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2010 G-20 Seoul Summit
Fifth meeting of the G-20 heads of government
G20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy
Representatives met in advance of the leaders' summit. These sherpas were tasked to draft a closing statement for the summit. The debate over currency exchange rates and imbalances was reported to have been "heated".
The summit logo incorporated two images: the sun rising over the sea and a traditional Korean lantern (cheongsachorong).
Most world leaders and international media arrived via Incheon International Airport and traveled to the summit venue via motorcades along the highway from the airport.
Transportation around the summit venue was upgraded with electric buses to help media and others around the city.
American President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Erdo?an in conversation.
The participants of the Seoul summit included the leaders and representatives of core members of the G20, which comprises 19 countries and the European Union, which is represented by its two governing bodies, the European Council and the European Commission. Representatives from other countries and regional organizations were invited to take part in the summit.
The South Korean government declined to invite the Netherlands, which had been invited to attend all four previous G20 summits. A Korean spokesman said that "a certain region had been over-represented" in the past; and for this Asian summit, Singapore was invited.
This was the first G20 summit for Australia's Prime Minister Gillard, who had only been elected shortly before the Toronto summit. This was also the first opportunity for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore to listen and to make his voice heard at the G20 leaders' meetings.
G20 members Host nation and leader are indicated in bold text.
Security for the G20 summit presented a unique array of problems. In addition to the security of the main venue, COEX, South Korea was more broadly responsible for providing a safe venue for the delegations who come to the summit. The National Police Agency led the security detail for the summit, both at the convention venue and the airport as well. Other police and security agencies involved were:
A squad of riot police in front of the Korea Press Center in downtown Seoul — November 7, 2010
Demonstrators converged on downtown Seoul in protest against the G20 leaders' summit. The labor rally took place in Seoul City Plaza near city hall — November 7, 2010
In preparation, anti-terrorism drills were held by members of the South Korean police, military, special forces and private sector as part of the 2010 Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises against simulated hostage situations and chemical, biological and radiological attacks as a preparation for the summit.
Plans for accommodating peaceful protesters were paired with plans for mitigating disruptive demonstrations.
The G20 raised security concerns unrelated to demonstrators protesting the presence of the leaders of 20 economies in Seoul. For example, some analysts projected that anything perceived as a success for South Korea would be simultaneously construed in Pyongyang as a threat to North Korea.
Despite public endorsements by attending leaders, most commentators looking back on the summit have argued that only limited progress was made, especially on the headline issue of currency war and addressing trade imbalances. Leaders were generally unable to agree on key issues, with commentators such as economist Eswar Prasad noting the absence of the sense of unity that had been present at summits during the worse of the global financial crisis of 2007-2009. IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said this particular summit was "more of a G20 debate than a G20 conclusion".
Relating to the need to rebalance the world economy, agreement had been reached to work on indicative guidelines which will set suggested maximum limits for current account surpluses and deficits, though these are not due to be fleshed out until 2011. G20 leaders also agreed to endorse the Seoul Development Consensus, a set of guidelines and principles for working together with less development nations to improve economic growth and reduce poverty. In contrast to the older Washington Consensus which it supersedes, the Seoul Consensus is less free market-orientated, allowing a larger role for state intervention.
^Oliver, Christian. "Seoul: S Korea looks forward to its own party," Financial Times (UK). June 25, 2010.
^Parliament (UK): Townsend, Ian. "G20 & the November 2010 Seoul summit" (SN/EP/5028)Archived November 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, October 19, 2010, retrieved 2011-04-07; excerpt, "Today, we designated the G-20 as the premier forum for our international economic cooperation" citing "Pittsburgh G20 Leaders' summit communiqué," ¶50 September 29, 2009, retrieved 2011-04-07; excerpt, "Today, we designated the G-20 as the premier forum for our international economic cooperation. We have asked our representatives to report back at the next meeting with recommendations on how to maximize the effectiveness of our cooperation. We
agreed to have a G-20 Summit in Canada in June 2010, and in Korea in November 2010. We expect to meet annually thereafter, and will meet in France in 2011.