Group of 7/8/20

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  • G7/8/20
    • Role
      • They enable leaders of the most powerful countries in the world to meet regularly to discuss global issues.
    • Successes
      • By providing a regular point of contact for the world's most powerful countries, they encourage global trust and cooperation.
      • They enable member states to coordinate action on 'collective dilemmas' like the global economy, climate change, terrorism and WMD.
      • In 2009 G20 members agreed not to respond to the global economic crisis by adopting protectionist 'beggar they neighbour' strategies.
      • G7 has made many important interventions in global politics.
        • In 1999 it cancelled $100 billion of bilateral and multilateral debt. It went further by doubling aid to Africa and cancelling all debts of 19 countries owed to the IMF and World Bank in 2005 at the Gleaneagles Summit.
        • In 2008 member states met to coordinate their responses to the global financial crisis.
        • Since 2014 the G7 placed pressure on Russia to withdraw from Crimea and stop supporting Russian separatist rebels in E. Ukraine.
    • Criticisms
      • G7 criticised for reinforcing the G. North-South divide and for being unnecessary since the establishment of the G20. Since the G7 is so unrepresentative its legitimacy has been questioned.
      • G20 membership is arbitrary. Argentina is a member but not Spain, which has a bigger economy.
      • Exclusive membership of both undermines what should be inclusive economic global governance.
      • Both aren't able to bind their members to agreements. They issue only declarations of intent and have been accused of being expensive 'talk shops'.
      • Anti-globalisation protestors criticise G7 for its inability or unwillingness to deal effectively with poverty, inequality and climate change. Has cancelled much debt of developing countries but the gap continues to widen between them and developed countries.
      • Despite sanctions and public condemnation Russia still undermines Ukrainian sovereignty and is unconcerned about its G7 exclusion, probably as it still enjoys G20 membership, thought to be a more important international forum.
      • G20 has a lack of accountability and transparency. There's no formal charter and the most important meetings are held behind closed doors and at remote locations to deter protestors.
    • Members
      • G7 is restricted to the most powerful economies in the G. North (US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK). Russia became a member in 1997 but was suspended in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea.
        • In 2017 Russia signalled its intention of permanently leaving as it's so unrepresentative of contemporary global economic influence.
      • The G20 comprises the most powerful economies in both the G. North and South.

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