The G20 is the combined organization of developed and important developing nations. These countries make up 85% of the global economy and include two thirds of all the people on earth. As the powerful driving engine of the global economy, this group has been recognized as centrally important in tackling issues of world importance.
The G20 is comprised of central bank governors and finance ministers of the European Union (represented by the President of the European Central Bank and the European Council President) and the United States, the United Kingdom, Turkey, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Indonesia, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and Argentina. The G20 is headed by a president. This individual position rotates every year among the constituent member states.
These central bank governors and finance ministers meet two times per year. They generally coordinate their meetings with those of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the G20 summits. At the November 15-16 2015 meeting held in Turkey, around 4,000 delegates and 3,000 representatives of the world media participated or attended.
The G20 group actually formed back in 1999. The idea was to provide a more important voice and forum for developing countries in arranging the world economy. These meetings began as only informal sit downs of central bankers and finance ministers. The world’s first G20 summit occurred in the midst of the 2008 global financial crisis from November 16-17. They met in Washington, D.C. Until this first summit, most important global economic issues and plans were tackled by the G8 or G7.
These represent only the economically important developed nations. At this first summit, the emerging market leaders wanted the United States to better regulate its financial markets. The U.S. at first refused. These developing leaders also wished to see the debt rating companies like Standard & Poor’s and the hedge funds better regulated. They believed standards should be strengthened in derivatives trading and global accounting. G20 members blamed poor standards and regulations for the financial crisis that led to the worldwide Great Recession.
The 2015 summit meeting happened on November 15-16, 2015 in Antalya, Turkey. This particular meeting concentrated on an appropriate response to the Paris terrorist attack. Member nations consented to accepting refugees from the war on ISIS while promising to improve their border monitoring against potential terrorist threats.
The United States conceded to sharing more of its intelligence information with both France and the other member states. The U.S. refused to dispatch ground troops to Syria, but did promise to support the coalition of anti ISIS Iraqi and Syrian forces. The group agreed on additional steps to restrict the important sources of financing for the Islamic State.
The 2014 summit annual meeting occurred from November 15-16, 2014 in Brisbane, Australia. This meeting concentrated efforts on condemning the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. The membership also unanimously agreed to strive together to boost the growth of the global Gross Domestic Product to 2.1% by the year 2018. This would provide another $2 trillion to economies of the world.
Both the European Union and The United States twisted arms of other member states to act on worsening climate change. This was not in the official meeting agenda. Leaders agreed to help out the fight against Ebola virus in West Africa. President Obama also met on the sidelines with the leaders of Australia and Japan regarding a peaceful settlement to maritime conflicts over territories in the South China Sea.
The 2016 G20 meeting is scheduled to be held from September 4-5, 2016 in Hangzhou, China. It will be the eleventh such summit of the G20.