01:36 GMT +306 December 2019
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    G20 Ministerial Meeting in Nagoya, Japan. 22 November 2019

    Trade Wars and Rise of Protectionism High on Agenda at Nagoya G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting

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    Top diplomats from G20 member nations have gathered in the city of Nagoya for a two-day conference, the last major event hosted under the 2019 Japanese presidency of the group.

    Even though world leaders have already taken part in this year's Group of Twenty summit in Osaka, besides the main event there were also follow-up meetings, with this week's foreign ministers' conference concluding Japan’s G20 presidency. Nagoya – the country's fourth-largest city, which hosted the two-day event, got its chance to make it into international headlines as top diplomats from G20 member nations arrived in town.

    ​Just like Osaka earlier this year, Nagoya has had its share of restrictions due to the increased security measures during G20 events. Many buildings around the foreign ministers' conference venues had to follow strict security protocols.

    But since the second day of the meeting coincided with Labour Thanksgiving Day, which is a national holiday in Japan, there seemed to be no major disruptions in busy downtown areas, even despite traffic restrictions.

    ​The Group of Twenty, which was originally formed as an international club for discussions on economic stability, is perceived by most of its participants as an effective tool to solve various crises.

    According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who spoke to journalists between his negotiations in Nagoya, Moscow sees Group of Twenty as a good place to discuss trade wars and protectionism:

    "The issues of open and free global trade system are central to discussions, knowing that there is a growth of protectionism, the growth of what's being called 'trade wars' and many other things that have to be dealt with".

    Besides the main programme, which went on mostly behind closed doors, the foreign minister also had a chance to chat one-on-one with his colleagues. On Friday, Sergei Lavrov met with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi. On Saturday, he had talks with Chinese, Spanish and, on the side-lines, with US diplomats.

    ​The G20's top diplomats also discussed sustainable development goals – a UN initiative, which, among other things, aims to fight hunger, poverty, improve health, education and provide people with clean energy.

    The Group of Twenty was formed in 1999 as an international club for governments and central banks from 19 member nations and the EU. Collectively, G20 nations cover about 80% of world trade.

    Next year's G20 presidency will now be transferred to Saudi Arabia, with the kingdom's capital Riyadh preparing to host the group's 2020 summit.

    Tags:
    protectionism, Trade Wars, G20 summit, Sergei Lavrov, Japan, G20
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