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This Year's G20 Summit Is a Major Test of International Cooperation in a Trying Time

As the leaders of the world’s largest economies convene on Friday in Osaka, Japan, for the 14th G20 Summit, headlines are likely to focus on meetings between world leaders, rather than this year’s themes of sustainable growth, innovation and health. Those talks include ones between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping — though a breakthrough in the U.S.-China trade war is unlikely. A trilateral meeting between India’s Narendra Modi, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Xi will also attract attention. But, while such talks are important, they must not overshadow the larger message of this year’s G20: international cooperation still matters, as do the platforms that facilitate such cooperation.

In this era of rising nationalism, institutions such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and NATO have, in many circles, become rhetorical punching bags. Yet the emergence and successes of the G20 indicate that the international system is more resilient and flexible than most people tend to assume...

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Secretary Madeleine Albright served as the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. From 1993 to 1997, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She currently serves as chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and chairman at the National Democratic Institute.


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