APEC = “A” “P”retty “E”mpty “C”ommitment (That goes for G20 too)

G20 Handshake You're doing it wrong

Yes they are all technically ‘shaking hands’. However, they’re doing it wrong. World leaders, you’re so embarrassing!

So APEC and the G20 are done.

From the photos it seemed like one big conference to find the world’s most awkward handshake, where the protestors were all extremely polite, well-organised, heavily armed and dressed as police.

Really, what did the G20 achieve?


What happened at APEC?

Not much.

The USA and China did sign a deal on climate change. The US pledged to get its carbon emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. China agreed to peak its carbon emissions by 2030. This agreement didn’t have much to do with either G20 or APEC, and seemed to be announced only because both leaders happened to be shaking hands at the time.

Probably a bet to see who could hold their breath longer, once they ventured out into the Beijing air.

Or lack of it.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe

The look that says, “I’d rather be drinking my own piss instead of shaking your hand”. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.

So a whole bunch of world leaders went to APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) then almost the same group kicked on to the afterparty at the G20 in Brisbane. It’s called the “G20″ because you need to have downed at least twenty gin and tonics just to get into the door. Beer bongs are so G8.

They’ve all now left, and apart from exhausting Brisbane’s prostitutes (allegedly…), stressing out hotel staff and causing countless police and security staff to sweat boredom for up-teen hours, what was achieved?


Like I already said.

Well there was a list of stuff they decided, but made no actual commitments to any of it, or explained how even the smallest assertion might be achieved.

Let’s quickly go through some of the highlights from their “action plan”…

LIFT GDPThe G20 nations committed to lifting Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by two percent by 2018, adding more than US$2 trillion to the global economy.

This is like me saying, “I can definitely afford that new car, as next year I’m going to make $30,000 more than this year. So give me the keys please.”

Sales-guy: “How exactly? Like, what’s your plan?”

We both look awkwardly at the ground, until I leave.

G20 - Koalas

The only thing shaking in this picture is these koalas. With fear and shame. Why them? They did nothing to deserve this.

INFRASTRUCTURECreate a “Global Infrastructure Initiative” to lift investment, and match investors with projects, with a hub based in Sydney.

Businessman one: “I’m going to open an office in Sydney to do business and create investment.”

Businessman two: “Is that right? What sort of business exactly?”

Businessman one: “You know, business business. The real business.”

Business man two: “Sounds solid.”

PARTICIPATIONReduce the gap between men and women in the workforce by 25 percent by 2025.

Woman one: “Did you see that? More women in the workforce. Hooray!”

Woman two: “That’s great! So where are they going to list the opportunities?”

Woman one: “I think if you keep asking questions like that, the whole system might crumble.”

Woman two: “Really? So let’s keep asking.”

Handshake - PM Stephen Harper and Vladimir Putin

Canadian PM Stephen Harper tells Russian Prez Vladimir Putin to get out of the Ukraine with the most violent action known to any Canadian – the terrifying “tummy rub”.

POVERTYMore food and jobs

Australia: “Did anyone invite any of the poor countries?”

Indonesia: “We’re over here.”

Australia: “Damn. Luckily, nobody cares. That’s why the media completely ignored you.”

FINANCIAL SYSTEMSStop them being so dodgy

USA: “Stockmarket reform. Who’s in?”

All other countries explode into laughter. Germany actually blows champagne through her nose, causing everyone to laugh even harder.

German Chancellor Angel Merkel Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel around a research facility run in collaboration with the Germans, that the Australian Liberal Government has just stopped funding. Notice his hands doing the ‘awkward shake’.

EBOLA – Stop its spread

Australia: “What’s Ebola?”

USA: “It’s this disease in Africa.”

Australia: “What’s Africa?”

Italy: “A war-torn and impoverished continent that produces a constant stream of refugees in dire need, who we welcome with a humanitarian immigration program.”

Australia: “I don’t like Africa.”

Handshake - Threesome

The threesome that only Tony wanted, where Abbott’s the meat in his favourite sandwich. He’s our Prime Minister people. That single fact makes me doubt evolution.

ENERGYImprove energy efficiency, support effective action on climate change

Britain: “I can’t see anything. Why is it so dark in here?”

Australia: “We’re trying to save power.”

Britain: “By turning off the lights?”

Australia: “Have you got a better idea?”

Britain: “Here’s a document with hundreds of them.”

Australia: “I can’t see it. The lights are off. Ha!”

Britain turns on the lights. The G20 countries notice Russia hiding in the corner. All the G20 countries cast a nasty look in Russia’s direction, which he ignores, and goes back to cyber-bullying the Ukraine.


Australia: “Thanks for coming everyone. Enjoy your souvenir koala, and please remember don’t sign anything unless it’s so general that no real action will be happen on anything ever. On a side note, how bad are Australians for wanting free healthcare and an environment? So selfish. See you next year.”


This article first appeared on The Big Smoke:



Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

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