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.
World Leaders Gather in Mexico for G-20i
|| 0:00:00
X
Greg Flakus
June 18, 2012 5:30 PM
The leaders of 19 nations and the European Union - known as the Group of 20 - are gathering at the Mexican beach resort for a two-day summit to be held Monday and Tuesday. Worries about economic crises in some European countries overshadow most other issues. But, as VOA's Greg Flakus reports, officials from G-20 working groups say the need to help more needy countries remains a major focus of the summit.

"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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Video Dehydration Is Top Killer of Southern Arizona's Migrants

US Border Patrol's search and rescue unit launches 'blue blinking light of life program' - a series of poles strategically placed throughout desert that emit high-intensity blue light
More

United States Steps up Pressure on Guatemala over Labor Rights

Trade representative says Obama administration would push ahead with legal action under free trade agreement to make Guatemala meet international standards
More

Video US Attempts Crackdown on Trafficking Along Southern Border

Nogales, Arizona, notoriously known as 'tunnel city,' used by traffickers to smuggle humans, narcotics into US and Border Patrol responds with new technologies
More

Video Arizona Non-Profit Helps Keep Dehydrated Migrants Alive

The Sonoran Desert, a common crossing point for illegal immigrants, is one of North America's hottest places
More

Colombian National Pleads Guilty to Killing of US Drug Agent

Andres Garcia entered plea of guilty at district court in southeastern state of Virginia; will be sentenced in December
More

Attack on Colombian Police Kills 7

Defense ministry vows to 'maintain and intensify' operations against armed groups, drug traffickers following the attack
More