G20 must live up to its crisis-solving legacy

From: Chatham House
Published: Fri Oct 29 2021


The relevance of G20 is in question amid waning internal cohesion, but emerging economies could inject the group with inclusive ideas and greater legitimacy.

If we didn't have it, we would have to invent it' might well be the catchphrase for the Group of 20 (G20) as the international community rethinks global institutional architecture in the face of shifting power dynamics and geopolitical strife.

To be fair, the same is often said of other venerable institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), or even the United Nations (UN), often as a line of defence when questions are raised over their relevance or effectiveness.

According to former Goldman Sachs Asset Management chairman and UK treasury minister Jim O'Neill, size also matters because the G20 is both too big and too small to be on the ball consistently. While he might be right, numbers alone suggest the G20 should be the room where it happens when it comes to fixing global challenges such as post-pandemic economic recovery, tackling climate change, or getting the world vaccines.

Of all the international groupings, it boasts the most diverse and compelling mix of nations. It has 80 per cent of global income, three-quarters of global exports, 60 per cent of the global population and 80 per cent of global emissions.

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Company: Chatham House

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