What is G20?

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

The Group of 20 lead­ing in­dus­tri­al­ized and emerg­ing pow­ers hold an­nual sum­mits on eco­nomic gov­er­nance, with wars and crises of­ten over­tak­ing the of­fi­cial agenda. Group­ing the United States and other G7 mem­bers with gi­ants such as China, In­dia and Rus­sia, it rep­re­sents two thirds of the world pop­u­la­tion, three quar­ters of world trade and about 80 per­cent of eco­nomic out­put. The other mem­bers are Ar­gentina, Aus­tralia, Brazil, Bri­tain, Canada, France, Ger­many, In­done­sia, Italy, Ja­pan, Mex­ico, Saudi Ara­bia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the Euro­pean Union.

The G20, with its min­is­te­rial-level be­gin­nings in 1999, first met for a sum­mit in 2008 in Wash­ing­ton to dis­cuss ways to achieve bal­anced and sus­tain­able world eco­nomic growth. Crit­ics charge that the “self-ap­pointed” club un­der­mines the role of the in­ter­na­tional bod­ies, such the United Na­tions, In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. The group­ing has of­ten been a mag­net for pro­test­ers, in­clud­ing at this year’s meet in Ham­burg, Ger­many. At the 2010 sum­mit in Toronto, thou­sands of anti-cap­i­tal­ist pro­test­ers clashed with Cana­dian po­lice, leav­ing dozens in­jured on both sides and spark­ing mass ar­rests.

The list of G20 mem­bers does not strictly re­flect the world’s 20 big­gest economies. Some non-mem­bers such as Switzer­land have big­ger economies than, for ex­am­ple, mem­ber Ar­gentina. The lead­ers mostly meet be­hind closed doors and lack the power to en­force bind­ing de­ci­sions or rules. The heads of global and re­gional bod­ies are in­vited to the sum­mit­sa­mong them the chiefs of the UN, IMF, World Bank, WTO, African Union, APEC and South­east Asia’s ASEAN. Ro­tat­ing G20 sum­mits also in­vite guest na­tions, in­clud­ing “per­ma­nent guest” Spain and, this year, part­ner coun­tries the Nether­lands, Nor­way and Sin­ga­pore. Next year’s G20 host will be Ar­gentina.— AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.