The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union. Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 90% of the gross world product, 80% of world trade, two-thirds of the world population, and approximately half the world land area. The group’s membership policies have been criticized by some intellectuals, and its summits has been a focus for major protests.
About G20 in brief
The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union. The G20 has expanded its agenda since 2008 and heads of government or heads of state, as well as finance ministers, foreign ministers and think tanks, have periodically conferred at summits. Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 90% of the gross world product, 80% of world trade, two-thirds of the world population, and approximately half the world land area. Since the November 2011 Cannes summit, G20 summits have been held annually. The theme of the 2006 G20 ministerial meeting was \”Building and Sustaining Prosperity\”. The issues discussed included domestic reforms to achieve \”sustained growth\”, energy and resource reform, reform of the World Bank and IMF, and the impact of demographic changes on the global population. In 2007, South Africa hosted the secretariat with A. Manuel, South African Finance Minister, as chairperson. In 2008, Guido Mantega, Brazil’s finance Minister, proposed dialogue on financial markets, clean energy, economic development and fiscal elements of growth and development. On October 11, 2008, US President George W. Bush stated that the next G20 meeting would be a response to the burgeoning economic crisis of 2008. The Summit of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was created in 2008 to implement their decisions. In 2009, its leaders announced on 25 September 2009 that the group would replace the G8 as the main economic council of wealthy nations.
The group’s membership policies have been criticized by some intellectuals, and its summits has been a focus for major protests. It is the latest in a series of post–World War II initiatives aimed at international coordination of economic policy, which include institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and what is now the World Trade Organization. It was foreshadowed at the Cologne summit of the G7 in June 1999, and formally established on 26 September 1999 with an inaugural meeting on 15–16 December 1999 in Berlin. Canadian finance minister Paul Martin was chosen as the first chairman and German finance minister Hans Eichel hosted the inaugural meeting. All acknowledge, however, that Germany and the United States played a key role in bringing their vision into reality. It illustrated to them that in a rapidly globalizing world, theG7, G8 and the Bretton Woods system would be unable to provide financial stability, and they conceived of a new, broader permanent group of major world economies that would give a voice and new responsibilities in providing it. In 2004, Canadian academic and journalistic sources have also identified the G-20 a project initiated by Martin and then-US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. In 2005, the U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was named as the group’s first chairman. In 2010, the group held summits twice in 2009 and twice in 2010. In 2012, the Group of 20 held a summit in Lima, Peru, to discuss how to tackle the global financial crisis.