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G20 Summit 2019

Topics covered:

  1. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

G20 Summit 2019

 

What to study?

For prelims: All about G20, composition, objectives and significance.

For mains: Significance, composition, issues associated and need for revamping the grouping.

 

Context: World leaders from 19 countries – and the European Union – are meeting in Osaka, Japan for latest edition of G20 summit.

 

What is the G20?

The G20 is an annual meeting of leaders from the countries with the largest and fastest-growing economies. Its members account for 85% of the world’s GDP, and two-thirds of its population.

The G20 Summit is formally known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”.

Establishment:

After the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-1998, it was acknowledged that the participation of major emerging market countries is needed on discussions on the international financial system, and G7 finance ministers agreed to establish the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in 1999.

 

Presidency:

The group has no permanent staff of its own, so every year in December, a G20 country from a rotating region takes on the presidency. 

That country is then responsible for organising the next summit, as well as smaller meetings for the coming year.

They can also choose to invite non-member countries along as guests. The first G20 meeting took place in Berlin in 1999, after a financial crisis in East Asia affected many countries around the world.

 

Who attends these meetings?

At first, the G20 was mostly attended by finance ministers and central bank governors.

That changed after the global financial crisis in 2008. With banks collapsing, unemployment rising and wages stagnating, the organisation turned into an emergency council for presidents and prime ministers.

 

Full membership of the G20: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

 

Its relevance in changing times:

As globalization progresses and various issues become more intricately intertwined, the recent G20 summits have focused not only on macroeconomy and trade, but also on a wide range of global issues which have an immense impact on the global economy, such as development, climate change and energy, health, counter-terrorism, as well as migration and refugees.

The G20 has sought to realize an inclusive and sustainable world through its contributions towards resolving these global issues.

 

Facts for prelims:

A Sherpa is a personal representative of the leader of a member country at an international Summit meeting such as the G8, G20 or the Nuclear Security Summit and are responsible for thrashing out the details before the meeting of the leaders. 

 

Mains Question: Do you think the G20 and its summits are just talking shops for powerful world leaders? Discuss its role in the time of economic crises.