The G20 – What Is It, What Does It Do and How Will It Affect Me?

by Mel Keyte

G20 maps of membersWith all this talk about the G20 coming to Brisbane, you might be forgiven if you missed a spot of news regarding the apparently enormously important event. Mainly, what it is. Or what they do. But it’s all good, we’ve done your research for you.

Strap in and prepare for your crash-course in the G20.

What exactly is the G20?

The G20, or ‘Group of Twenty’ is a collection of finance ministers from 19 countries and the European Union (EU), who meet once a year to discuss international cooperation on the global economic and financial agenda.

The G20 has what is called a ‘rotating presidency’, meaning there is no permanent state president. This year, Australia holds the president position for what will be the most prestigious and important meeting of leaders that Australia has ever hosted.

The event to be held in Brisbane over the 15th – 16th of November is actually termed ‘The G20 Leader’s Summit’, and will include the countries listed below.

Who will be participating?

Leaders will be coming together after travelling from; Argentina, Australia (obviously!), Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Plus, there are also delegates from a few special ‘guest’ countries including; Spain, Myanmar, Senegal, Mauritania, New Zealand and Singapore.

photo of G20 Brisbane AustraliaSo what do they actually do?

The official purpose of the G20 is to serve as a ‘forum for informal dialogue among a group of countries representing both developed and emerging economies from every region of the globe.’

Basically, the meeting works in a similar way to most United Nationals councils, which is where states from across the world sit down and hash out some sort of collective and cohesive international policy regarding world economics.

Righto. And how is this going to affect me?

It might not, to be completely honest. According to the G20 Brisbane website , things will be ‘business as usual’ for most people. If you were planning on heading into the city, Southbank or to the airport, you might be slapped with long traffic waits, restricted parking and/or changes to public transport, so you may want to reconsider your journey and just hang out at your local park instead over the weekend.

However, there may be some trouble in the week leading up to the G20, with 21 planned protests planned across the city. Police have been notified regarding the time, place and nature of the protests, and claim that they will be on hand if things turn ugly. However, orgainsers have cautioned that there may be more ‘clandestine’ protests to come.

Perhaps it might be best to chill out at home with a movie for that weekend…

Hope you learned something about the G20!

Sources:
What exactly is the G20? | G20 WATCH
G20 organisers aware of 21 planned protests | Brisbane Times
G20 (Safety and Security) Act 2013 | Queensland Police

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