The two-day 17th meeting of the Group of Twenty (G20), a summit scheduled in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, ends today with a plea, among others for unity as the nine-month Ukraine war topped the agenda of the world’s leaders.
The 17th edition of the meet has focused on key issues of global concern under the Summit theme of ‘Recover Together, Recover Stronger,’ with three working sessions as part of the G20 Summit Agenda: food and energy security, health, and digital transformation.
Global leaders—minus Russian President Vladimir Putin—have converged in Bali for the all-important Summit, the pinnacle of the G20 process and intense work carried out within the Ministerial Meetings, Working Groups, and Engagement Groups throughout the year.
As of 2022, there are 20 members in the group: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union
The G20, formed in 1999, makes up 20 of the world’s largest economies, including the European Union, that meets regularly to coordinate global policy on trade, health, climate, and other issues.
Previous summits have addressed the COVID-19 pandemic, 2008 financial crisis, the Iranian nuclear program, and the Syrian civil war.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine deepened divisions within the group, reducing the chance it will find consensus on economic issues at its 2022 summit in Bali, Indonesia.
With the absence of the Russian leader, although he is represented on the ground by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, eyes and ears have been on US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The world leaders also had a chance to listen to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, who attended—virtually—the summit, the premier global forum for discussing economic issues.
The group, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, 75 percent of international trade and 60 percent of its population, has faced divisions over trade, climate change and the current humanitarian and economic fallout from the war in Ukraine.
These figures have remained relatively stable while the corresponding rates for Group of Seven (G7) nations, a smaller group of advanced democracies, have shrunk, as larger emerging markets take up a relatively greater share of the world’s economy.
Bilateral meetings on the summit’s sidelines have occasionally led to major international agreements. And while one of the group’s most impressive achievements was its robust response to the 2008 financial crisis, its cohesion has since frayed, and analysts have criticized its lackluster response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under President Donald Trump (2017-2021), the United States clashed with the rest of the group on trade, climate and migration policy.
President Biden, who succeeded Trump, promised a return to multilateral cooperation, achieving a global agreement on corporate taxation.
But tensions have continued to rise as high- and low-income countries have increasingly been split on major issues.
The world watches conscientiously.