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The G-20 Osaka summit

Jun 14,2019 - Last updated at Jun 14,2019

The upcoming 2019 G-20 summit in Osaka on June 28-29 is projected to make or break the international trade order, especially in the wake of the trade war launched by US President Donald Trump on China.

Much hope is being pinned on the summit to break the deadlock between the US and China over trade issues and to relax trade and economic tensions across the globe.

While it is not certain whether President Trump will hold a one-on-one meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the two-day summit, all signs suggest that the two leaders will hold a face-to-face meeting to solve their escalating trade standoff.

The summit is expected to rule against trade brinkmanship between nations of the world, or the use of the trade weapon as a tool to conduct foreign policy.

To be sure, there are imbalances in trade between the main industrial nations of the world, and the Osaka summit offers a unique opportunity to deal with them equitably.

The world cannot afford to have a failed G-20 summit, as what the principal industrial nations agree or disagree on would affect the global economy as a whole, including those of the developing countries.

The international community has, therefore, a vested interest in a successful Osaka summit and expects the G-20 leaders to demonstrate statesmanship of the highest order for the sake of humanity at large and not only their own specific agendas.

There is no more room for just bilateral trade interests between nations of the world, as what is at stake at G-20 summits goes beyond the immediate concerns of the members of the G-20 group of nations.

In other words, the G-20 nations would be negotiating in Osaka the future of mankind and not only their own economic future. That is why much preparatory talks must be held between the G-20 countries before they meet in Osaka, with a view to addressing the international concerns as well and not only their immediate national interests.

There are in place several resolutions adopted by the UN and its specialised agencies on the non-use of trade as a tool to punish adversaries. Now is the time to recall these global norms for the sake of humanity at large. If some capitals persist in flouting international norms on trade, they should be identified and censored at the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

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