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The G20 was upgraded to the level of Heads of State/Government in the wake of the global economic and financial crisis of 2007, and, in 2009, was designated the “premier forum for international economic cooperation”.
The G20 Summit is held annually, under the leadership of a rotating Presidency. The G20 initially focused largely on broad macroeconomic issues, but it has since expanded its agenda to inter-alia include trade, sustainable development, health, agriculture, energy, environment, climate change, and anti-corruption.
The Group of Twenty (G20) comprises 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, United Kingdom and United States) and two regional bodies: the European Union and the African Union (as of 2023). The G20 members represent around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.
The 17th G20 Heads of State and Government Summit took place on 15-16 November 2022 in Bali. The Summit was the pinnacle of the G20 process and intense work was carried out within the Ministerial Meetings, Working Groups, and Engagement Groups throughout the year.
The G20 Summit under Italian Presidency was held in Rome on October 30-31, 2021, with the participation of its members, six invited countries (Spain, The Netherlands, Singapore, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Brunei, NEPAD and ASEAN) and nine representatives of international organizations. Under the motto “People, Planet, Prosperity” the Leaders’ Summit discussed in three main sessions the macroeconomic global development connected with the health crisis; solutions for environmental and climate challenges; the need to develop sustainable development at a global scale. Two side events were dedicated to financial inclusion of SME (with a focus on female-led business) and to public-private partnership in the fight against climate change. The Summit has adopted a Leaders’ Declaration which enshrines important progress in international taxation, special drawing rights, the creation of a health-finance task force, but also on the global supply and access to vaccines, especially in support of more vulnerable countries, and the common objective of the G20 countries to tackle climate change. Other important outcomes of the Italian Presidency were the formal acceptance of the Matera Declaration on food safety, the shared goal of planting a trillion trees globally by 2030. By committing to implement the “Roadmap Towards and Beyond the Brisbane Goal” the G20 Summit expressed its support for female empowerment. Finally, the Leaders have recognized culture as a G20 issue and adopted innovative tools in the fight against corruption.
A virtual G20 summit was hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on November 21-22, 2020. The G20 leaders expressed their commitment for coordinating global action, solidarity, and multilateral cooperation, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers. The G20 leaders further committed to work together to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic restore growth, build a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient future. The G20 leaders were determined to support the most vulnerable and fragile countries, notably in Africa, in their fight against the pandemic. The leaders of G20 also focused on Employment for millions of workers who continue to face job and income loss especially for women and youth. It also focused on active social protection for all, including those in the informal economy.
The G20 Summit, which Japan hosted for the first time in Osaka in 2019, included G20 members, 8 invited countries, and representatives from 9 international organizations, and was historically the largest Summit ever held in Japan. Leaders of the major countries gathered to identify a common ground, and to jointly grapple with major issues related to world economy.
Amidst worldwide uneasiness and dissatisfaction stemming from changes accompanying globalization, Japan took leadership as the Presidency, ensuring that the G20 expressed strong message to the world via G20 Osaka Leaders' Declaration, which includes various areas such as leading global economic growth through promoting free trade and innovation, and addressing inequalities, as well as contributing to resolving environmental and global challenges.
Argentina took over the Presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20) on December 1, 2017, which lasted until December 1, 2018 when the Leaders' Summit in the City of Buenos Aires concluded. The fact of having been chosen to chair the most relevant forum for global economic governance was of great importance since Argentina hosted the first G20 Summit held in South America. This Forum provides the opportunity to demonstrate the Government's commitment to international cooperation, multilateralism and global governance, as well as to identify the main global challenges. Argentina has proven its capacity to lead the meeting and find consensus on sensitive issues such as international trade, excess steel capacity, as well as the role of the Paris agreement in the area of climate change, and the way in which the 2030 Agenda should be addressed.
Within the framework of the motto “Building consensus for equitable and sustainable development”, these issues were strategic in the G20 2018 and defined three priorities that permeated the entire agenda of the Argentine presidency: “the future of work”, “infrastructure for development”, and “a sustainable food future”. The G20 agenda had people as its central axis. Likewise, the gender perspective was another issue that Argentina promoted and was strategic and transversal in the various working groups of the forum.
Throughout the year, there were more than 60 meetings held that included ten meetings of ministers. Meetings were held in the city of Buenos Aires, and in the provinces of Neuquén, Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Misiones, Santa Fe, Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán and Tierra del Fuego. As a result there were ministerial declarations on Finance, Employment, Education (whose working group was created for the first time in the history of the G20 and at the initiative of Argentina), Digital Economy, Agriculture, Health, Trade and Energy.
Argentina worked at all times in the G20 with the intention of promoting the perspective of developing countries and with the aim of giving the meeting a broader and more inclusive vision.
The work of the Argentine Presidency of the G20 fostered different instances for dialogue between the members, seeking to highlight the agreements reached within the framework of the working groups, and the result of this exercise has been reflected in a substantive Leaders' Communiqué, even in sensitive issues on the international agenda such as trade and climate change. In this way, Argentina was able to identify the coincidences instead of continuing to deepen antagonistic positions, as happened in other fora held throughout that year. The member States acknowledged that it was time to start rebuilding common positions, even when they may seem less ambitious than agreements reached in the past that are not in force today.
Under the motto “Shaping an Interconnected World”, the G20 in Hamburg (2017) prioritized and paved the way for tangible multilateral cooperation on key issues that remain critically relevant today. The G20 demonstrated notable prescience on pandemic preparedness and AMR, and established the G20 Africa Partnership including the Compact with Africa, focused on sustainable investment and opportunities.
The G20 in Hamburg saw adoption of further new initiatives, such as the G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth for Paris Agreement implementation, and the Hamburg Update, to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Further, the G20 reaffirmed multilateral rules-based trading system, including renewed commitment to sustainable supply chains and addressing excess capacities; reinforced counter-terrorism capabilities via the Financial Action Task Force; made concrete steps towards achieving gender equality through women’s empowerment (including initiatives like #eSkills4Girls and Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, designed to help women in developing countries to grow their own businesses), and highlighted the need to address the underlying causes of displacement, and the needs of refugees and migrants.
On September 4-5, 2016, the 11th G20 Summit was held in Hangzhou, China. The theme was "Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy." The participants held extensive discussions on four key agenda items - breaking a new path for growth, more effective and efficient global economic and financial governance, robust international trade and investment, and inclusive and interconnected development.
Coinciding with a crucial juncture for world economic growth and transformation of the G20, the Hangzhou Summit invited high expectations from all sides. It ended with the adoption of the G20 Leaders' Communique Hangzhou Summit and 28 outcome documents. The outcomes reflected a spirit of working together to meet challenges, and charted the course for the world economy. The endorsement of such pragmatic action plans as the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth reflected a commitment to common development.
The Hangzhou Summit conveyed this message to the international community: The G20 serves not only its members but also the wider world, especially developing countries and their people. This showed China's unique perspective as the host of the summit.
Türkiye was G20 Chair in 2015 and hosted Leaders’ Summit in Antalya on 15-16 November 2015. Turkish G20 Presidency aimed to focus on developing more inclusive global growth, enhancing investments, and effectively implementing previous commitments. Therefore, Türkiye defined its G20 Presidency priorities with three I’s, namely “Inclusiveness, Investment, and Implementation”.
Leaders' Summit joined by representatives from 26 countries and seven international organizations with 13.000 participants, started with President Erdoğan's welcoming ceremony of the head of the delegations and family photo. President Erdoğan delivered a speech at the opening of the Summit.
On the first day of the Summit, Leaders attended the working lunch on “Development and Climate Change”, session titled “Inclusive Growth: Global Economy, Growth Strategies, Employment and Investment Strategies” and the working dinner on “Global Challenges: Terrorism and Refugee Crisis”.
Leaders discussed financial regulations, international tax, anti-corruption and IMF reform in the session titled "Enhancing Resilience". Trade and energy topped the agenda of the working lunch where the final communiqué of the Summit and Antalya Action Plan were adopted.
Australia’s 2014 G20 Summit was held in Brisbane, 15-16 November. The Summit delivered outcomes across the agenda’s three themes of growth and jobs, economic resilience and strengthening global institutions.
Leaders at the Brisbane Summit discussed key global economic challenges and strategies for economic growth. The G20 committed to lifting G20 GDP by more than 2 per cent over 5 years. It also agreed to boost growth and create quality jobs as set out in the Brisbane Action Plan and associated growth strategies.
Leaders agreed to increase investment in infrastructure through the creation of a Global Infrastructure Hub; improve energy collaboration and strengthen energy markets through the G20 Principles on Energy Collaboration; and reduce the gap between male and female workforce participation rates by 25 per cent by 2025 through the Brisbane Goal. Leaders also agreed reforms to strengthen financial regulation and combat tax avoidance. The Summit resulted in a Leaders’ Communique, Brisbane Action Plan and a standalone statement on Ebola.
The G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg was the eighth meeting of the leaders of the G20 countries, which was held in Russia, in St. Petersburg on September 5-6, 2013.
The main topics proposed for the consideration of the summit were:
As for the objectives of the Russian G20 Presidency, it decided not to introduce any new items to the agenda but rather concentrate on the traditional track in support of a sustainable, inclusive and balanced growth and job creation around the world. To meet this strategic goal, Russia planned to concentrate common efforts on the three following priorities aimed at starting the new global economic growth cycle, that include boosting growth through quality jobs and investment, through trust and transparency in the markets, through effective and efficient regulation. In addition to the traditional G20 agenda two new financial topics were added – financing for investment and government borrowing and public debt sustainability. Russia concentrated on coordinating policy measures that could be taken to stimulate the expansion and developing of long-term investment sources of growth, as well as discussing the future of sovereign borrowings within the context of the national commitments to a set of agreed international rules.
In order to ensure the continuity and implementation of the earlier commitments Russia focused to work with partners to advance traditional vital issues on the G20 agenda, such as the state of the global economy, implementation of the Framework Agreement for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth, facilitation of job creation, reform of the currency and financial regulation and supervision systems, including the reform of the IMF formula and quotas, as well as maintaining stability in global energy markets, stepping up international development, strengthening multilateral trade and countering corruption.
Mexico assumed the Presidency of the G20 in 2012 with the aim of achieving a more effective global economic governance system, considering the interests and priorities of emerging and developing countries.
The priorities of the Mexican presidency were the economic stabilization and structural reforms for growth and employment; strengthening financial systems and promoting financial inclusion to boost economic growth; improve the international financial architecture in an interconnected global economy; reinforce food security and mitigate the volatility of the price of raw material; promote sustainable development, green growth and the fight against climate change.
The G20 Leaders’ Summit was held from November 3-4, 2011 in Cannes, France.
Following were the steps taken and progress made:
Commodity market transparency: In a move to curb excess volatility in commodity prices, the G20 has made strong commitments in Cannes to increase transparency on the physical -- energy and agricultural -- and financial commodity markets.
Investing in infrastructure in developing countries: The G20 supports the recommendations made by the High-Level Panel made up of experts of the private sector chaired by Mr. Tidjane Thiam and the development banks to build human resources and capacity in developing countries etc.
Innovative financing for development and the climate: In Cannes, the G20 has, for the first time, mobilized in support of innovative financing for development and climate change.
Banking regulation:The G20 agreed on a renewed framework of rules applicable to banks in response to the difficulties encountered by the banking sector since 2007.
Protecting against the instability of agricultural prices: Price volatility poses significant problems to developing countries, penalizing consumers when prices increase and producers when they fall, and creating uncertainty which is unfavourable to investment decisions, to increasing production and productivity, and ultimately to agricultural development.
Fighting corruption: The G20 has made major progress in the fight against corruption since the Seoul Summit in November 2010. Individual and collective progress by the G20 countries should be credited to the French Presidency of the G20. In addition, the G20 countries have begun work in areas including the recovery of assets, the fight against money laundering, whistleblower protection, the functioning and the independence of anti-corruption agencies, public sector transparency and international cooperation.
Market regulation: In Cannes, the G20 solemnly committed to complete this major reform of the financial sector and to align national arrangements to prevent risks of regulatory arbitrage. The G20 also decided to launch new focuses to bring national arrangements into line concerning 1) rules on financial guarantee requirements applicable to non-centrally cleared derivatives and 2) harmonization of central databases and procedures for regulator data access.
Trade:The G20 members have renewed their pledge not to introduce new measures restricting trade before 2013 and to withdraw all protectionist measures which have already been implemented. The WTO is tasked, alongside the OECD and the UNCTAD, to review the situation every six months for the G20. This decision will help prevent conflict between States at a time when cooperation is absolutely vital.
Enhancing the IMF's response capacity and surveillance: In the framework of reforming the international monetary system, the G20 has decided to enhance the IMF's capacity to respond to and prevent crises and improve surveillance of its members and the world economy.
Agriculture:France has put agriculture and food security at the heart of the G20 priorities. The President of the Republic asked Bruno Le Maire to bring together the G20 Agriculture Ministers with the major international organizations with responsibility for food security, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for the first time. The G20 adopted an "Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture". It provides ambitious, tangible and immediate solutions to meet the world agriculture and food challenge.
Social regulation of globalization: In 2011, the French Presidency of the G20 added the social dimension of globalization to the G20 agenda. The President of the French Republic asked Xavier Bertrand to arrange a meeting between the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers in Paris on 26 and 27 September. In Cannes, the Heads of State acknowledged that it is essential for the social dimension to become a long-term addition to the G20 agenda.
Emergency humanitarian food reserves:The G20 Action Plan on food price volatility and agriculture, adopted on 23 June 2011, mandated the World Food Programme (WFP) and other competent international organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Bank, to perform a feasibility study on the implementation of such a system in Africa, alongside existing national food reserves. A feasibility study has been conducted with African regional organizations.
Reform of the International monetary system:The G20 has adopted a reference framework to better manage capital flows: It recognizes that measures to manage or monitor capital flows can be legitimate, as they complement sound macroeconomic policies and can be put into action when capital flows are particularly high and volatile.
Tax havens and non-cooperative jurisdictions:The G20 in Cannes has fully reviewed these processes. This is an extremely tricky exercise as it calls for a collective judgment on certain extremely reluctant countries.
Action plan for growth and jobs: Heightened tensions and significant downside risks for the global economy prompted the G20 to take decisive actions to restore confidence, financial stability and growth. This is the Action Plan for Growth and Jobs.
The G20 Seoul Summit was held on November 11-12, 2010. G20 countries and invited participants including five countries and seven international organizations attended the summit. About 6,000 government delegates and 4,000 people from the media community visited Korea, while 120 CEOs from global corporations attended the Business Summit. The G20 Seoul Summit was indeed the largest event in the history of Korea.
The G20 Seoul Summit was a great success in terms of agenda, protocol, and management. The major outcome of the G20 Seoul Summit included such agreements as ‘the framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth’, ‘IMF quota reform and adjustment the Executive Board’s composition’, ‘the Basel III agreement and SIFI (Systemically Important Financial Institutions) problem solutions’, and ‘reaffirming commitment to the DDA’. Considering that the ‘currency conflict’ was the topic of international interest then, the consensus was reached for making a set of indicative guidelines. Its policy orientation was agreed to make a shift towards a more market-based exchange rate that reflected economic fundamentals, as well as the establishment of a more flexible exchange rate are deemed as significant outcomes. This would not have been possible without the strong mutual understanding of G20 leaders on the G20 spirit of international cooperation - an agreement on preventing the global economy from turning to protectionism and finding solutions through international coordination.
In regard to the reform of international financial organization and financial regulatory measures, the Seoul Summit reached agreement on the 6% quota shift to emerging and developing countries, which IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn called the most historically significant agreement ever reached since the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting (October 22-23, 2010, Gyeongju). By agreeing to adjust the composition of Executive Board members and adopt Basel III, leaders at the Seoul Summit were able to reach agreement on issues which had not been agreed upon for a very long time.
Furthermore, by adopting the ‘Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth’ and ‘Multi-Year Action Plan on development', the Seoul Summit laid the foundation for developing countries to achieve sustainable growth through capacity building.
In regard to global financial safety nets, the summit produced tangible outcomes on the creation of a preemptive response system for future financial crisis by improving the existing flexible credit line and introducing a precautionary credit line and a multinational flexible credit line. These outcomes are of keen interest to developing and emerging countries, the majority in the international community, which will help Korea play a bridging role between non-G20 countries and G20 member states, and lay the institutional and academic basis for increasing the legitimacy of the G20 in the future.
It would have been impossible for the Seoul Summit to produce such tangible outcomes on key interests of developing and emerging economies without the Korean Government’s efforts to engage in continuous consultation with non-G20 countries on multiple aspects. These consultations were largely carried out by the Ambassador at large for the G20 who visited Asia, Africa, America and Europe for multiple briefing sessions with key international organizations like the ILO (International Labor Organization) and UN (United Nations), in order to collect the general opinion of the international community and explain them the details on the preparatory works directed toward the Seoul Summit.
At the time of G20 Toronto Summit, most of the countries were entering recovery mode from the global economic recession. The Summit Declaration stated that serious challenges remained in the form of high unemployment rates in various economies and the concurrent existence of the impact of the financial crisis. The International Monetary Fund, in its post-summit document, indicated that a speedy cut in deficits might substantially slow growth. The organization insisted that balanced public spending could stabilize bond markets, reduce interest rates from less government spending, and encourage private investment. It also recommended that emerging economies such as China, which had largely benefited from trade surpluses, should rely less on developed nations and increase their own spending in order to promote domestic demand.
The London Summit took place at a time when the world confronts the worst economic crisis since the Second World War. The London Summit aims were to bring together leaders of the world’s major economies and key international institutions to take the collective action necessary to stabilize the world economy and secure recovery and jobs. Leaders faced an unprecedented range of challenges – of averting an even more severe downturn and restoring growth in the short term, while at the same time reshaping the financial system, preserving the world trading system, and laying the foundations for a sustainable recovery. Real action was agreed at the Summit, with Leaders agreeing on steps to restore confidence, growth and jobs; strengthen financial supervision and regulation; fund and reform our international financial institutions to overcome this crisis and prevent future ones; promote global trade and investment and reject protectionism, to underpin prosperity; and to build an inclusive green and sustainable recovery.
At the Pittsburgh Summit, the G20 leaders committed to the following:
The 2008 G20 summit was held in Washington D.C. in the wake of the sub-prime mortgage financial crisis and was titled ‘Declaration of the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy’. The leaders discussed efforts to strengthen economic growth, deal with the extant financial crisis, and to lay the foundation for reform to help to ensure that a similar crisis does not happen again. The Summit achieved five key objectives.
The leaders approved an Action Plan that sets forth a comprehensive work plan to achieve these objectives, and asked finance ministers to work to ensure that the Action Plan is fully and vigorously implemented. The Plan included immediate actions to address weaknesses in accounting and disclosure standards for off-balance sheet vehicles; ensure that credit rating agencies meet the highest standards and avoid conflicts of interest, provide greater disclosure to investors, and differentiate ratings for complex products; ensure that firms maintain adequate capital, and set out strengthened capital requirements for banks' structured credit and securitization activities; develop enhanced guidance to strengthen banks' risk management practices, and ensure that firms develop processes that look at whether they are accumulating too much risk; establish processes whereby national supervisors who oversee globally active financial institutions meet together and share information; and expand the Financial Stability Forum to include a broader membership of emerging economies.