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The development agenda of the German G20 Presidency

The Group of Twenty (G20) comprises 19 major industrialised and emerging economies and the European Union. Traditionally, the annual meetings of G20 heads of state and government have focused on issues relating to world economic growth, international trade and the regulation of financial markets.

Initially, the G20 had been formed in response to the global economic and financial crisis. It has now started to increasingly address the development of answers to other global challenges as well.

At their summit in Seoul in 2010, G20 heads of state and government agreed on a global development strategy that focuses on inclusive economic growth as the centrepiece of global poverty reduction. Ever since, development policy has been a topic in its own right on the agenda of the G20 process.

On 1 December 2016, Germany assumed the G20 Presidency, which it will hold for one year.

The German government has chosen the slogan "Shaping an interconnected world" for its Presidency. This is based on three thematic pillars:

  • Building resilience
  • Improving sustainability
  • Assuming responsibility

The German Development Ministry (BMZ) has played a big part in defining the German G20 agenda, as all three pillars are closely related to development cooperation.

There will be a special focus on the following development topics:




Development Working Group
Development Working Group
Development Working Group
Development Working Group
Development Working Group
Development Working Group
Development Working Group
Development Working Group
Die Staats- und Regierungschef beim G20-Gipfel in Hangzhou, China, am 4. September 2016
Der erste G20-Gipfel der Staats- und Regierungschefs fand 2008 in Washington statt.


What is the G20?

The Group of Twenty (G20) is the central forum for international economic cooperation. It comprises the following 19 most advanced industrialised and emerging economies: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The European Union is the 20th member.

The BMZ has close cooperation with seven of these countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey).

The G20 nations account for more than 85 per cent of global GDP and three quarters of global trade. They are home to about two thirds of the world's population.

The Group was formed in 1999. Originally, G20 meetings took place at the level of finance ministers and heads of central banks. The primary purpose of the meetings was to improve cooperation on issues related to the international financial system. However, during the economic and financial crisis in 2008 it turned out that in order to successfully deal with crises of such dimensions, coordination at the highest political level was necessary. Thus, G20 meetings have since included summits of heads of state and government.

How does the G20 work?

The Group of Twenty is an informal body. Its decisions are politically binding and are followed up mainly through public accountability reports. It has turned out that G20 decisions serve as very strong signals and are able to trigger important reforms at the national and international levels.
The presidency rotates between the G20 members, with presidency terms lasting one year. The country that has the presidency proposes topics to be discussed and is responsible for organising the summit meeting, putting together the agenda and choosing special invitees.

The following guests, among others, will be invited to the Hamburg summit on 7 and 8 July 2017:

  • Spain (the country is a permanent guest); Germany has also invited the Netherlands, Norway and Singapore to be partner countries in the G20 process.
  • Regional alliances such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and the African Union (AU)
  • International organisations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations (UN). Germany has also invited the World Health Organization (WHO) to this year's summit.

Numerous meetings at ministerial level will be taking place prior to the summit to address specific G20 topics. Ministerial meetings in 2017 will bring together ministers of finance, foreign affairs, labour, health, agriculture, and information and technology policy.

The BMZ will be involved in the preparation of the agenda for the summit. It is the lead ministry for the Development Working Group (DWG) and the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) and will chair both groups during Germany's Presidency.

Dialogue with other groups

The G20 is engaged in a close dialogue with other groups in order to use the ideas and recommendations of important civil society players in its discussions and negotiations.

There will be various dialogue fora where international representatives of the private sector (Business20), non-governmental organisations (Civil20), trade unions (Labour20), academia (Science20), think tanks (Think20), women (Women20) and youth (Youth20) will have a chance to present their positions and submit proposals to the G20.

German G20 Presidency: Calendar of events

Calendar of events of Germany's G20 Presidency 2017 (PDF 310 KB)

15-16 December 2016
First meeting of the Development Working Group in Berlin

22 January 2017
Meeting of ministers of agriculture in Berlin

23-24 January 2017
First meeting and workshop of the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion in Wiesbaden

16-17 February 2017
Meeting of foreign ministers in Bonn

14-16 March 2017
Second meeting of the Development Working Group in Bonn

17-18 March 2017
Meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Baden-Baden

6-7 April 2017
Meeting of digital affairs ministers in Dusseldorf

27-28 April 2017
International Conference on Rural Development in Berlin

2-4 May 2017
Second meeting and workshop of the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion in Berlin

10-12 May 2016
Third meeting of the Development Working Group in Frankfurt/Main

18-19 May 2017
Meeting of labour ministers in Bad Neuenahr

19-20 May 2017
Meeting of ministers of health in Berlin

12-13 June 2017
Conference G20 Africa Partnership in Berlin

7-8 July 2017
G20 summit for heads of state and government in Hamburg