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The G20 in an Age of War

With so much in common – and with those who disagree getting shunned – it is little wonder that the G7 manages to agree on more than the G20. But the G20 better represents our diverse, complex world, making it the grouping on which effective global cooperation depends.

BALI/HONG KONG – Last October’s G20 Leaders’ Summit – held in Rome, and hosted by then-Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi – produced a declaration brimming with promises to “address today’s most pressing global challenges” and “converge upon common efforts to recover better from the COVID-19 crisis and enable sustainable and inclusive growth” across the world. What a difference a year makes.

The promise of 2021 should not be understated. The Leaders’ Declaration that the Rome summit produced included noble pledges to give “particular regard to the needs of the most vulnerable.” When it came to global public goods, the 61-paragraph document covered virtually every base, from food security to the circular economy, from the environment to the international financial architecture.

That makes the events of 2022 all the more disappointing. The meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Bali last month – largely overshadowed by discord over Russia’s war in Ukraine – did not produce a communiqué at all. And, as it stands, there is little reason to think that this November’s G20 Leaders’ Summit in Bali will go any better.

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