|A mechanism for informal dialogue of key world economic issues
The new Group of Twenty (G-20) forum of finance ministers and central bank governors was formally created at the Sept. 25, 1999, meeting of the G7 finance ministers. It was created as a mechanism for informal dialogue in the framework of the Bretton Woods institutional system, to broaden the dialogue on key economic and financial policy issues among systemically significant economies and to promote cooperation to achieve stable and sustainable world growth that benefits all.
To launch the G-20 at its first ministerial meeting in Berlin in December 1999, the G-7 finance ministers were to invite "counterparts from a number of systemically important countries from regions around the world," as well as representative of the EU, IMF and World Bank.
The G-20 currently has a major role in driving forward work between advanced and emerging economies to tackle the international financial and economic crisis, restore worldwide financial stability, lead the international economic recovery and secure a sustainable future for all countries.
It is normal practice for the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors to meet once a year. The ministers' and governors' meeting is usually preceded by two deputies' meetings and extensive technical work.
The G-20 was created as a response both to the financial crises of the late 1990s and to a growing recognition that key emerging-market countries were not adequately included in the core of global economic discussion and governance. Prior to the G-20 creation, similar groupings to promote dialogue and analysis had been established at the initiative of the G-7.
The G-20 is made up of the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The 20th member of the G-20 is the European Union, which is represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank.
Unlike international institutions such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), IMF or World Bank, the G-20 (like the G-7) has no permanent staff of its own. The G-20 chair rotates between members, and is selected from a different regional grouping of countries each year. In 2011 the G-20 chair is France.
- University of Toronto Munk Centre For International Studies At Trinity College G20 Information Centre