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The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


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International Insight: what is the G20?

Sindhuja Pannuri
From Europe to Asia, South America to Africa, and all the way to Australia, Wingspan staff reporter Sindhuja Pannuri provides her insight on international events in this weekly blog.

The Group of Twenty, or G20, met on Sep. 9-10 in India this year. However, not many people know who or what the G20 comprises, though the quiet decisions they make at their annual summits have far reaching implications. So – what is the G20, and why does it matter?

The G20 has emerged as a critical player on the global stage in the realm of international economics and finance. Composed of 19 of the world’s largest economies and the European Union, the G20 has become a key forum for addressing critical global economic issues, making consequential decisions that have far-reaching implications for the world. At the most recent meeting, the African Union was voted in as a member, bringing the total to 21 members.

The G20 was established in 1999, in the wake of the Asian financial crisis, to create a platform for dialogue and cooperation among major economies. This diverse composition of the G20 reflects the organization’s goal of representing a wide range of economic interests and perspectives from across the globe.

The primary role of the G20 is to promote international financial stability and sustainable economic growth. It accomplishes this through regular meetings and summits, where leaders and finance ministers from member countries discuss respective economic issues. These discussions cover topics such as fiscal and monetary policies, trade, development, and financial regulation.

The G20 also operates various working groups and committees that delve into specific areas of concern. For instance, there are working groups focused on issues like climate change, corruption, and cryptocurrency. These groups provide policy recommendations and guidelines, contributing to the global governance framework.

The G20’s prominence significantly increased in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. The crisis, triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, sent shockwaves through the global economy and underscored the need for coordinated international responses. In response, world leaders recognized that the G7, which had previously been the primary forum for economic discussions, was no longer sufficient to address the magnitude of the crisis. 

Consequently, the G20 was elevated to the level of heads of state and government, and its role was expanded to encompass not only economic issues but also financial stability. The first G20 Leaders’ Summit took place in 2008, where leaders agreed on a coordinated response to stabilize the global financial system. This marked a significant turning point in the G20’s history, as it transitioned from a primarily ministerial forum to a platform for world leaders to make crucial economic decisions.

The decisions made within the G20 have far-reaching consequences for the global economy. The G20’s ability to coordinate policies among its diverse member states makes it a potent force for addressing economic challenges. For example, during the 2008 crisis, G20 leaders committed to a significant injection of liquidity into the global financial system, which helped stabilize markets and prevent a deeper recession.

Moreover, the G20 has played a central role in shaping international economic governance. Its members have contributed to reforms in international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, increasing the influence of emerging economies and promoting a more equitable distribution of voting power.

In the realm of trade, the G20’s discussions and agreements have a substantial impact on global trade policies. Decisions related to tariffs, trade barriers, and disputes can influence the direction of international commerce and have repercussions for businesses and consumers worldwide.

As the world faces ongoing economic and financial uncertainties, the G20’s role in promoting stability and growth remains more important than ever.

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About the Contributor
Sindhuja Pannuri
Sindhuja Pannuri, Staff Reporter
Sindhuja (Sindhu) Pannuri is a senior entering her second year of Wingspan staff. At school, she is captain of the varsity debate team and President of Youth and Government. In her free time, she reads books to escape reality and enjoys boxing in the ring. She’s so excited for what this year will hold!

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