The Group of Twenty (G20) is the central forum for international cooperation on financial and economic issues and increasingly the key international arena for questions of global governance.
The G20 countries account for more than 80% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), 75% of world trade and almost 70% of the world’s population. Their decisions have a strong signal effect and provide impetus for reforms at both the national and multinational levels.
The key element of the G20 is its annual leaders’ summits, held at the level of heads of states or government since 2008. Previously, G20 meetings were held by G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, who continue to meet regularly as part of the G20 finance track.
The G20 is an informal forum rather than an organization. Accordingly, it does not have a permanent secretariat. Instead, it has an annually rotating host country which acts as the presidency for that year. The current presidency typically cooperates closely with the previous and upcoming presidencies to set the G20 agenda and organize a smooth transition from one year to the next.
The G20 is made up of 19 individual states and the European Union, which is represented by the European Commission and the European Central Bank. The states are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
In addition, international organizations regularly participate in the G20 summits, e.g.: International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), Financial Stability Board (FSB), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organisation (WTO), International Labour Organisation (ILO) and United Nations (UN). Other states, regional organizations and international organizations may also be invited by the respective presidencies.
G20 Engagement Groups
G20 cycles include a dialogue process with organizations from all dimensions of society in the run-up to the annual leaders’ summit. This is an opportunity for the representatives of businesses, science, NGOs and other spheres of society to provide their input and recommendations to the G20. It includes the following engagement groups:
- B20 (Business 20): Dialogue Forum with the international business community
- C20 (Civil 20): Dialogue Forum with non-governmental organizations
- L20 (Labor 20): Dialogue Forum with union representatives
- S20 (Science 20): Dialogue Forum with science
- T20 (Think 20): Dialogue Forum with think tanks
- W20 (Women 20): Dialogue Forum with women
- Y20 (Youth 20): Youth Summit
Previous G20 Summits
Since 2008, the group has met annually at the level of heads of state and government. These G20 summits have taken place at the following locations:
- 2008 in Washington, USA
- 2009 in London, Great Britain
- 2009 in Pittsburgh, USA
- 2010 in Toronto, Canada
- 2010 in Seoul, South Korea
- 2011 in Cannes, France
- 2012 in Los Cabos, Mexico
- 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia
- 2014 in Brisbane, Australia
- 2015 in Antalya, Turkey
- 2016 in Hangzhou, China
- 2017 in Hamburg, Germany
- 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina
- 2019 in Tokyo, Japan