought by business to government, hopefully, that will help governments themselves come to consensus on some of these issues," said Bertasi.

Groups that might want to express disagreement with any of the actions taken at either the G20 or the B20 meetings are quite restricted in what they can do and where they can stage a protest. The meetings are being held under tight security in an area along the tip of the Baja peninsula where all access roads are patrolled by heavily armed Mexican federal police and soldiers. Helicopters swoop overhead on a regular basis and Mexican Coast Guard and Navy ships are anchored just offshore, in plain sight of the summit participants and the thousands of tourists staying at beachfront hotels.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jim Beam from: Las Vegas
June 18, 2012 9:38 AM
You have to wonder if Obama and Eric Holder will use the G-20 Summit to run some more guns to the Mexican Drug Cartels! It is just not fair most junkies have to pay for their marijuana and cocaine habits! Obama provides them with free American guns to pay for his!

by: TheWhisperer1 from: Queensland
June 18, 2012 9:38 AM
Obama, British PM and French Prime Minister are not there. Therefore G20 - 3 = 17
Gillard's blunder on ABC TV Interview "Let us not remember..." instead of "Let us not forget..."
Is Gillard really up to this kind of pressure?
I would advise other countries to look very carefully at Gillard's figures for Australia. Some figures are probably contrived rather than a true reflection of the Australian economy. Look at what Costello found when he audited Queensland's state of accounts.

by: Stryke from: Las Vegas
June 18, 2012 8:49 AM
Wow. Los Cabos. Funny how the politicians always pick luxurious venues for their big pow-wows, all at their taxpayers' expense and to the extreme inconvenience of visiting tourists. Oh well, at least the Secret Service will have a good time.

by: Vickie from: Chattanooga, TN
June 18, 2012 8:32 AM
Mexico should spend lavishly since the US has spared them the expense of caring for their welfare class. Mexico must be the first country in history to profit from its welfare class. That is their major export.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

Peru's PM, Government to Resign After Censure Vote

Move delivers a blow to President Ollanta Humala, who will now have to form another new government
More

Argentine Workers Strike Over Income Tax Rate

With economy already weak, public transport stops, many businesses close and garbage piles up on one-day walkout
More

Tickets Go on Sale for 2016 Rio Olympics

More than half of the 7.5 million tickets will cost 70 Brazilian reais ($22) or less
More

US, Cuba Hold First Formal Talks on Human Rights

Issue contentious for conservative Republicans as President Barack Obama seeks to restore diplomatic ties
More

US State Dept Official: Cuba Aims to Ramp Up Internet Access

Cuba, a few decades late to the Internet era, is committed to getting the web into 50 percent of its households by 2020, a senior official said on Monday
More

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

World's largest gamma ray observatory will be situated high in Sierra Negra Mountain to discover secrets about black holes and supernovas
More