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All You Need to Know About the G20 Summits

The Group of Twenty (G20) is the top international platform for discussion of the most crucial topics on the global economic and financial agenda.

Aarushi Chadha

The G20 was created to achieve global economic stability and sustainable growth. At every G20 meet, its members coordinate their policies. They also work to promote financial laws that decrease risk and avert future financial crises.

When the finance ministers and central bank governors of seven major industrial nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—met in Washington, D.C., in the wake of the financial crisis of 1997–1998 that exposed the weakness of the global financial system in the context of economic globalisation and demonstrated that important developing nations were not sufficiently involved, the G20 was formally established in September 1999.

When and where was the first G20 Summit?

Following the inaugural conference on December 15–16, 1999 in Berlin, finance ministers and central bank governors began to convene yearly meetings. On November 14–15, 2008, the G20 Leaders had their inaugural summit in Washington, D.C., where they adopted an action plan to stabilise the world economy and avert further catastrophes. The main forum consequently got its current name and significance.

There have been seven G20 Leaders' Summits to date. G20 participants represent nearly:

  • 90% of the world's GDP.

  • Eighty percent of worldwide trade.

  • The G20 members are home to two-thirds of the world's population.

  • The G20 countries account for 84% of global emissions from fossil fuels.

The G20 Leaders reached broad consensus during their first meeting in Washington on how to work together in crucial areas to support economic growth and address the financial crisis, as well as three major goals:

– reviving world economic growth

– bolstering the global financial system

– reforming global financial institutions.

How is the G20 Presidency Decided?

Each year, members of the G20 take turns holding the presidency. The goal of the Troika, a three-person management committee led by the presidency and made up of the previous, present, and future chairs, is to guarantee openness, equity, and continuity from one presidency to the next. There is no separate secretariat for the G20. For the duration of the chairmanship, the nation holding the presidency establishes a temporary secretariat.

The ongoing work is split into two tracks: the Sherpas' Track and the Finance Track, which are ongoing throughout the year aside from the Leaders' Summit, which concludes the presidency. This structure was established at the third G20 Summit in Pittsburgh in 2009, which also recognised its effectiveness in tackling challenges of international finance and the economy. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, the political leaders gathered three times each. In the years to come, yearly Leaders' Summits are planned.

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