Abeer Suhaim Mahdi – College of Political Science / University of Baghdad
Ammar Hameed Yassin – College of Political Science / University of Baghdad
The major powers began shaping the global system and turning towards employing economic alternatives to compensate for the severe losses that most countries experienced in the aftermath of World War II. Economic groupings emerged on the international stage, especially among capitalist nations. These groupings have been on the rise, becoming a distinctive feature of the new global system over the past decade of the last century. This trend towards economic groupings is bolstered by the structural changes in the global economy brought about by the process of globalization and the negative repercussions that surpass the capacity of any single nation or grouping to address. These repercussions have been reflected in the redistribution of power centers and economic roles away from historically dominant forces. Amid these geopolitical and geo-economic repercussions, many regional and international groupings have been reshaping their patterns to adapt to ongoing developments, enhancing the dynamics and specificity of their interactions and their impact on the international system and its future trends.
Within this framework, the Group of Twenty (G20) is the foremost forum for international economic cooperation, playing a vital role in shaping and enhancing the global structure and management of all major international economic issues. It aims to systematically bring together several important countries for discussing and consulting on key global economic issues.
The primary reason for the establishment of the G20 can be traced back to the financial crisis of 1997 and 1998, which revealed the weakness of the international financial system in the era of economic globalization. The G20 was founded in 1999 as an informal forum for finance ministers and central bank governors of the most significant industrialized and emerging economies to discuss international economic and financial stability issues. The G20 holds annual meetings under a rotating presidency. The decision to establish the G20 was made at a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from seven of the world’s largest economies: the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, and Japan, in Washington in September 1999. At that time, the inaugural conference of the G20 as a forum for finance ministers and central bank governors was held in Berlin in December 1999. Currently, India holds the presidency of the G20 from December 1, 2022, to November 30, 2023. The G20 includes 19 members (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States) and the European Union.
After the global financial crisis in 2008, the G20 was elevated to the level of leaders of member countries when it became clear that the necessary coordination to deal with crises would only be possible at the highest political level. In November 2008, the first G20 leaders’ summit was held in Washington. The G20’s agenda was later expanded to include social, economic, and developmental issues in addition to economic matters. Some G20 member states, such as Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, formed a separate bloc known as BRICS, and the BRICS bloc is set to expand as it invited six other countries to join its recent summit: Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.