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What is the G20?

The G20 is an international forum, made up of 19 countries and the European Union, representing the world’s major developed and emerging economies. Together, the G20 members represent 85 % of global GDP, 75% of international trade and two-thirds of the world’s population.

Because of its size and strategic importance, the G20 has a crucial role in setting the path for the future of global economic growth.

The G20 started out in 1999 as a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors. Following the global financial crisis in 2008, the urgent need for a meeting of the G20 at the Leaders’ level emerged. For the first time in November 2008 in Washington D.C., G20 Leaders convened and managed to coordinate fiscal, monetary and economic policies to put the global economy on a path to recovery. Since then, the G20 has organically evolved, transforming itself from a global firefighter into a unique international forum to address long-term structural challenges.

The Role of International Organisations in the G20

At the invitation of each Presidency, key international organisations participate in G20 meetings to provide substantive inputs and enrich the discussion. The OECD has acted as a strategic advisor to the G20.

The OECD participates in all G20 Working Group meetings and provides data, analytical reports and proposals on specific topics, often jointly with other relevant international organisations.

The OECD has been working closely with the IMF on national growth strategies and the structural policy agenda as part of the Framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth, with the ILO on youth employment and gender, with the World Bank, UNDP and other international organisations on development, with the IEA on fossil fuels, and with the WTO and UNCTAD on monitoring investment and trade protectionism.

The G20 engages in multistakeholder dialogue by means of the Engagement Groups (B20, L20, C20, T20, W20, Y20, U20), with a view to promote broader inclusion and participation in their design of global solutions.

These groups address many areas of key relevance for the work of the G20 and the OECD alike, particularly topics related to business, labour, youth, gender equality and urban policies, and they involve key actors, such as the private sector, think tanks, trade unions, scientists, youth and women associations, civil society as a whole. The OECD, in the framework of its multistakeholder cooperation, contributes in different ways to the work of these groups, including by organising the annual high level OECD-B20-BIAC meeting, attending the G20 Engagement Groups events and conferences, providing data and analysis to underpin their priorities.

The OECD: Active Partner and Strategic Advisor to the G20

The OECD supports the G20 process in many stages:

  • Helping to define the agenda by developing narratives
  • Providing policy options by preparing evidence-based analysis and reports
  • Forging consensus across the membership around Presidency’s priorities
  • Strengthening the global governance by setting global standard on key issues
  • Ensuring that legacies and commitments from previous Presidencies are monitored and delivered

The OECD contributes to all stages of preparation of G20 Summits. The Global Governance and Sherpa Unit, under the supervision of the OECD Sherpa to the G20, plays an essential role in coordinating and ensuring coherence and relevance to all the Organisation’s contributions to the G20. The OECD Secretary-General participates at the highest political level, while the OECD Chief Economist represents the OECD at Finance Deputies meetings.

Contact Sherpa Office

Nejla Saula, Head of Sherpa Office -  Nejla.Saula@oecd.org