Why is Israel not on the G20

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What is the G20?

According to the decision of its heads of state and government at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh in September 2009, the Group of 20 (G20) is the central forum for international economic cooperation. Like the G7, the G20 is an informal forum. It is not an international organization, it has neither its own administrative apparatus nor a permanent representation of its members.

Meeting of the G20 at the level of the heads of state and government:

yearPresidential countrySummit location
United States
Washington, D.C.
United Kingdom
United States
Pittsburgh, PA
South Korea
Los Cabos
St. Petersburg
Buenos Aires
Saudi Arabia

Due to the informal structures, the respective G20 presidencies play a particularly important role; the organization, the agenda of the summit and the selection of the guests are in their hands.

The G20 states represent just over 80 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) and global CO2 emissions, three quarters of world trade and around two thirds of the world's population.

Who is in the G20?

The G20 consists of 19 countries and the EU. The countries are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the USA.

International organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), the Financial Stability Council (FSB), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the World Trade Organization also regularly take part in the G20 summits at the invitation of the Presidency (WTO), the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations (UN).

In addition, the presidency can invite other states and regional organizations. So far, Spain and the chairmen of the African Union and NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and other changing guests have been invited regularly.

How did the G20 come about?

Originally, in response to the financial crisis in Asia in the 1990s, the G7 finance ministers decided in 1999 to hold G20 meetings at the level of finance ministers and central bank governors from the leading industrialized and emerging countries. The founding meeting took place in December 1999 in Berlin under the German chairmanship.

In the wake of the global financial and economic crisis, the heads of state and government of the G20 countries decided in autumn 2008 to use the G20 format for an exchange also at their level. They met for the first summit in 2008 in Washington (USA). They created a catalog of measures to eliminate the weaknesses of the global financial system that became apparent during the crisis as quickly as possible with appropriate reforms and to contain the consequences of the crisis for the real economy.

Since the G20 summit in Pittsburgh in 2009, the G20 has been the central informal forum for international economic cooperation, originally with a clear crisis focus. In the meantime the agenda has changed a lot. The G20 is increasingly turning to the development of long-term solutions for other global challenges. Questions in the area of ​​climate and energy policy, trade and food security as well as labor market policy have gained in importance. Since the summit in Seoul in 2010, the G20 has also been concerned with the effects of its policies on developing countries and support options.

Pandemics, infectious disease threats and antibiotic resistance have been important issues for the G20 since 2014. At the summit in Brisbane, Australia, the heads of state and government agreed on a joint declaration for the first time. During the German G20 presidency, the health ministers of all G20 participants met for the first time and carried out a practical pandemic exercise, among other things.

In 2016, under his presidency, China declared digitization to be a further focus of the G20. The G20 then launched a joint initiative to develop the digital economy and to work together in this area. Germany continued this initiative and the G20 digital ministers met for the first time under the German G20 presidency.

In 2018 the heads of state and government met in Buenos Aires, 2019 in Osaka, Japan. In 2020 Saudi Arabia will hold the presidency, the G20 summit will take place in Riyadh on November 21 and 22, 2020.

How does the G20 work?

The most visible part of the G20 process are the summit meetings of the heads of state and government, the organization and preparation of which is in the hands of the respective presidency.

In the run-up to the summit, a dense process of political coordination develops between the governments at various working levels. There are working groups on special specialist topics and, in some cases, ministerial meetings.

The topics for the summit are prepared by the "Sherpas" who meet several times a year. German G7 and G20 Sherpa is the economic and financial policy advisor to the Federal Chancellor, Professor Lars-Hendrik Röller, (Personal Representative of the Federal Chancellor for the G7 and G20 summits).

The summit meetings offer the opportunity to issue summit declarations (communiqués) with the most important results and, in some cases, accompanying declarations, initiatives, reports and work plans, as well as the opportunity for personal exchange between the heads of state and government. The summit declarations of the G20 can be found under the overview of the summit documents of the G7 / G8 and G20.

Contact with stakeholders and non-G20 countries

Dialogue with interest groups and non-G20 countries is an important concern of the Federal Government. The responsibility for this lies with the respective G20 presidency.

The federal government also involves civil society and other interest groups as well as non-G20 countries in the preparations for the G20 summits. The Chancellor and the German Sherpa meet representatives of non-governmental organizations on a regular basis to talk to them about G7 and G20 issues.

After each summit, the federal government informs the committees of the German Bundestag and the public about the results of the meeting. The Federal Government's reports on the G7 and G20 summits of recent years can be found under Federal Government Reports and Declarations.

Status: January 2020