The G20 has been meeting, there is just this whiff, a sense that the description ‘world leader’ has focused on the woman in pink, with help from the man on the far-left edge of the picture. There is another contender, too.
Leaders of the G20 were subjected to a treat at the recent summit in Hamburg, when they were taken to a concert – held at the Elbphilharmonie. A rather stunning venue on the banks of the river Elbe. There they listened to a performance of Beethoven’s supreme achievement, his 9th Sympathy. The final movement of this symphony, the choral movement, is also known as Beethoven’s Ode to Joy – the words to which sum up the ideas of peace and unity, and has the wish that “All men become brothers.”
Beethoven’s Ode to Joy is also the anthem of the EU. You may not like the EU, you may hate the way it is run by bureaucrats, the perception of it controlling our lives, and you may think that the EU is the wrong institution to advance the ideology of the sentiments expressed in the Ode to Joy. Even so, the ideology seems pretty apt.
EU, or no EU, the concept of a united world, united by peace, and the ideal that all men can become brothers, is surely without fault. The G20 is far from perfect, as demonstrators like to point out, but maybe it is a good thing that the world's leaders meet up from time to time, as Churchill once said: "Jaw jaw" is better than "war war."
As the host of the latest G20 summit, maybe it was appropriate that Mrs Merkel stood centre stage, and her pink jacket did make her stand out somewhat, but for the position of world leader maybe she needs help from the bloke on bottom left corner. But note, to Mrs Merkel's left, stood China’s President, Xi Jinping, maybe that’s the real power couple.
But who are the men and women?
Bottom left is President Marcon of France who once said: “He wants to make planet earth great again.”To his left, President Trump, who tweeted his thanks for a wonderful first day of the summit.
Just behind him, and to his left is President Alpha Conde of Guinea, and behind him, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres. And behind him at the back. Roberto Azevêdo, Director of the World Trade Organisation. Returning to the front row, third from the left is reformist Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and to his left, in the green tie, Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico
Behind the Indonesian and Mexican leaders, with his bowed is The Italian Prime Minister Paulo Gentiloni and just above him, to his left, is the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. To her left, with the red tie is the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Completing this shot, top right, are Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organisation and Mark Rudd, the Dutch Prime Minister.
In this shot, looking at the bottom row, we have the South Africa President, Jacob Zuma, the Argentinian President, Mauricio Macri, Mrs Merkel and Mr XiJust behind Mr Zuma is the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to his left the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, to his left in the red and white tie, the Australian Prime Minister , Malcolm Turnbull and Theresa May.
Top left is the IMF Director Christine Lagarde, just below her, in the blue tie, the Senegal, President, Macky Sall. To his left, on the top row, Guy Ryder, Director of the International Labour Organisation and to his left, just below, the Singapore Prime Minister, Lee Hsein and back to the top row, Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank. Completing the picture, on the right hand side, to the left and just above Mrs May is the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy.
In the final shot.
The bottom row sees the Russian President, a man recently voted as the second most outstanding leader in world history, behind Stalin, by the Russian public, Vladimir Putin. To his left, bottom row, Recep Erdogan, Turkey’s strong man President, Michel Temer, President of Brazil and Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea, bottom right, completes the bottom row.
Left-hand side, middle row, sees the Vietnam Prime Minister, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, to his left, just below, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, to his left, Ibrahim Al-Assaf, State Minister of Saudi Arabia, and to his left, Jean-Claude Junker, President of the European Commission.
Finally, top row: Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, but present in his capacity as Financial Stability Board, President, and top right, Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.