Author: Andrew Cooper

Recalibrating The G20 in the Aftermath of Saudi Arabia’s Summit: Testing a Secretariat!

Image: Renovation Construction Site, Recalibrating The G20 in the Aftermath of Saudi Arabia’s Summit: Testing a Secretariat! by Andrew F. CooperIn the Special Issue, After one decade of G20 summitry, edited by Axel Berger, Sven Grimm at the DIE and myself, I argued that the G20 had morphed from a crisis committee or steering group to being a hybrid focal point. In other words, the G20 could no longer be judged simply by its instrumental delivery. As a crisis committee, the G20 concentred its collective efforts on managing the aftermath of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC), but gradually ran out of momentum. Alternatively, as a possible steering group, the G20 has not been able to embrace the mandate of working together beyond the core financial agenda whether on climate change, migration, or other compelling issue areas.

After one decade of G20 summitry: What future of global club governance in turbulent times?

Photo: Barb Wire with a Sigen that says "Private: No public right of way. G20 is an exclusive Club

By ASchrumm – CIGI Communications Dept, CC BY-SA 3.0

A decade ago the world was struggling with the repercussions of the global financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 that emerged in the interconnected transatlantic financial system. At this critical moment in time, the G20 was elevated from a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors to the level of heads of states and government. By including a number of rising as well as middle powers non G7 countries the first G20 summit in Washington in November 2008 made clear that current cross-border challenges cannot anymore be dealt with by the old powers of the traditional establishment. At the subsequent summits in London (April 2009) and Pittsburgh (September 2009) the G20 displayed an astonishing level of international cooperation by agreeing on wide-ranging commitments that helped to calm down international financial markets and strengthen the crisis response of international financial institutions. These early initiatives led some optimistic observers to conclude that the system worked.