Remarks by President Donald Tusk before the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan


First of all I want to stress how much we appreciate the tireless efforts of the Japanese presidency in making sure that this summit will bring the world closer to solving key challenges of our times. The leadership of Prime Minister Abe, his personal devotion and diplomatic skills are impressive and really unique. I know that with a host like him we are in good hands.

Before coming to Osaka, I visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki where I met with survivors of the nuclear bombings. They understand only too well the value of international cooperation because they know what a global conflict may lead to. I promised them to bring words of warning to the G20 participants:

The global stage cannot become an arena where the stronger will dictate their conditions to the weaker, where egoism will dominate over solidarity, and where nationalistic emotions will dominate over common sense. We should understand that we have a responsibility not only for our own interests, but above all, for peace and a safe, fair world order.

Finally, let me share one reflection. Thanks to my jet lag I was able to read the whole interview with President Putin in the Financial Times. I have to say that I strongly disagree with the main argument that liberalism is obsolete. We are here as Europeans also to firmly and univocally defend and promote liberal democracy. Whoever claims that liberal democracy is obsolete, also claims that freedoms are obsolete, that the rule of law is obsolete and that human rights are obsolete. For us in Europe, these are and will remain essential and vibrant values. What I find really obsolete are: authoritarianism, personality cults, the rule of oligarchs. Even if sometimes they may seem effective.