Frequently Asked Questions
What is the G20?
The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier forum for international cooperation on the most important issues of the global economic and financial agenda. The objectives of the G20 refer to:
1. Policy coordination between its members in order to achieve global economic stability, sustainable growth;
2. Promoting financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises;
3. Modernizing international financial architecture.
How did this international forum begin?
The G20 was formally established in September 1999 when finance ministers and central bank governors of seven major industrial countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) met in Washington, D.C. in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 1997-1998, which showed that key developing countries were insufficiently involved in discussions and decisions concerning global economic issues.
In November 2008, a decision was made to change the format of G20 meetings and additionally hold leaders' summits (summits of heads of state and government), which has made the forum what it is today.
Which countries are members of the G20?
The G20 brings together finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America plus the European Union.
How well does the G20 reflect non-member countries' interests?
The G20 host country identifies the countries to be invited as temporary invitees for the period of its presidency based on the following guidelines:
1) the number of invited non-member countries will not exceed five;
2) fair and balanced geographical representation;
3) countries presiding over regional forums, such as the African Union, ASEAN, APEC, etc., will be invited in the first place;
The Seoul summit formalized the participation of five non-members, of which at least two would be African countries.
In addition to attending the leaders' meetings, the invitees are involved from day one alongside G20 members in the drafting of summit decisions. Invitees also take part in working group discussions, Sherpas and Finance Ministers meetings.
Do international organizations participate in the G20?
The G20 maintains close relationship with formal international organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), the Financial Stability Board, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations and International Labor Organization (ILO) regularly take part in G20 meetings. Other international organizations are frequently also invited to participate in the premier forum.
What is the Outreach format?
To ensure legitimacy, transparency and efficiency of the G20 the Russian Presidency plans to hold extensive outreach consultations with all interested parties, including non-member countries, international organizations, private sector, trade unions, civil society, youth, think tanks and academia. Active interaction among all these groups - another innovation of the Russian Presidency - will generate a cross-sectoral synergy to enhance the public benefit of the G20.
How many Leaders' Summits have been held?
Until now seven G20 Leaders' Summits took place:
What issues are normally on the G20 speakers' agenda?
During the first G20 meeting in Washington, D.C., the G20 leaders discussed the causes of the global economic and financial crisis and agreed on an action plan to achieve three main objectives:
- restoring global economic growth;
- strengthening the international financial system;
- reforming international financial institutions.
More specific issues for the summits are developed in Sherpas' Meetings, Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' Meetings, Seminars and other Outreach events.
What are the G20's major achievements for today?
The G20's major achievements include strengthening the role of emerging economies, such as BRICS, reforming international financial institutions, improving discipline and tightening oversight over national financial institutions and regulators, improving the quality of financial regulations in economies whose regulatory problems led to the crisis, and creating financial and organizational safety nets to prevent severe economic slumps in the future.
When and where will the G20 Summit under the Russian Presidency be held?
The G20 Leaders' Summit will be held in St. Petersburg on September 5-6, 2013.
What priority issues and themes will Russia offer for consideration during its G20 presidency in 2013?
The core objective of the Russian Presidency is to concentrate the efforts of G20 - forum of the world's largest economies - on developing a set of measures aimed at boosting sustainable, inclusive and balanced growth and jobs creation around the world.
Russia believes that discussion on all the interconnected issues of the G20 agenda is organized around three overarching priorities, aimed at starting the new cycle of economic growth:
- Growth through quality jobs and investment;
- Growth through trust and transparency;
- Growth through effective regulation.
The agenda for Russia's G20 presidency includes the following main items:
1) Framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth;
2) Jobs and employment;
3) International financial architecture reform;
4) Strengthening financial regulation;
5) Energy sustainability;
6) Development for all;
7) Enhancing multilateral trade;
8) Fighting corruption.
Russia will ensure continuity in discussions of all agenda items in order to facilitate the fulfillment of earlier commitments, and will make its own suggestions regarding how to address them.
To support the Russian Presidency's focus on boosting economic growth and job creation two new topics will be proposed for discussion within the above areas, including Financing for investment and Government borrowing and public debt sustainability.
How will the Russian Presidency of the G20 be organized?
Core work on agenda items will be performed by Sherpas and Finance Ministries. Sherpas meetings as well as meetings of Finance Ministers , their Deputies and Central Bank Governors will lay the groundwork for the Leaders' Summits. Russian Presidency has also proposed to hold a joint meeting of Finance and Labour Ministers.
What role do finance ministers play in the G20?
The Finance Track is composed of all G20 Finance Ministers and Central bank Governors who meet regularly during the year to discuss the current economic global problems and take coordinated actions towards their solutions. These meetings are attended also by International Organizations such as the IMF, World Bank, OECD or the Financial Stability Board.
The Finance Track in the G20 focuses on financial and economic issues; these include providing solutions to the current economic problems, economic stabilization and structural reforms, increasing international coordination for crisis prevention, correction of external, fiscal and financial imbalances, providing resources to increase global liquidity, and strengthening the international financial system.
Finance Ministers rely on the technical and substantive work of a series of expert working groups.
Who is the Sherpa?
The term is derived from the Sherpa people, a Nepalese ethnic group, who serve as guides and porters in the Himalayas. Sherpa is the personal representative of the Head of State and Government of the members of the G20.
The Sherpas' track focuses on political, non-financial issues, such as: employment, agriculture, energy, the fight against corruption and development, among others. The Sherpas carry out important planning, negotiation and implementation tasks throughout the entire process. They coordinate the agenda, seek consensus at the highest political levels and help negotiate the Leaders' positions.
Toward the end of the process, along with the Deputy Finance Ministers, the Sherpas prepare the final declaration statement and other supporting documents for the Leaders.
The Sherpas' track delegates technical and policy analysis to a series of working groups, made up of officials from each member country and international organizations.
The Sherpas are also responsible for holding frequent meetings with other relevant stakeholders, such as the business community, academic institutions and young people in order to facilitate an inclusive and representative dialogue.
Who is the Russian G20 Sherpa?
In compliance with Mr. Putin's order, Ksenia Yudaeva has been appointed the Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the G20, the Russian Sherpa.
Ms. Yudaeva was appointed Chief of the Presidential Experts’ Directorate in mid-July, 2012. Her latest office was Senior Adviser to the President of Sberbank of Russia.