G8/G20 France 2011

The G20 took place in the French Riviera town of Cannes on Nov 3-4, with the media spotlight largely on how to resolve the Greek debt crisis but NGOS urging world leaders to put development issues on the agenda. Read InterAction's news release on Summit outcomes.

The G20 Cannes Summit Declarations and Reports are available here, and include the: 

 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters at the beginning of the Cannes summit that the poorest in the world could not be victim of the current global financial crisis. InterAction also  believes strongly that these financial troubles should not be resolved on the backs of the poor. One of Sarkozy's first meetings was with U.S. President Barack Obama.  Read a transcript of their comments.

A highlight of the summit for NGOs was the release by philanthropist Bill Gates of a report outlining  innovative financing mechanisms to fund development. See InterAction's response to the release of the Gates report.

In the report, Gates said leadership from the G20 was "critically important", especially during dire economic times when it was even more important to build on improvements over the past decade in areas from health to poverty reduction. He urged the G20 grouping to keep development on the agenda and for donor nations to meet their aid commitments and spend that assistance strategically.

Ahead of the G20, InterAction president and CEO Sam Worthington joined a group of civil society leaders who met Sarkozy in Paris to discuss priorities for the summit.  Read Sam's impressions of the meeting.

France also hosted the G8 meetings in Deauville on May 26-27, where countries renewed their commitment to freedom and democracy (See G8 Deauville Declaration), pledged to help Arab countries transition into democratic societies (See Declaration of G8 on Arab Spring), stand by partners (See G8/Africa Declaration), and be held accountable (See Deauville Accountability Report).

InterAction would like to see more follow-through on promises made at summits such as the one held in Deauville and Cannes.  (See press release).  See what our members had to say about the G8 here.

 

Resources

Our Briefs

Policy Report | March 12, 2012

Policy Report | March 12, 2012

Statement | June 6, 2011

Statement | June 6, 2011

Statement | June 6, 2011

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the G8/G20 process.

NGO leaders meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy

 

What are the G8 and G20 Summits?

G20 Summits:

The Group of Twenty (G20) is officially known as “The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.” It is made up of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 major economies, plus the European Union. The G20 was proposed in 1998 by Canada, with the goal of consulting and cooperating on issues related to the international financial system. The first G20 meeting took place in Berlin in December 2009. In many ways, the G20 has replaced the G8 as the main economic council, allowing the smaller grouping to focus on other issues.

The G20 Summit was created in 2008 in response to the financial crisis and the recognition that key emerging countries were not adequately included in the global economic discussion.  The heads of state usually meet at least once a year under the G20 banner.

Just like the G8, the G20 operates without any permanent secretariat or staff. Chairmanship of the group rotates annually and is selected from a different regional grouping of countries. The chair is part of a revolving three-part management group called the Troika, which includes the current chair, the chair from the previous year and the future chair. The Troika serves to ensure continuity in the G20’s work.

At the Pittsburgh G20 Summit of 2009, the heads of state tasked the G20 finance ministers to work on specific issues.  The issue are: Framework for Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth; Strengthening the International Financial Regulatory System; Modernizing our Global Institutions to Reflect Today's Global Economy; Reforming the Mandate, Mission, and Governance of the IMF; Reforming the Mission, Mandate, and Governance of Development Banks; Energy Security and Climate Change; Strengthening Support for the Most Vulnerable; Putting Quality Jobs at the Heart of the Recovery; and An Open Global Economy.

 

G8 Summits:

The Group of Eight (G8) nations are made up of the world’s eight most industrialized countries. It was initially a group of six large nations assembled by France in 1975 and a year later expanded to include Canada. Russia was invited to join two decades later in 1997 and the grouping was renamed the G8.

The G8 was initially a forum for economic and trade matters, although political and foreign policy challenges have since been added to the agenda. Recent summits have discussed, among other topics, food security, maternal and child health, global security, Middle East peace and reconstruction in Iraq. G8 members formulate policies and set objectives, but compliance is voluntary. Most of the G8’s influence comes from the political and economic clout of its members – Britain, France, Germany, the United States, Japan, Canada, Italy and Russia.

The G8 is led by a rotating one-year presidency, and has no headquarters, budget or permanent staff. It thus serves as an informal but exclusive body whose members set out to address global challenges through discussion and action. The leaders of the G8 countries meet each spring for an annual summit, which is being hosted this year by France.

 

Who are the G8 and G20 members?

The G8 countries make up 12.8 percent of the global population and 42.6 percent of worldwide GDP (Purchasing Power Parity). The G20 countries account for 64.2 percent of the world’s population and 83.2 percent of global GDP. Members are:

G20 Countries

  1. Argentina
  2. Australia
  3. Brazil
  4. Canada
  5. China
  6. France
  7. Germany
  8. India
  9. Indonesia
  10. Italy
  11. Japan
  12. Mexico
  13. Russia
  14. Saudi Arabia
  15. South Africa
  16. South Korea
  17. Turkey
  18. United Kingdom
  19. United States
  20. European Union

Invited to 2011 G20 Summit:

  • Spain
  • Equatorial Guinea, Chair of Africa Union (AU)
  • Ethiopia, Chair of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE), Chair, Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC)
  • Singapore, Global Governance Group

G8 Countries:

  1. France
  2. Germany
  3. Italy
  4. Canada
  5. Russia
  6. Japan
  7. United Kingdom
  8. United States

 

When and where are the 2011 G8 and G20 Summits?

The G8 Summit will take place in Deauville, France, May 26-27, 2011. The G20 Summit will be in Cannes, France, Nov. 3-4, 2011. In 2012, the United States will host the G8 Summit and in 2013 the UK will host it. In autumn 2012, Mexico will host the G20 Summit.

 

What are the French priorities for the 2011 G8 and G20 Summits?

In separate speeches on Aug. 25, 2010, and Jan. 24, 2011, French President Nicolas Sarkozy outlined French priorities for its presidency of the 2011 G8 and G20 Summits. 

Priorities for the G8 are:

  • Issues of common interest for G8 countries, including new challenges posed by the Internet and green growth and innovation;
  • International peace and security, including cocaine trafficking, counter-terrorism and weapons of mass destruction; and
  • G8 partnership with Africa, rallying support for African development and monitoring G8 country commitments in the areas of health and food security.

Priorities for the G20 target financial systems, global economic growth and development.

  • Financial issues include: reforming the international monetary system to reduce imbalances and strengthen coordination and financial regulation. 
  • Issues of economic growth include: combating commodity price volatility, particularly of agricultural goods; supporting employment and “strengthening the social dimension of globalization”; and fighting corruption.
  • Development work is focused on supporting infrastructure development and food security, while seeking innovative financing options and a tax on financial transactions.

What poverty-focused and humanitarian issues have the G8 and G20 Summits recently addressed?

Both the G8 and G20 have addressed poverty and humanitarian issues in the past. In recent years, a growing number of international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have been invited to attend the summits.  Notable G8 initiatives include the 2010 Muskoka Accountability Report; the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Under-Five Child Health and the 2009 L’Aquila Food Security Initiative.  Listed are development related issues that were recently on G8 and G20 Summit agendas.

G8 – Italy, 2009 – Achievement of Millennium Development Goals; African Development; Food Security

G8 – Japan, 2008 – African Development; Food Crisis

G8 – Germany, 2007 – Africa: good governance, sustainable investment, peace and security

G8 – Russia, 2006 – Education priorities for developed nations

G20 – Seoul, 2010 – Development Issues, Global Financial Safety Nets

G20 – Toronto, 2010 – International aid to Africa; corruption and security in Afghanistan; durable, balanced and sustainable growth

What is the InterAction community doing to engage the 2011 G8 and G20 Summits?

InterAction’s G8/G20 Task Force, with over 30 InterAction members and allies, has published several policy papers this year detailing recommendations for the Obama administration. The task force’s G8 Summit Policy Paper, entitled U.S. Leadership at the May G8 Summit, presented recommendations in the areas of accountability; food security, agriculture, and nutrition; and maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH). The task force also released its comprehensive G20 policy paper Recommendations for Cannes Summit in September 2011.

InterAction’s G8/G20 Task Force has shared proposals with officials from the Departments of State, Treasury, and Agriculture as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development. These officials are members of the U.S. government’s G8/G20 Interagency Task Force who are responsible for determining the policy positions that the U.S. G8/G20 Sherpa Michael Froman advances prior to the summits.  (The lead official for each country is called a Sherpa, and in the United States the Sherpa team is based at the White House in the National Security Council.)

Internationally, representatives from InterAction and several of its member organizations attended the Global G8/G20 Working Group meeting in Paris, France, Jan. 27-28, 2011. The meeting, which included over 130 NGO participants around the globe, ultimately drafted a joint NGO action plan for both the G8 and G20 Summits. At the conclusion of the Global G8/G20 Working Group meeting, InterAction was unanimously chosen to co-chair the Global G8/G20 Working Group for 2011 and played a pivotal role in the creation of the Working Group’s G8/G20 Media Sub-Group.