Topics Covered: Important international institutions and groupings.
What to study?
For Prelims: G20- composition, objectives, functions and programmes.
For Mains: Significance of the group, criticisms wrt its functioning and reforms needed.
Context: Union Commerce and Industry Minister recently attended the 2nd G20 Virtual Trade & Investment Ministers Meeting, held through video-conferencing.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
What is G20+?
The G20 developing nations, also called G21/G23/G20+ is a bloc of developing nations which was established on August 20, 2003. It is distinct from the G20 major economies.
- The G20+ originated in September 2003 at the 5th ministerial conference of the WTO held at Cancun, Mexico.
- Its origins can be traced to the Brasilia Declaration signed by the foreign ministers of India, Brazil and South Africa on 6th June 2003.
- The declaration stated that the major economies were still practising protectionist policies especially in sectors they were less competitive in and that it was important to see to it that the trade negotiations that took place provided for the reversal of those policies.
- The G20+ is responsible for 60% of the world population, 26% of the world’s agricultural exports and 70% of its farmers.
- G20 vs G20+ vs G7 vs G8.
- Objectives and sub- groups.
- Overview of Geographical locations of the member countries.
Do you think the recent G20 summits have turned into talking shops rather than getting down to brass tacks? Critically analyse.