The G20 (or the group of Twenty) is an informal group of 19 countries and the European Union. A combination of the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies. The G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, The U.K, the U.S, and the European Union. The G20 economies together account for nearly 80% of the world’s economic output, two-thirds of the global population, and about half of the world’s land area.
G20 forum regularly meets to coordinate global policy on economic growth, international trade, health, climate, and other issues. The G20 summit is focused on several key issues such as achieving global economic stability, sustainable growth, prevention of future financial crises, putting in place regulatory mechanisms and action against climate change. The two-day summit concludes with a joint statement issued by the members committing themselves to action. It is significant to note that the resolutions of the G20 are not legally binding, but they do influence the policies of the member countries.
The G20 was established in December 1999 in response to financial crises faced by a number of countries in the 1990s with the aim of uniting the world around promoting global financial stability. There was also the need to create a more inclusive body with greater representation. What began as a regular forum for finance ministers and central bank governors turned into a key summit in 2008 when the heads of state and government came together for the first time in Washington to discuss the global economy as well as other challenges facing the world. Ever since the leaders have been meeting annually. A series of G20 ministerial events take place during a year.
Saudi Arabia hosted last year’s G20 summit in Riyadh on November 22 and 23. With the global economy experiencing a sharp contraction in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the G20 leaders have vowed to ensure affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics and vaccines around the world. They said they are taking immediate measures to address the health, social and economic impacts arising from the pandemic. A G20 Leader’s Declaration issued at the end of the summit called for coordinated global action, solidarity, and multilateral cooperation to overcome the current challenges and realise opportunities of the 21st Century for all by empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers. Italy will host the summit of the high-profile grouping in 2021, Indonesia in 2022, India in 2023, and Brazil in 2024.
The G20, 2021:
The G20, bringing together much of the world’s population and the global economy, must live up to its role. This is why the 2021 G20, under the Italian Presidency, will focus on three broad, interconnected pillars of action: People, Planet, Prosperity.
Within these pillars, they are taking the lead in ensuring a swift international response to the pandemic – able to provide equitable, worldwide access to diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines – while building up resilience to future health-related shocks.
They are also looking beyond the crisis, towards ensuring a rapid recovery that addresses people’s needs. This implies a focus on reducing inequalities, on women’s empowerment, on the younger generations, and on protecting the most vulnerable. It means promoting the creation of new jobs, social protection, and food security.
The G20 is also intent on paving the way to rebuilding differently in the aftermath of the crisis. More efficiently, through better use of renewable energies and with a firm commitment to protecting our climate and our common environment.
This is a prerequisite for our sustained prosperity. A prosperous future, however, also requires that we properly harness the main drivers of growth and innovation. They are working to bridge the digital divide and make digitalization an opportunity for all, improve productivity and – in short –leave no one behind.