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The G20’s Full Plate

Not surprisingly, trade and the global economy will top the agenda at the G20 summit in Osaka on June 28-29. But with so much more to cover – issues ranging from climate change and sustainable development to gender parity and universal health care – any policy breakthroughs, if they come, will most likely depend on careful triage.

In this Big Picture, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,the summit’s host, outlines the gathering's ambitious agenda, and points out that it comes at a poignant time for Asia, and particularly for Japan. Its success, however, will depend largely on the United States, which, as former NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana recalls, disrupted the last G20 gathering, in Buenos Aires, and could stage a repeat performance.

Ceyla Pazarbasioglu of the World Bank worries about the implications for the world's poor if the G20 falls flat. And, as Johan Rockström of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research would add, the same applies to the global effort to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, which continues to suffers from a shortage of political will.

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