Since 2008 the group of 20, the G20, has been meeting at head-of-government level.
Decisions made by the G20 have far-reaching implications, beyond the G20 countries themselves.
Bond convenes collective advocacy in advance, during and following G20 summits. We also liaise with civil society groups in other G20 countries to plan and coordinate international civil society efforts towards G20 summits.
There have been seven leader-level G20 summits to date:
- November 2008: Washington, USA
- April 2009: London, UK
- November 2009: Pittsburgh, USA
- June 2010: Toronto, Canada
- November 2010: Seoul, South Korea
- November 2011: Cannes, France
- June 2012: Los Cabos, Mexico
The G20 includes the G8 countries plus the European Union, Brazil, India, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Argentina, South Korea, Turkey and Australia. Spain has observer status and has attended all five leader-level G20 summits.
Los Cabos 2012
Mexico hosted the G20 summit in Los Cabos on 18–19 June 2012, announcing that "Mexico will seek to make progress on policies in ... areas related to the well-being of the world's population."
Read G20 Finance track outcomes, tracking G20 country progress against the Framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
The summit also published the second progress report of the G20 Development Working Group.
On the sidelines of the B20 meeting the UK, Canada, Australia and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced $100million in funding to support the AgResults initiative. This initiative was established at the Toronto 2010 G20 summit, and it includes a prize fund to stimulate technological agriculture innovations. The programme will be administered by the World Bank. This first round of funding will support a number of pilot projects aimed at improving maize production.
The Los Cabos G20 Leaders Declaration (para 59) included a strong statement of support for this initiative, commending those who are supporting the programme and encouraging wider participation.
Overview of AgResults.
Civil society reactions to the announcement from InterAction, the alliance of US development NGOs.
France hosted the 2011 G20 Summit in Cannes, 3–4 November.
- Communique of G20 leaders.
- The Cannes summit final declaration, Building our Common Future.
- The Cannes action plan for growth and jobs.
- 8 additional official summit appendices and additional reports, including the G20 development working group report.
- Official digests of G20 decisions in 15 thematic areas.
- Bond summary of G20 2011 Cannes summit outcomes on infrastructure, including the High Level Panel on Infrastructure’s report to the G20.
Presentations, letters, notes
Bill Gates presented his report, Innovation with Impact, to the G20 in Cannes.
Prime Minister David Cameron presented his recommendations to the G20 on global governance.
South Korea hosted the G20 summit in Seoul on 11–12 November 2010.
As part of a broader set of policy commitments, each G20 country outlined their individual development policy.
The official outcome documents of the Seoul G20 Summit:
- The Leaders' Declaration.
- The Seoul summit document (The Seoul Action Plan).
- The Seoul development consensus on shared growth.
- Multi-year action plan on development.
- G20 anti-corruption plan.
- Country by Country policy commitments (see page 19 for UK).
- Statement from the G20 business summit to the G20.
UK NGO recommendations
Economic growth and jobs – G20 governments should employ stimulus measures and implement reforms to get millions of people back to work through ambitious job creation programmes.
A development agenda for the G20 – the UK should take leadership in encouraging the G20 to agree an ongoing pro-poor, gender sensitive development agenda, where growth is focused on reducing inequality. The UK should also do all it can to ensure that the G8 meet their existing aid commitments to make a progressive development agenda a reality.
Global governance and accountability – the G20 should open its doors to full representation from low-income countries and implement accountability mechanisms to ensure progress can be tracked. Leaders should also pursue a deeper reform package for IMF governance to shift more power to developing countries, remove single country vetos and implement a double majority voting system.
Curbing illicit financial flows, improving transparency of natural resource revenues and taxing the financial sector – the G20 should honour its commitments on reforming tax havens (by implementing country-by-country reporting, public registration of beneficial ownership and effective tax and judicial cooperation), and put a tax on the financial sector to make a significant contribution towards funding development.
Sustainable growth – each G20 country needs to agree to develop a long term, low-carbon and climate-resilient roadmap, as well as agree green growth measures.
Trade – the G20 must prioritise policy coherence for development and ensure that trade policies, particularly those of the WTO, do not prevent developing countries from shaping their own economies to achieve development goals.
For the first time, the G8 and G20 Summits in early 2010 took place back to back, with G8 leaders meeting in Muskoka, Canada, on 25 June and the G20 meeting in Toronto on 26–27 June.
While G20 discussions and the communiqué focused primarily on economic affairs including trade and fiscal policies, discussions within the G8 focused on aid and development.
Both of these meetings presented an important opportunity for world leaders to reaffirm their commitment to promises made to people living in poverty around the world.
G8 leaders failed to step up efforts on previous G8 commitments, particularly the Gleneagles commitments to increase aid by $50billion and double aid to Africa, while the G20 could not agree any progressive policies on banking reform such as a proposed financial transaction tax.
Development NGOs were hopeful that the G20, in the context of banking reform, would agree to move towards an international financial transaction tax that could potentially raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually to deliver the MDGs, support developing countries in their efforts to adapt to the devastating effects of climate change and respond to the impacts of the financial crisis.
Unfortunately, the G20 failed to rise to this challenge and the opportunity to raise vital funds was missed.
Instead of discussing progressive policies, the main outcome of the G20 summit was a reiteration of previous commitments in the G20 Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth.
Progress review 2010
In April 2010, G20 finance ministers held a meeting to discuss progress made by G20 leaders towards global economic recovery. Ahead of this meeting, a report finds that the G20 is returning to "business as usual" instead of agreeing a programme of innovative global responses to an ongoing economic crisis; a crisis that continues to have a devastating impact on people living in poverty around the world.
Bond, together with the new economics foundation, Bretton Woods Project, Stop Climate Chaos and the TUC, has published a G20 progress review detailing how G20 leaders have delivered against the Put People First recommendations.
This paper finds that key G20 commitments have not yet been implemented, and many lessons are still be to learned from the last two years if the impact of the banking collapse is to leave a positive legacy of reform.
Towards a democratic forum
The G20 progress review shows that the international community needs to continue to focus on sustainable and equitable policy, by going far further than has so far been contemplated.
Throughout this review, several common principles underpin the needed reforms – be they about jobs, justice or climate.
The poorest countries need to be included; the necessary overhaul of the global economy requires an inclusive international process, with a reformed UN playing a key role. And the institutions charged with delivering reform need to be transparent and accountable to all those impacted by their decisions.
Bond joined over 300 international civil society organisations calling for a truly democratic global forum to deal with global economic governance issues.
For more information on our G20 advocacy work, please contact International Advocacy Officer Joanna Rea on +44 (0) 20 7520 0255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.