President Rodrigo Duterte was not invited to the G20 Summit held on July 7 to 8 in Hamburg, Germany despite the tradition of inviting ASEAN chairmen to the international forum. Malacañang Palace explained that aside from not getting a formal invitation from the German government, the current G20 Summit host, the Philippine government reportedly did not lobby for an invitation.
The Press and Information Office of the Federal Government of Germany confirmed that Duterte was not invited.
“The Philippines did not belong to the invited guest countries,” it said.
Rappler pointed out that it was odd that Duterte, being the current ASEAN chairman, was not invited because it is tradition for countries who held ASEAN chairmanships to be invited to the summit.
One netizen, Van Ybiernas, scored Rappler for writing this report about how an ASEAN chair is “usually” an invited guest to the G20 summit because he is not sure what Rappler’s Pia Ranada’s basis was for saying so.
“It is the host country’s prerogative to invite whoever it wants to invite to the G20 Summit. Thus, the invitation is a reflection of the host country’s ties with either ASEAN as a whole or the country occupying the chairmanship. G20 as an organization does not make this decision,” Ybiernas wrote.
He then said that 2016 host China invited ASEAN chair Laos because they are allies and that Turkey invited Malaysia in 2014 because both are secular Muslim states, although we later found Turkey’s G20 hosting to be in 2015, not 2014. He continued with how the 2014 host Australia invited ASEAN “for obvious reasons,” but how France did not invite ASEAN in 2011 because the country “doesn’t have substantial interests in Southeast Asia.”
Ybiernas added that the Philippines was not invited by Germany for “soured” PH-German relations.
“DAGDAG: We weren’t invited by Germany I guess because Germany doesn’t have massive interests in the Philippines. Plus Phl-German relations soured because of that long controversy in NAIA3 involving German firm Frapport,” he said.
“Niloloko na naman tayo ng mga manloloko sa Rappler! Huwag paloloko mga kababayan!” he added.
The Conversation explained in its November 2014 article who gets invited to the G20 Summit and why. It noted that the G20 president gets to invite about six guest countries in an effort to establish the legitimacy of the summit as the “premier forum for international economic cooperation” and to quash concerns about the forum’s limited and contentious membership.
The Conversation further noted how it has become customary to invite the Chair of ASEAN and the chairman of the African Union and the representative of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). It was not only Rappler that noticed the pattern of inviting the ASEAN chairman to the G20 Summit. Other invitees are picked by the host country.
Here are the following ASEAN chairmen who were invited to the G20 Summit by the host country:
- Laos President Bounnhang Voracith (2016) was invited by China.
- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (2015) was invited by Turkey.
- Myanmar President Thein Sein (2014) was invited by Australia.
- Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkia (2013) was invited by Russia.
- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (2012) was invited by Mexico.
- Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (2010) was invited by Canada.
- Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva (2009) was invited by the US.
It can be noted that the 2011 G20 Summit host France did not invite ASEAN chair Indonesia.
The Palace explained that Duterte did not participate in the G20 Summit because the Philippine government did not lobby for the country’s invitation, adding that the President would rather stay in the Philippines to manage the government instead of seek the “approval” of other countries.
“Hindi talaga istilo ng Presidente yun kasi kailangan nating itakbo ang sarili nating ekonomiya, itakbo natin yung sarili natin,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said.
“Hindi naman kasi sa approval ng ibang tao yung ating pag-unlad. So ang nangyayari actually is nilalakad ng ating Presidente yung ating pag-unlad. Tinututukan niya yung nandito, not necessarily na humihingi sya ng approval ng iba. Iba lang ang istilo lang talaga. And it seem to be working for us. And it is excellent, for example the economy is growing,” he added.
President Duterte has slammed EU, of which Germany is a major country, for criticizing the Philippine government’s war on drugs. He also rejected EU grants with conditions that would interfere in the internal affairs in the Philippines.
The G20 Summits are participated in by its members – 19 countries and the European Union – since it started in 2008. Spain has the status of being a permanent guest and the host country can invite extra guests. This year, Germany invited three countries – Norway, Singapore, and the Netherlands – as well as the African Union (Guinea), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Vietnam), and the NEPAD (Senegal).
Other organizations that were invited include the International Monetary Fund, International Labour Organization, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Financial Stability Board, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations.