Group of Twenty (G20)

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G20

The Group of Twenty popularly known as G20 is an international organization composed of most of the world’s largest economies, including both industrialized and developing nations. It brings together the world’s major advanced and emerging economies. Its members account for around 85 per cent of global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 65 percent of the world’s population.

The G20 was founded in 1999 in response to the spread of world economic crises. In December 1999, the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of advanced and emerging countries of systemic importance met for the first time in Berlin, Germany, for an informal dialogue on key issues for global economic stability. Since then, Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors have met annually. India hosted a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in 2002. G20 was raised to the Summit level in 2008 to address the global financial and economic crisis of 2008. In addition to the Summit, ministerial meetings, sherpa meetings, working groups and special events are organised throughout the year.

Objectives of G20

  • The G20’s primary focus has been the governance of the global economy.
  • Policy coordination between its members in order to achieve global economic stability, sustainable growth and development.
  • To promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises.
  • To create a new international financial architecture.
  • Enhancing food security and addressing commodity price volatility

Organizational Structure 

The G20 is an organized structure comprising of 19 countries and the European Union (EU). The 19 countries includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, UK and USA. The member countries except European Union have been further organised in five different groupings to decide which member nation gets to chair the G20 leaders’ meeting for a given year. Each group is assigned with four countries as its member except one group having three countries as its member. Nations from the same region are placed in the same group, except Group 1 and Group 2.

The G20 operates without a permanent secretariat or staff. The group’s chair rotates annually among the members and is selected from a different regional grouping of countries. The chair is part of a revolving three-member management group of past, present and future chairs referred to as the Troika. The incumbent chair establishes a temporary secretariat for the duration of its term, which coordinates the group’s work and organizes its meetings. All countries within a group are eligible to take over the G20 Presidency when it is their group’s turn. Therefore, the states within the relevant group need to negotiate among themselves to select the next G20 President. Each year, a different G20 member country assumes the presidency starting from 1 December until 30 November. This system has been in place since 2010, when South Korea, which is in Group 5, held the G20 chair. The table below lists the nations’ groupings:

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Group 5

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United States
  • India
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • Turkey
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • United Kingdom
  • China
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • South Korea

 

In addition, each year, the G20’s guests include Spain, the United Nations, the World Bank, the Chair of ASEAN, two African countries (the chair of the African Union and a representative of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and a country (sometimes more than one) invited by the presidency, usually from its own region. Spain is invited as a permanent guest. In addition, the chief executive officers of several other international forums and institutions also participate in meetings of the G20. These include the managing director and Chairman of the International Monetary Fund, the President of the World Bank, the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Chairman of the Development Assistance Committee.

Seventeen G20 Summits have been held so far. The First Summit was hosted by the US President in Washington in November 2008 to develop a coordinated response to the global financial crisis. The Second Summit in London in April 2009 to restore credit and growth and strong regulatory provisions. The Third Summit in Pittsburgh in September 2009 to foster a ‘Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth’ in the 21st century. The Fifth Summit in Seoul in November 2010 under the theme ‘Shared Growth Beyond Crisis’  to launch the G20 Development Agenda embodied in the Multi-Year Action Plans (MYAP) under the nine development pillars. The Sixth G20 Summit in Cannes in November 2011 reviewed the global economic situation in the backdrop of the Eurozone/Greek crisis. The Seventh G20 Summit was held in Los Cabos, Mexcio on 18-19 June 2012 under the Mexican Presidency. And so on the other summits held following a particular agenda to be competed. The 2021 summit was held in Italy. Indonesia held the G20 presidency in 2022, with the G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration released on 16 November 2022. India holds the current chair for G20 presidency i.e., 2023 summit. Brazil will host the G20 in 2024, followed by South Africa in 2025. An events calendar can be found on the Indian Government’s official website.

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