All you need to know about G20 countries, their History, Functions, and Significance

The G20 is a group of 19 countries and the European Union that works collectively to address major issues such as the global economy, climate change mitigation, sustainable development, and others. This intergovernmental forum was founded in 1999 to tackle the Asian economic crises going on at the time. Over the years, G20 has been selected as the “premier forum for international economic cooperation”. Here in this article, you can find important details related to this forum including G20 countries, its importance, the 2023 presidency, summits, and much more.

Significance of G20

The G20 is different from any general organization in the sense that it is not a permanent institution with headquarters, offices, or staff. It is a completely impartial forum and the leadership or presidency of G20 rotates annually among its members, giving equal opportunity to all. Decisions on any matter under G20 are made by consensus and implementation of its agenda depends on the wish of the individual states. At the current time, G20 accounts for around 80% of the gross world product, 75% of international trade, 60% of the world’s land area, and two-thirds of the global population. Also, the G20 plays a significant part in constructing and reinforcing global architecture on major financial and economic issues.

History of Formation of G20

In the wake of the Asian financial crisis, the G20 was formed in 1999 with the goal to unite finance ministers and central bankers from twenty of the largest economies of the world. It was established formally at the meeting of G7 Finance Ministers held on 26 September 1999. The inaugural meeting of G20 was held on 15 & 16 December 1999 in Berlin hosted by the German finance minister Hans Eichel. Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin was chosen as the first chairman of G20.

G20 Countries List

As of 2023, there are 20 permanent members in the G20 group. In addition to this, every year some countries are invited to the summit as guests including Spain, the Chair of ASEAN, two African countries, and other nations invited by the presidency that are generally from their own region.

G20 CountriesCurrent leaders (2023)
ArgentinaAlberto Fernández
AustraliaAnthony Albanese
BrazilLuiz Inácio Lula da Silva
CanadaJustin Trudeau
ChinaXi Jinping
FranceEmmanuel Macron
GermanyOlaf Scholz
IndiaNarendra Modi
IndonesiaJoko Widodo
ItalyGiorgia Meloni
JapanFumio Kishida
MexicoAndrés Manuel López Obrador
Russian FederationVladimir Putin
Saudi ArabiaSalman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
South AfricaCyril Ramaphosa
South KoreaYoon Suk-yeol
TurkeyRecep Tayyip Erdoğan
United KingdomRishi Sunak
United StatesJoe Biden
European UnionCharles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen

G20 Summit

Every year, the G20 presidency leads a particular agenda and hosts a summit revolving around that agenda. The first G20 meeting was held in Washington, DC, in 2008. In the following two years, i.e. 2009 and 2010, the meeting was held twice a year. The first year the meeting summit was organized in London and Pittsburgh, and later year in Toronto and Seoul. In 2011, it was decided that the summit held only once a year and France hosted the G20 summit that year. Here’s a complete list of countries that have hosted the annual G20 summit since 2012:

  1. Mexico (2012)
  2. Russia (2013)
  3. Australia (2014)
  4. Turkey  (2015)
  5. China (2016)
  6. Germany (2017)
  7. Argentina (2018)
  8. Japan (2019)
  9. Saudi Arabia (2020)
  10. Italy (2021)
  11. Indonesia (2022)
  12. India (2023)

Functioning of G20

The leaders of G20 members come together on an annual basis to discuss economic and financial issues going on around the world and create a plan of action to solve the matters based on mutual interest. Initially, the focus of G20 was on broad macroeconomic policy, but with time it has expanded its reach. Although economic and financial matters remain the focal point of every summit, issues such as terrorism, climate change, global health, etc. are also being discussed. Some previous summits have focused on sustainable development, corruption, international tax havens, money laundering, and other issues of global importance.

Check GK questions on G20 Summit 2023

Upcoming G20 Summit

The G20 Presidency from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023 has been given to India and the theme of the presidency is “VasudhaivaKutumbakam” meaning “One Earth, One Family, One Future”. To celebrate the presidency, several cultural activities were organized all around the country. Major celebrations include Jan Bhagidari, a special University Connect event, the lighting up of 100 ASI monuments with the G20 logo and colors, and the creation of sand art of India’s G20 logo on Puri beach in Odisha.

Area of Focus under India’s G20 Presidency

The following concerns will remain the area of focus at the 2023 G20 summit held in New Delhi, India on 9 & 10 September 2023:

  • Green Development, Climate Finance & Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE)
  • Accelerated, Inclusive & Resilient Growth
  • Accelerating progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Technological Transformation & Digital Public Infrastructure
  • Multilateral Institutions for the 21st Century
  • Women-led development

Challenges to G20

Many observers believe that the G20 has struggled in the past to achieve success in its goals of harmonizing monetary and fiscal policies. It has not been able to achieve higher growth, throw out corruption and tax evasion, or attain its other goals efficiently. Many analysts claim that a “G-Zero” world is emerging where countries are going alone or forming ad hoc coalitions to pursue their interests. Furthermore, the geopolitical tensions are increased by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and cooperation is threatened by the strategic competition between China and the United States. G20 members have also faced difficulty in reaching mutual conclusions over problems on addressing the issues affecting emerging economies and on matters related to climate change.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the full form of G20?

Group of Twenty

What is the theme of G20?

The theme of G20 is decided every year by the hosting country.

Who established G20?

The Group of Seven (G7) established G20.

Which European nations are among G20 countries?

All countries that fall under the European Union (EU) are members of G20.

Who is the president of G20?

There is no fixed president of G20.

Which city will host the G20 Summit 2023?

New Delhi, India

Is Spain a member of G20 countries?

No, but Spain is a permanent guest member of G20.

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