G20 Summit began in Osaka, Japan today. The theme of the summit is Human-centred future society.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe opened the G20 Summit this morning, which will be dominated by contentious discussions on trade, geopolitical tensions, and climate change. As the summit takes centre stage, here we take a look at what is the summit all about:
What is G20?
The G20 Summit is formally known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”. As the “premier forum for international economic cooperation” (agreed by leaders at the Pittsburgh Summit in September 2009), representing more than 80 per cent of the global GDP, the G20 has made continuous efforts toward achieving robust global economic growth.
What do leaders discuss?
The G-20’s primary mandate is to prevent future international financial crises. It seeks to shape the global economic agenda.
Initially, the summits of the G20 were limited to the finance ministers and central bank governors after it as set up 19 years ago.
The impetus for the current G20 summit was the global financial meltdown in 2008 when the leaders gathered to discuss how to prevent a similar crisis from happening again.
One of the most urgent tasks facing the G-20 members is to regain confidence in the multilateral trading system, given the fact that trade tensions have started to weigh heavily on the prospects of growth.
What to expect from G20 this year
It’s expected that trade, climate change and the crisis in relations with Iran will be big topics this year.
With nearly a year and half to go before the 2020 G-20 summit in Saudi Arabia, Osaka summit is expected to set the tone for next year’s discussions.
The finance ministers and central bank governors of the G-20 countries meet twice a year. They meet at the same time as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Why is there a ‘family photo’?
In a friendly gesture, the leaders from all 20 countries pose together for a traditional “family photograph”.. It is considered as an opportunity to sell whatever agreements the leaders have signed and makes a perfect start to the summit.
Member countries of G20
The 20 nations of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, UK, US, China, South Africa and the European Union. Spain is a permanent non-member invitee which attends the leaders’ summits. It has also become a custom for the Chair of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and representatives of the African Union and NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) to be represented at the leaders’ summits.