Role of the G20
After the financial crisis of 2008, global leaders looked for multilateral solutions and held the first G20 Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. Together, the G20 members represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two-thirds of the world’s population, as well as some 60% of all agricultural land and about 80% of world trade in agricultural products.
In the aftermath of 2008, G20 members collectively decided to stimulate their economies and refrain from protectionist measures, thus hastening the end of the recession. This demonstrated that only by working together can the ‘key players’ address the challenges of a fast-changing world, and ensure stability and continuity in the economic and financial systems that underpin global security and prosperity.
The G20 members are:
- Republic of Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United States
- European Union.
The EU in the G20
The European Union is a full member of the G20, alongside three of its Member States: France, Germany and Italy. Spain is a permanent guest.
The EU is represented at G20 summits by the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council.
Accounting for around 6% of the world’s population, the EU is only surpassed by China and India in terms of the number of people it represents at the G20 Summit table. The EU is the second largest economic power at the table, representing 18.5% of total global gross domestic product, behind the United States which accounts for 24% of global gross domestic product.
Focus on Agriculture
The G20 agriculture ministers meet prior to each annual summit, highlighting key topics in their declaration, which informs discussions at the subsequent Leaders’ Summit. Common themes that have featured in recent years include the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in agriculture, combatting anti-microbial resistance (AMR), and agricultural trade and investment.
The G20 summit in Argentina in 2018 focused on the following themes in agriculture:
- sustainable food future;
- healthy soils to support the role of agriculture in sustainable human development;
- food loss and waste;
- the use of ICTs in agriculture;
- trade, investments and transparency of agriculture markets.
The most recent and upcoming summit hosts are as follows:
- Germany in 2017
- Argentina in 2018
- Japan in 2019
- Saudi Arabia in 2020.