There was extensive debate about what should have been discussed at Brisbane’s G20 summit on 15-16 November. As Clarencegirl shared on her blog North Coast Voices, even Pope Francis had ideas for that very public member of his Catholic flock, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott:
…there are far too many women and men suffering from severe malnutrition, a rise in the number of the unemployed, an extremely high percentage of young people without work and an increase in social exclusion which can lead to criminal activity and even the recruitment of terrorists. In addition, there are constant assaults on the natural environment, the result of unbridled consumerism, and this will have serious consequences for the world economy.
So what actually happened both in private meetings and the official forums? Netizens have had lots to say.
You know when your dad’s been away for a while and he lays into you about not taking the rubbish out while he was gone? He says he’s not mad, just a little disappointed, then goes into an inspiring speech about how we all have to do our part around the house. That’s essentially what just happened to our entire country. President Obama has only been in Australia for a matter of hours and he’s already incited people to take action on climate change.
The view of well-known lawyer and human rights activist Julian Burnside was a popular retweet:
— Julian Burnside (@JulianBurnside) November 15, 2014
Abbott’s opening speech copped more criticism:
— Meta Cranky Noely (@YaThinkN) November 16, 2014
The satirical website Shovel was at work slamming his local content:
— Cate Bolt (@catebolt) November 16, 2014
Many have been disappointed by the lack of aggression in the meeting of Australian PM Tony Abbott and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. There was no sign of Abbott’s threatened “shirtfront”.
It seemed to be time for cuddling and making up, according to @lynlinking:
‘It’s called a koala, Tony': Twitter explodes after Abbott trades ‘shirtfronting’ Putin for cuddly joint pic: http://t.co/ofrUosZllv
— Lynlinking (@lynlinking) November 15, 2014
Meanwhile, protests went ahead as expected with only a few arrests on Saturday. It is a sign of the times that independent legal observers were present to monitor events. Flickr has numerous Creative Commons images of the G20 summit, including this one:
Any concerns that climate change and Ebola wouldn’t get into the final communiqué were dispelled:
— theEDITOR (@smnaustralia) November 16, 2014
— citizen grafiti (@grafiti) November 16, 2014
Commitments to economic growth (an extra 2.1 percent of GDP by 2018) and reform were given the thumbs up by many online:
— Faily Telegraph (@FailyTelegraph) November 16, 2014
However, Robert Fairhead was cynical about real economic outcomes:
— Robert Fairhead (@tallandtrue) November 16, 2014
Ukraine didn’t make the communiqué, but Vladimir Putin was blasted by other leaders off stage apparently. Ed Johnson, Sydney bureau chief at Bloomberg News, mused:
— Ed Johnson (@edwardrjohnson) November 17, 2014
Outside the summit, Tim O'Keefe captured protesters against Putin on video:
Finally, the Ebola crisis managed to make the agenda:
— Dr Stewart M Condon (@drstewart_MSF) November 16, 2014
So was the 400 million Australian dollars (350 million US dollars) spent on the G20 summit by the Australian government, value for money? You be the judge!