What is G20 Summit – History, Purpose, Member Countries?

THE G20 SUMMIT: THE GROUP OF 20 EXPLAINED

In this article, we will take you through the buzzing topic of the G20 summit. In 2020, the summit was virtually held to deliberate the coronavirus pandemic impact on the global economy. We will converse about what is the G20 summit, its purpose, member countries, its importance, details on the summit of 2019 and 2020. 

What is the G20 Summit?

For a better understanding of the topic, getting information on G20 is important. The Group of 20 or often referred to as the G20 is a group of the nations which contribute to 85% of the world economy.

The G20 consists of 19 countries and a European Union.

G20 - Group of 20 Twenty

Upon the meeting of the G7 countries finance ministers and Central bank Governors, the G20 was formed consequently.

It was formed on 26th September 1999. The objective of the summit is to discuss policy that pertains to the promotion of international financial stability.

G20 Summit refers to the annual meeting of the leaders of all the member nations to discuss themes and policies that pertain to its objective.

The first meeting was held in 2008 as an aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007-2008. It is considered to be a substantial coordination forum of the world’s largest and leading economies.

What is the purpose of the G20 Summit?

G20 works in the direction of developing policies and achieving goals that lead to financial stability internationally. The leaders of the member nation meet every year in an annual summit and discuss policies and procedures pertaining to their objectives.

At the summit, economic and financial matter and coordinate policy are discussed that are of mutual interest for the member nations. It has the leading and largest economies as members.

The G20 initially focused on the broad macroeconomic policy which further diversified with time.

Apart from the economic and financial coordination among the members, every summit converses over various themes such as future global labour, terrorism, innovation, health and more.

Which countries are the members of G20 and their heads?

Currently, there are 20 nations that are the members of the G20 summit. Every member has a representative who attends the summit every year. The list of members (in alphabetical order) and their heads are as follows:

Member CountryLeaderMember CountryLeader
ArgentinaPresidentJapanPrime Minister
AustraliaPrime MinisterMexicoPresident
BrazilPresidentRussiaPresident
CanadaPrime MinisterSaudi ArabiaKing
ChinaPresidentSouth AfricaPresident
FrancePresidentSouth KoreaPresident
GermanyChancellorTurkeyPresident
IndiaPrime MinisterUnited KingdomPrime Minister
IndonesiaPresidentUnited StatesPresident
ItalyPrime MinisterEuropean UnionPresident of European Council/ Commission
List of member country of G20 Summit and their heads.

What is the history of G20?

G20 was formulated in the year 1999 on 26th September. The group was founded following the consequences of the Asian Financial Crisis 1997.

It was developed as a forum of the finance ministers and the Central Bank Governors of the member countries.

As G20 was established a forum, it has no formal agreement or treaty to be presided over. Amidst the global financial crisis of 2008, the President of The U.S. invited the leaders of the member nations to coordinate their proceedings to respond to the crisis.

Since 2010, the summit has been held annually with the host country changing every year.

G20 has various official engagement groups with which it works. It comprises of business, organized labour, academics, youth, and civil society.

Why is G20 important?

When combined, the member nations of the G20 contribute to around 80% of the Global economic output along with 75% of the global trade.

Being a forum, the agreements or decision made during its meetings contains no legal impact. However, they have a substantial influence on the policies of the countries and global cooperation.

List of G20 Summits Held

G20 Summit

As of 26th March 2020, there have been 15 G20 summits held. The first G20 summit was held in the year 2008. The 16th and 17th summit are expected to be held in Italy and India in the year 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Here is a list of all the G20 summits held with their details.

SummitYearCountry Host
1st2008 14-15 NovemberWashington D.C., United Kingdom
2nd2009 2nd AprilLondon, United Kingdom
3rd2009 24-25 SeptemberPittsburgh, United Kingdom
4th2010 26-27 JuneToronto, Canada
5th2010 11-12 NovemberSeoul, South Korea
6th2011 3-4 NovemberCannes, France
7th2012 18-18 JuneSan Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Mexico
8th2013 5-6 SeptemberSaint Petersburg, Russia
9th2014 15-16 NovemberBrisbane, Australia
10th2015 16-16 NovemberSerik, Antalya, Turkey
11th2016 4-5 SeptemberHangzhou, China
12th2017 7-8 JulyHamburg, Germany
13th2018 30 November- 1DecemberBuenos Aires, Argentina
14th2019 28-29 JuneOsaka, Japan
15th2020 26th MarchRiyadh, Saudi Arabia (Held virtually amidst the COVID-19 pandemic)
List of G20 Summits held

G20 Summit 2019 Summit Highlights

The G20 summit in 2019 was held in Osaka, Japan at International Exhibition Centre, Osaka. The host leader of the summit was Shinzo Abe. The summit was held on 28-29 June 2019. It was the first G20 summit that Japan hosted.

  • Theme – ‘Human-centered future society’
  • Moreover, the summit presided over the President of Japan discussed eight themes that would lead to global sustainable development.
  • Themes discussed – Global economy, trade, and investment, Innovation, Environment and energy, Employment, Women’s empowerment, Development, and Health
  • The meeting discussed on establishing sustainable and inclusive growth of the global economy
  • Indian and Japanese Prime Ministers addressed various topics such as joint projects and nation development
  • The summit discussed the complex and heightening global issues and challenges of climate change. 19 members of the forum committed to the full implementation of the Paris climate deal
  • The United States refrained from its commitment towards the Paris deal

Details of the G20 Summit 2020

As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the G20 summit 2020 was virtually held. The meeting was chaired by Salman Bin Abdulaziz, King of Saudi Arabia. The ‘extraordinary virtual meeting’ was held to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic over the global economy.

According to a report from the Indian foreign ministry, the leaders of the economies committed to US$5 trillion collectively to combat the social and financial aftermath of the pandemic.

Decisions and agreements over necessary measures and actions were taken to contain the virus and safeguard the people.

The World Health Organisation got complete support of the nations in strengthening its position to fight against the pandemic.

Also read:- What is BRICS?

Talking about the G20 in Facts and Figures

  • The member nations of the G20 contribute to 85% of the world economy with an International trade of 75%
  • G20 is an informal club of nations. It does have an appointed secretariat to ensure the continuity of its works
  • G20 does not have any formal rules regarding its procedures and membership. Moreover, it was not formed out of any treaty or formal agreement
  • The member countries of it represent approximately two-thirds of the world population
  • Various states and organisations like the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and more are involved in G20s works
  • Every year a country holds the presidency of the summit and votes of all members have the same weightage

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