G20 Summits: History Objectives & Summary

An Introduction to G20 Summits: 

G20 is a forum of the Heads of Governments of the 19 major economies of the world (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 of America); and the European Union “for global cooperation on international economic and financial issues”. G20 members include the G8 countries, namely, USA, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy,
Canada and Russia; and the 11 emerging and developing countries, namely, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa and Turkey; and the EU. The European Union is represented by the President of the European Council and by the European Central Bank. G20 represents two thirds of World Population.

Structure and Functioning of G20: 

The G20 operates as a forum and is not an organization. One of the G20 countries is selected to hold the Chair on rotational basis, better known as “G20 Presidency”. The immediate past, present and the next chair constitute a “Troika” and manage continuity in the G20 work. For selecting a Presidency, a system came into existence when South Korea hosted the Fifth Summit. As per the system, 19 countries have been categorized into the following 5 regional groupings and India is in Group 2:
  1. Group 1: Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, USA
  2. Group 2: India, Russia, South Africa, Turkey
  3. Group 3: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico
  4. Group 4: France, Germany, Italy, U.K.
  5. Group 5: China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea

Each group holds a maximum of four nations. The chair rotates among the groups and one country from a group is selected in a specific year. Each member of G20 is represented by its Head of the State in the Leaders’ Summit. Leaders are assisted by their Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, and the personal representatives of the respective Leaders, called the Sherpas. The Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors are assisted by their Deputies.

Brief History of G20 Summits: 

Originally the G-20 was created as the Forum of the Finance Ministers and the Central Bank Governors on September 26, 1999 by the Seven major industrial countries of the world, namely Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, U.K. and USA with an objective “To to bring together industrialized and developing nations to discuss key issues in the global economy.

First Meeting of G20 Summits: : 

The Finance Ministers and the Central Bank Governors of these nations started meeting annually and the First Meeting took place on December 15-16, 1999 in Berlin (Capital of Germany). Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin was chosen as the first Chairman and German Finance Minister Hans Eichel hosted the inaugural meeting.

Subsequent Meetings of G20 Summits: : 

The subsequent meetings were held in Canada in 2000 and 2001, in India in 2002, in Mexico in 2003, in Germany in 2004, in China in 2005, in Australia in 2006, in South Africa in 2007, and in Brazil in 2008.

Elevation of the Forum: 

The Forum of the Finance Ministers and the Central Bank Governors was elevated to Heads of States in the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Objectives of the G20: 

The objectives of the G20 are:
  • Policy coordination among its members in order to achieve global economic stability and sustainable growth; 
  • To promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises; and 
  • To create a new international financial architecture. 

The First G20 Leaders’ Summit: 

It was held in Washington D.C. on November 14-15, 2008 at the initiative taken by the 43rd US President George W. Bush in the wake of Financial Crisis of 2008. 
The Leaders emphasized that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) and the World Bank must play their significant roles in crisis. 
The Leaders also ensured that the IMF, World Bank and other Multilateral Development Banks have sufficient resources to continue playing their role in overcoming the crisis.

Second G20 Leaders' Summit: 

It was held in London on April 2, 2009, under the leadership of the then Prime Minister of United Kingdom, James Gordon Brown. 
The leaders pledged to act together to bring the world economy out of recession and prevent recurrence of a similar crisis in the future.

Third G20 Leaders' Summit: 

It was held in Pittsburgh (USA) on September 24-25, 2009 and was hosted by the 44th US President Barack Obama. 
The Leaders agreed to launch a framework laying out the policies to act together to generate strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

Fourth G20 Leaders’ Summit: 

It was held in Toronto (Canada) on June 26-27, 2010 and was hosted by Stephen Joseph Harper who served as the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada. On June 27, 2010, the leaders declared that this was their first summit of the G20 in its new capacity as the premier forum for international economic cooperation.
The theme of the Toronto Summit was stated as “Recovery and New Beginnings”. 
“Development” was introduced for the first time on the G20 agenda and a High Level Development Working Group was created.

Fifth G20 Leaders’ Summit: 

It was held in Seoul, South Korea on November 11-12, 2010. Lee Myung-Bak, the 10th President of South Korea hosted the summit. 
The Leaders pledged to continue their coordinated efforts and act together to generate strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

Sixth G20 Leaders’ Summit: 

It was held in Cannes, France on November 3-4, 2011 and was hosted by Nicolas Sarkozy, the then President of France. 
The Cannes summit final Declaration was titled “Building our Common Future: Renewed Collective Action for the Benefit of All” and was accompanied by “Cannes Action Plan for Growth and Jobs”.

Seventh G20 Leaders’ Summit: 

It was held in Los Cabos, Mexico on 18-19 June 2012 and was hosted by Felipe de Hinojosa, 56th President of Mexico. 
One of the summit’s main outcomes was the adoption of the Los Cabos Growth and Jobs Action Plan. 
The Action Plan was developed by the Framework Working Group co-chaired by India and Canada. Other key issues addressed at the summit included development policy, green growth, and trade and employment.

Eighth G20 Leaders’ Summit: 

It was held on 5-6 September 2013 in St Petersburg, Russia and was hosted by Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia. 
G20 Leaders marked the 5th Anniversary of the G20, reaffirming their conviction for the foundation of sustainable growth and rising prosperity based on market principles, effective regulation, inclusiveness and strong global institutions, through shared responsibility of the G20, based on effective policy coordination.

Ninth G20 Leaders’ Summit: 

It was held on November 15-16, 2014 in Brisbane, Australia and was hosted by Tony Abbott, 28th Prime Minister of Australia. G20 Leaders expressed their commitment to work in partnership to lift growth, boost economic resilience and strengthen global institutions and to achieve these goals they set out Brisbane Action Plan. 
Leaders also called for improving energy efficiency and for the creation of the Green Climate Fund to address the climatic issues.

Tenth G20 Leaders’ Summit: 

It was held on 15-16 November 2015 at Antalya, Turkey and was hosted by Recep Tayyip, 12th President of Turkey. 
The agenda discussed was the world's biggest political and security crises, including Syria and the mass migration of refugees. 
Some other issues, such as how the world could work together to boost the world economy were also discussed during the summit. 
The G20 summit was mostly focused on political rather than economic issues due to the Terrorist Attacks in Paris in which 132 people were killed on November 13, 2015 and that is why French President Fran├žois Hollande did not attend the summit.

Eleventh G20 Leaders’ Summit: 

It was held in Hangzhou, China on 4-5 September 2016 and was hosted by Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China. 
The theme of this Summit was: “Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy”
G-20 leaders pledged to continue working for a globally fair and modern international tax system, mutual growth and refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies.

Twelfth G20 Leaders’ Summit: 

It will be held on 7–8 July 2017 in Hamburg (Germany).

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