07/09/2017 by Julia van der Doesch
The G20 (or G-20 or Group of Twenty) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
Currently, these are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union. Founded in 1999, the G20 aims to discuss policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability. It seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization. The G20 heads of government or heads of state have periodically conferred at summits since their initial meeting in 2008, and the group also hosts separate meetings of finance ministersand foreign ministers due to the expansion of its agenda in recent years.
Membership of the G20 consists of 19 individual countries plus the European Union (EU). The EU is represented by the European Commission and by the European Central Bank. Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 85% of the gross world product (GWP), 80% of world trade (or, if excluding EU intra-trade, 75%), and two-thirds of the world population.
With the G20 growing in stature after its inaugural leaders’ summit in 2008, its leaders announced on 25 September 2009 that the group would replace the G8 as the main economic council of wealthy nations. Since its inception, the G20’s membership policies have been criticized by numerous intellectuals, and its summits have been a focus for major protests by left-wing groups and anarchists.
The heads of the G20 nations met semi-annually at G20 summits between 2009 and 2010. Since the November 2011 Cannes summit, all G20 summits have been held annually.