The Group of 20 (G20) is the central forum for international economic cooperation. It includes the following 19 industrialized and emerging 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. The 20th member is the European Union, represented by the European Commission.
In addition, guests (i.e. states, regional organizations) are invited each year by the rotating presidency as participants. Furthermore, representatives of international organizations, including UNDP, World Bank, IMF or OECD support the process through expert contributions.
The G20 represents about two-thirds of the world's population, 85% of the world's GDP and 75% of world trade. The G20 countries are also responsible for 75% of greenhouse gas emissions. The G20 has been around since 1999. Originally, the G20 meetings were a forum at the level of finance ministers and central bank governors. Their primary goal was to improve cooperation on issues related to the international financial system. However, during the financial and economic crisis of 2008, it became apparent that coordination at the highest political level was needed to successfully manage such crises. That is why the G20 summits have since included meetings of heads of state and government.
At its annual meetings, the G20 traditionally addresses issues of global economic growth, international trade and financial market regulation. Increasingly, however, the G20 is also dedicated to developing solutions to other global challenges, such as development policy. G20 decisions have proven to have a very high signaling effect and can trigger important reforms at the national and international level. Summit declarations (in general communiqués) with the most important results are issued for each summit, along with accompanying reports and work plans.
An overview of all G20 documents can be found here.