The G20 summit is where global economic matters get ironed out, but a wealth of other issues are demanding attention.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chairmanship of the Group of 20 leaders’ summit – to be held in Brisbane from November 15-16 – comes at a difficult time in world affairs.
Russia is engaged in a separatist war in the Ukraine, which led to the death of 298 people including 38 Australians in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Iraq, Syria and G20-member Turkey (which will host the summit in 2015) are the battlegrounds for the fight against Islamic State extremists, who are reaching out as far as Australia with incendiary propaganda.
China and the United States battle for the hearts, minds and wallets of the Asia-Pacific.
European nations’ recovery from the global financial crisis is slower than expected and right-wing parties are winning over disgruntled, fearful voters.
The containment of Ebola in west Africa is demanding a multinational effort.
The United Nations is pleading with world leaders to put more effort into cutting carbon emissions ahead of new targets being set in late 2015.
Amid all of these pressures, Mr Abbott says his focus for the summit is building a stronger world economy.
“Economic growth means more jobs, higher living standards and governments that are better able to reduce tax and fund better services,” he says.
When taking over the chairmanship from Mexico, Australia made it clear the summit should not just talk about jobs and reform.
It should set a specific collective target for economic growth – two per cent above what is currently expected over the next five years.
To date there have been pledges which together reach about 1.8 per cent – just short of the target.
A summary of the pledges, and a method of monitoring how they are met, will form the basis of what will be known as the Brisbane Action Plan on Growth and Jobs.
The plan will accompany the final leaders’ communique to be released on November 16 covering trade, infrastructure, tax, banking, workforce participation and energy efficiency.
On the sidelines, protesters attempting to gain the attention of 3000-plus media will be raising issues from climate change to fighting poverty.
They will be met by an unprecedented security presence of around 6000 police from Australia and New Zealand.
The 2016 summit host nation, to be named in the final communique, will come from a group comprising China, Indonesia, Japan and Korea.