Towards a strong G20 for effective multilateral cooperation

The global system is focused on economic growth, with social prosperity and environmental sustainability as subsidiaries and derivative to economic growth. The transformational change needed to realign the political, economic and social systems, focusing on the wellbeing of people and the planet, requires a broad coalition of actors - actors from politics, business and society supported by academia, actors on the global, national and local levels. It requires strong leadership as well as continuity in the dialogue and discourse. The G20 is an important actor for transformational change. It can supply top-level political impetus to global agreements and commitments. It can set norms as to how policies should be designed. And it can initiate policies through concrete commitments. Through its network of international organizations and engagement groups, the G20 can build on profound knowledge and communicate with stakeholder groups. Yet, the G20 also faces serious criticisms. The rotating presidency bears the risk that effectiveness is limited as national agendas may dominate the coalition-building to solve global problems. Moreover, the G20’s legitimacy is often questioned. More generally, public and political support for multilateral cooperation has faded significantly in recent years. What is the future of the G20? What are the next steps in its evolution are required to make it a more efficient, effective, resilient and adaptable forum for global problem-solving?

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