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G7/G20: Overview


The Group of Seven (G7) and Group of Twenty (G20) are international summits where leaders from the world’s advanced and emerging economies meet to discuss critical global issues. The G20 is dedicated primarily to international economic cooperation whereas the G7 focuses on a wider array of economic and political challenges.

Every year a summit is convened by one of the member countries for each of the Groups. For both the G7 and the G20, the hosting country serves as the summit lead, or summit President for that year. The host country sets the agenda, schedules the preparatory meetings, and wields significant influence over the priorities for the year. In 2017, the president of the G20 is Germany and the president of the G7 is Italy.

Each summit is preceded by a variety of preparatory meetings at which that summit's priorities will be further developed and the final Leaders' Communique will be drafted. Preparatory meetings happen at three different levels. The first level is meetings among working groups, which are established as needed on various topics to support the work of G7 and G20 leaders, ministers, and sherpas. The second level of meetings occur at the ministerial level, among G7 and G20 ministers on issues ranging from trade to agriculture to energy to foreign affairs. The third level of meetings are those held among sherpas, who are the personal representatives of G7 and G20 heads of state. The sherpas are are heavily involved in defining and shaping the positions that are undersigned by G7 and G20 heads of state at each summit.

"G20" by Marcin. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Commons

"G20" by Marcin. 

G7/G20 Advocacy Alliance (U.S.)

The G7/G20 Advocacy Alliance is a group of 50 InterAction members and allies who work together to influence the annual G7 and G20 summits. The Alliance meets on an as-needed basis beginning eight to nine months prior to each summit to select policy issues to advocate, based on the summit agendas. In recent years, these issues have included anti-corruption and transparency; food security and nutrition; financial transparency and tax fairness; G7/G20 accountability; infrastructure investment; and jobs and employment. Alliance members form policy teams to draft short briefs with three recommendations, which are then used for advocating with the White House, USAID, and Departments of State, Treasury, Labor, and Justice, among others. The Alliance has also worked on common messaging for media surrounding the summits themselves. Learn more. 

What's New
  • The 2017 G7 Summit Scorecard measures commitments made by the G7 against policy recommendations given by the G7/G20 Advocacy Alliance in the 2017 G7 Policy Paper.
  • The 2017 G7 Delegation of Duties identifies tasks that were delegated to international organizations by the G7 in 2017 in different priority areas, including when the tasks are due to be completed.
  • The U.S. G7/G20 Advocacy Alliance has composed policy papers detailing its recommendations for the 2017 summits. Click the following for the G7 Policy Paper and the G20 Policy Paper.