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Group of Twenty (G-20)

OVERVIEW

The Group of Twenty (also known as the G-20) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies. The G-20 meets to discuss important international finance matters such as ways to strengthen the global economy, reform international financial institutions, and improve financial regulation.

The G-20 membership comprises a mix of the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies, representing about two-thirds of the world’s population, 85 percent of global gross domestic product, and more than 75 percent of global trade.

G-20 members include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union.

Each year the G-20 president also invites several guest countries to participate in G-20 events and contribute to the agenda.

GOVERNANCE AND DECISION-MAKING

The G-20 delegations are made up of country leaders (heads of states), finance ministers, and the central bank governors from its member countries.

The G-20 President is responsible for bringing together the G-20 agenda in consultation with other members and in response to developments in the global economy. The G-20 presidency rotates annually according to a system that ensures regional balance over time. To ensure continuity, the presidency is supported by the “troika,” made up of the previous, current, and upcoming host countries.

G-20 leaders meet annually at a summit. In support and anticipation of the summit is a year-long program of meetings, including among sherpas. A sherpa is the senior official responsible for preparing the summit as the representative of their respective country leader. Following a summit, the G-20 issues a non-binding but influential statement.

As part of the G-20 process, finance ministers and central bank governors also meet regularly during the year to discuss ways to strengthen the global economy, reform international financial institutions, improve financial regulation, and implement the key economic reforms that are needed in each member economy.

Overall, the G-20 organizational process is fairly straightforward. Issues can be brought up through the nation holding the presidency and/or other member countries.

HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE OF the g-20 ON FISHERIES SUBSIDIES

To our knowledge the G-20 has not addressed fisheries subsidies. However, it has taken actions that are relevant to fisheries subsidies, particularly related to fuel subsidies. In 2009, the G-20 agreed to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption. Similar arguments and reasoning apply to fuel subsidies in fishing, which is one of the most pervasive and egregious types of subsidy because of their economic and environmental impacts.

The G-20 also includes some of the largest fishing nations in the world and largest subsidizers.

What could the g-20 produce/do on fisheries subsidies?

The G-20 could bring a significantly higher level of attention to the issue of fisheries subsidies through commitments of its leaders. The G-20 could make voluntary commitments on fisheries subsidies with a requirement to report back on progress every other year. For example, G-20 leaders could pledge to not further expand their domestic fishing subsidy programs, particularly on fuel subsidies in recognition of their 2009 agreement. They could also make commitments towards taking certain actions or positions on fisheries subsidies in other international fora, such as the WTO.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Contact is through the relevant country governments.

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