In September 2009, the G20 as a premier forum for international economic cooperation and decided to annualize summit. This was a decision that recognized the role the G20 had played in the global economy’s recovery from the 2008 international financial crisis, and gave the G20 legitimacy to assume its role as the premier forum for international economic cooperation.
At the Pittsburgh Summit, the Republic of Korea (ROK) was decided as the first non-G8 Asian state to host the G20 summit in November 2010.
The Korean Government established the ‘Presidential Committee for the G20 Summit’ to enhance its ability to effectively organize the pan-governmental efforts directed toward the success of the summit. The Government also established a system forgovernment agencies like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Financial Services Commission and other related agencies to provide support for the work of the Committee.
In January 2010, President Lee Myung-bak attended the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland and set forth that Korea would focus on the sound implementation of past agreements, the introduction of new agenda items like development and global financial safety nets, and securing international support through proactive outreach activities toward non-G20 countries and international organizations as ways to ensure the success of the G20 Seoul Summit.
In accordance with the system the Korean Government established for the success of the summit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade supported the Presidential Committee for the G20 Summit in their efforts to progress the agenda of the summit. To gain support forthe G20 Seoul Summit from the international community, non-G20 countries and international organizations, the Ministry held numerous summit level meetings and foreign minister level dialogues to make various diplomatic efforts at both bilateral and multilateral levels.
Due to the G20’s successful handling of the global financial crisis, the international community’s expectation for the G20 grew even stronger. Thus, the G20 had to continue and strengthen its role by resolving other key international issues beyond crisis management in the post-crisis era. The Korean Government came to theconclusion that the G20 needed to prove its ability and efficiency as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, and decided to offer full diplomatic support for the success of the Toronto Summit which was held prior to the Seoul Summit.
The Korean Government believed that as the Toronto Summit and Seoul Summit were closely interconnected, their success would contribute to achieving a strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy and strengthening of the G20 and its foundation for efficient operation. Korea, on its part, worked in close cooperation with Canada in regard to making the list of the agenda items, while working to lead the non-G20 countries and regional organizations to understand and support the G20 process.
During the first APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) held in Hiroshima, Japanon February 22-23, 2010, Canada and Korea had the opportunity to explain the preparatory worksdirected toward the development of the G20 agenda. Canada made a presentation on the priority tasks to be discussed at the Toronto Summit, and Korea shared its plans for the Seoul Summit, which were to i) continue the implementation of previous G20 agreements including the framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth, ii) introduce new issues including global financial safety nets, and iii) strengthen ties with non-G20 countries in order to reflect their interests in the G20 process.
When Canada organized a briefing session for Asian countries in Hanoi, Vietnam on April 26, 2010, Korea presented its priority tasks for the Seoul Summit and engaged in close consultation with Canada in regard to the invitation scope of non-G20 countries and other key issues including trade.
At the Toronto Summit held on June 26-27, 2010, G20 leaders discussed a wide range of pending global economic issues including fiscal consolidation, financial taxation, and agreed to establish a framework through mutual assessment based on their political determination. By deciding to extend the term of the standstill policy, which was first suggested by President Lee Myung-bak at the first Washington Summit, by three years till the end of 2013, the leaders strengthened the foundation for free trade.
President Lee assumed the leading role of a consensus builder as G20 chair. In particular, he contributed to drawing out a compromised message between fiscal consolidation and stimulus measures for economic recovery, led the discussions on rationalizing fuel subsidies, and established the good basis for discussion on new agenda of the Seoul Summit.
The Toronto Summit, which served to pave the way for the Seoul Summit, produced meaningful agreements. However, no final agreements were made on several key agendas like global imbalance, IMF quota and governance reform, financial regulatory reform, etc. On the other hand, Korea was able to build the groundwork for discussions on new agenda items of the Seoul Summit including development and global financial safety nets by officially introducing them at the summit level.
The G20 Seoul Summit was held on November 11-12, 2010. G20 countries and invited participants including five countries and seven international organizations attended the summit. About 6,000 government delegates and 4,000 people from the media community visited Korea, while 120 CEOs from global corporations attended the Business Summit. The G20 Seoul Summit was indeed the largest event in the history of Korea.
The G20 Seoul Summit was a great success in terms of agenda, protocol, and management. The major outcome of the G20 Seoul Summit included such agreements as ‘the framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth’, ‘IMF quota reform and adjustment the Executive Board’s composition’, ‘the Basel III agreement and SIFI (Systemically Important Financial Institutions) problem solutions’, and ‘reaffirming commitment to the DDA’. Considering that the ‘currency conflict’ was the topic of international interest then, the consensus was reached for making a set of indicative guidelines. Its policy orientation was agreed to make a shift towards a more market-based exchange rate that reflected economic fundamentals, as well as the establishment of a more flexible exchange rate are deemed as significant outcomes. This would not have been possible without the strong mutual understanding of G20 leaders on the G20 spirit of international cooperation - an agreement on preventing the global economy from turning to protectionism and finding solutions through international coordination.
In regard to the reform of international financial organization and financial regulatory measures, the Seoul Summit reached agreement on the 6% quota shift to emerging and developing countries, which IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn called the most historically significantagreement ever reached since the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting (October 22-23, 2010, Gyeongju). By agreeing to adjust the composition of Executive Board members and adopt Basel III, leaders at the Seoul Summit were able to reach agreement on issues which had not been agreed upon for a very long time.
Furthermore, by adopting the ‘Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth’ and ‘Multi-Year Action Plan on development', the Seoul Summit laid the foundation for developing countries to achieve sustainable growth through capacity building.
In regard to global financial safety nets, the summit produced tangible outcomes on the creation of a preemptive response system for future financial crisis by improving the existing flexible credit lineand introducing a precautionary credit line and a multinational flexible credit line. These outcomes are of keen interest to developing and emerging countries, the majority in the international community, which will help Korea play a bridging role between non-G20 countries and G20 member states, and lay the institutional and academic basis for increasing the legitimacy of the G20 in the future.
It would have been impossible for the Seoul Summit to produce such tangible outcomes on key interests of developing and emerging economies without the Korean Government’s efforts to engage in continuous consultation with non-G20 countries on multiple aspects. Theseconsultations were largely carried out by the Ambassador at large for the G20 who visited Asia, Africa, America and Europe for multiple briefing sessions with key international organizations like the ILO (International Labor Organization) and UN (United Nations), in order to collect the general opinion of the international community and explain them the details on the preparatory works directed toward the Seoul Summit.
The G20 Leaders' Summit was held in Los Cabos, Mexico, on June 18-19 2012 and was convened during the first half of the year unlike the previous summits due to Mexico's presidential election. While uncertainty of the world economy had inflated due to the aftermath of the fiscal crisis of the Eurozone, the leaders primarily discussed ways to resolve the Eurozone's fiscal crisis.
The leaders of the Eurozone strengthened their willingness to take all necessary measures to stabilize the Eurozone and to resolve the current crisis through structural reforms, greater fiscal and economic integration, and adjustments to strengthen competitiveness in deficit countries. As a result, the leaders of the Summit adopted the "Los Cabos Action Plan for Growth and Jobs" and declared that all members of the G20 should calibrate the pace of fiscal consolidation and promote specific coordinating measures for global economic growth.
President Lee Myung-bak, based on Korea’s successful experience of recovery from the Asian crisis of 1997, emphasized that the countries concerned in Europe's debt crisis should decisively reform their systems and that the Eurozone should place greater efforts to reform its flawed system.
In this regard, the leaders agreed to increase the resources available to the IMF by US$456 billion to strengthen the global capacity to cope with the crisis, and Korea pledged to contribute US$15 billion. This important outcome of the Los Cabos G20 summit to boost the IMF's capacity to cope with the global economic crisis by increasing the IMF’s resources was enhanced by the participation of such emerging economies as China, India, Russia, Brazil and Mexico. In addition, the leaders of the G20 delivered a clear message to denounce all forms of protectionist measures and agreed to reaffirm the standstill commitment until 2014 with regard to protectionist measures.
President Lee remarked that the adoption of protectionism during such a difficult period of the world economy would likely place the world in a deeper recession. With many leaders expressing their sympathy with his remarks, he also persuaded a few countries with different views and contributed to the reaffirmation of the standstill commitment until 2014.
Meaningful progress was also made with respect to the development agenda which was introduced by Korea during the Seoul summit. During the Summit, leaders agreed to discuss ways of raising funds for the expansion of investment in infrastructure as a basis of development for developing countries and to carry out an "inclusive green growth" policy to support the green growth policy in developing countries.
In May, one month before the G20 Summit, President Lee Myung-bak, with Mexican President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, contributed to the German Financial Times, in which the two leaders expressed their will to exert their utmost efforts to stabilize the world economy and to alleviate problems caused by climate change. Viewing "green growth" as a key to solving economic and environmental issues, the leaders reiterated their will to develop an optimum strategy to implement the "green growth" policy.
The Republic of Korea contributed to the formation of the G20 agreement by participating in IMF fund resourcing, reaffirming the need to take bold structural reform and fundamental measures, and taking an initiative to extend the standstill agreement and inclusive green growth policy.
Furthermore, President Lee held a bilateral meeting with President Felipe Calderon and exchanged ideas to strengthen relations between the Republic of Korea and Mexico.
The G20 summit has already been held on seven occasions and has established itself as a top forum for economic cooperation. The G20 summit is expected to exert increasing influence as the global recovery continues to face a number of challenges, requiring cooperation among states.
The government of the Republic of Korea will actively participate in the G20 summit to reinforce its global status and to contribute to reviving the world economy, building infrastructure that is favorable to Korea's sustainable growth.
The G20 Leaders Summit was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia on September 5-6, 2013. Amid signs of recovery of the world economy, the G20 leaders mainly focused on strengthening growth and creating jobs, while the 2012 G20 Los Cabos Summit concentrated on responding to the European debt crisis. The leaders agreed on a number of specific steps, namely to strengthen the global economy through the G20 framework, address cross-border tax avoidance, expand trade, create more jobs and secure inclusive growth, and promote global development cooperation. On that account, the Summit resulted in the adoption of the G20 leaders' declaration and the accompanying documents from the Summit.
Advanced G20 countries made commitments to work together to ensure that future changes to monetary policy setting continue to be carefully calibrated and clearly communicated. The leaders reiterated the importance of communication between IMF and Regional Financing Arrangements (RFAs), as well as dialogue among RFAs, in order to strengthen the role of RFAs. In this respect, the leaders called on G20 financial ministers to follow the developments and progress in such communication.
In addition, the leaders agreed to put forth medium-term fiscal strategies beyond 2016 aimed at enhancing fiscal prudence. In particular, they also agreed to secure tax collection by tackling tax avoidance and implementing the automatic exchange of information. In line with these efforts, they promised to be united in their resolve to promote more and better jobs through coordinated and integrated measures.
Meanwhile, the leaders endorsed the 'Saint Petersburg Development Outlook' in terms of strengthening global partnership on development assistance, and reconfirmed the importance of regular monitoring of its implementation to magnify the beneficial results. In addition, they agreed to extend their 'standstill commitment' until 2016.
Furthermore, a major international political issue was addressed at the G20 Summit for the first time. The first G20 Leaders Summit was held in response to the global financial crisis in 2008 and has since then mainly attended to matters pertaining to the international financial system. In 2013, however, the Syrian civil war and the Ghouta chemical attacks was discussed by the proposal of the Chair, Russian President Vladimir Putin, resulting in the announcement of a US-led Statement signed by 12 countries including the ROK.
Based on its experience of successfully hosting the 2010 G20 Seoul Summit, Korea made meaningful contributions to drawing forth agreement on major agenda by demonstrating its unique leadership in bridging advanced and emerging economies.
At the session under the theme "Growth of the Global Economy", President Park Geun-hye took the lead in settling the differences between the advanced and emerging countries over the advanced countries' exit strategy issue. The President emphasized a sense of joint community in today's interconnected global economy in that an exit strategy from stimulus might have negative repercussions for developing countries such as instability if the resulting financial situations in emerging nations are not taken into consideration.
Moreover, President Park contributed to the extension of the standstill commitment until 2016 by persuading several emerging countries skeptical of the extension that it is necessary to revitalize the global economy.
During the "Job Creation and Investment" session, President Park made the lead speech by the request of the Chair and proposed the vision of a 'creative economy' and 'disciplined market economy' as a new approach to create jobs and foster inclusive growth. Many leaders shared her remarks and expressed their support.
The President also called for the strong leadership of the G20 for it to regain the confidence of the international community by faithfully implementing its commitments. In particular, the President stressed the need to strengthen the monitoring system of the implementation of G20 commitments such as those made on the standstill against trade protectionism and the assistance for developing countries.
On top of that, President Park held summit talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, respectively, and exchanged ideas on a wide range of areas upon which both sides could cooperate.
The G20 Summit, which first gathered the 20 leaders together in 2008 to deal with the financial crisis following the bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers, has been held on eight occasions so far, and the leaders continue to reaffirm the role of the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation.
The Government of the Republic of Korea plans to continuously exert its utmost effort to reinforce its global status by participating actively in the G20 Summit and demonstrating leadership in discussing the main agendas. Such efforts will contribute not only to the creation of a stable global economic environment but also to laying the foundation for the sustainable growth of Korea.
2014 Brisbane G20 Summit The 9th G20 Summit was held in Brisbane, Australia on November 15-16, 2014. G20 leaders recognized that, although there are some positive signs, the global recovery remains slow and not delivering sufficient jobs needed. Therefore, they focused their discussion on exploring ways to boost global growth and job creation.
Taking into account the three goals of the summit ? “to lift growth and create jobs”, “to build a stronger, more resilient global economy” and “to strengthen global institutions” - the leaders discussed ways to strengthen policy coordination in such areas as growth strategies, job creation, investment, trade, development, finance, tax, energy and climate change.
As a result of such intensive discussions, the G20 Leaders’ Declaration and its twelve annexes were adopted. In addition, taking into account the serious impact of the Ebola virus, the leaders also adopted the G20 Leaders’ Brisbane Statement on Ebola to demonstrate the G20’s will to address the Ebola issue.
The most notable outcome of the summit was the adoption of the G20 Comprehensive Growth Strategies, which include G20 members’ growth strategies in trade, investment, employment and competition. If the strategies are fully implemented, the combined GDP of G20 members is expected to grow by 2.1% over the current trajectory by 2018.
G20 leaders also adopted the Global Infrastructure Initiative, a multi-year program to increase quality infrastructure investment, and agreed to set up a Global Infrastructure Hub with a four-year mandate to implement the Initiative.
Meanwhile, to boost employment, the leaders agreed to reduce the gender gap in labor force participation rates by 25% by 2025, while taking into account domestic circumstances.
Development has been one of the core issues for discussion of G20 since the Seoul G20 Summit in 2010. To help low-income countries mobilize domestic resources and support their financial inclusion, G20 leaders agreed to take measures to reduce the global average cost for remittances by 5%. Furthermore, the leaders expressed their strong support for the success of the post-2015 development agenda negotiations at the UN.
To build stronger, more resilient global economy, the leaders agreed to continuously push for the financial regulatory reform such as delivering the shadow banking framework. On tax issues, they recognized that considerable progress has been made on the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan, whose goal is to modernize international tax rules.
G20 leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing cooperation in trade, finance and energy. They demonstrated their will to fight protectionism, strengthen the multilateral trading system and enhance the international financial system by reforming the IMF. They also agreed to adopt the G20 Principles on Energy Collaboration, which reflects the G20’s will to improve the international energy market and enhance energy efficiency.
Korea made constructive contributions to advancing the discussions on major agenda items. On growth strategies, President Park Geun-hye elaborated on Korea’s efforts for structural reform including the 3-year Plan for Economic Innovation. She highlighted the importance of the Creative Economy as a new engine of growth for the economy and offered to share relevant experiences with other G20 members.
President Park also explained in detail Korea’s efforts for regulatory reform. Furthermore, she suggested that relevant international organizations conduct research on the status of?reform in the service industries that lag behind in regulatory reform. In addition, President Park pointed out the potential risks that the monetary policies of advanced countries might bring and stressed that each nation’s monetary policy should be carefully calibrated and clearly communicated.
President Park reiterated the importance of development as a G20 agenda and suggested focusing on development issues at the next year’s G20 Summit, which will be held under the Turkish Presidency. She also encouraged G20 members to assist developing countries to participate in global value chains (GVCs).
President Park also urged the G20 to contribute to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), an international organization aiming at helping developing countries build capacity to tackle climate change.
On top of this, President Park held a bilateral meeting with Crown Prince Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and exchanged ideas on various issues of mutual interest. Also, President Park and Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand officially declared the conclusion of the Korea-New Zealand FTA.
Since the first G20 Summit was held in 2008 to deal with the financial crisis following the bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers, eight summits have been held. As a premier forum for international economic cooperation, the G20 Summit has served as an excellent venue for discussing major global economic issues.
The Korean Government will keep on doing its utmost to raise Korea’s status on the global stage by participating actively in the G20 Summit and taking the lead in discussing key agenda items. Such efforts will contribute not only to creating a stable global economic environment but also to laying the foundation for the sustainable growth of Korea.
The tenth G20 Summit was held in Antalya, Turkey from November 15 to 16, 2015. In this summit, G20 leaders shared the view that the global recovery remains slow and unbalanced, and the uncertainly in financial market continues as well. Based on the common understanding, the leaders discussed ways on how to establish a firm and inclusive growth, and create decent and enough jobs.
Taking into account the three priorities of the summit-“Enhancing Resilience,”“Strengthening the Global Recovery and Lifting the Potential,”“Buttressing Sustainability”- the leaders discussed ways to strengthen policy coordination in such areas as investment, employment, trade, finance, tax, development, energy, climate change. As a result of such intensive discussions, the G20 Leaders’ Communique and its twenty-two agreed documents were adopted. In addition, considering the serious threat of terrorism, the leaders also adopted the 「G20 Statement on the Fight Against Terrorism? to demonstrate G20’s will to combat terrorism.
In the summit, G20 leaders agreed on conducting coordinated macro policies based on careful coordination and clear communication with the objective to minimize the volatility of world economy and its negative ripple effect. In addition, it was evaluated the outcomes of growth strategies of each country member which were submitted at the previous Brisbane G20 Summit in 2014. It was also established investment strategies to overcome low economic growth, as well as the G20 goal of reducing the share of young people who are most at risk of being permanently left behind in the labor market by 15% by 2025.
G20 leaders stressed that the COP21 should be successfully held in Paris, December to establish a new climate change system, and also endorsed a package of measures under the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project to respond in a collective manner to offshore tax evasion of multinational companies. In particular, as the Syrian refugee crisis and the threat of terrorism were becoming more serious including grave terror attacks in Ankara, Turkey on October 10, and in Paris on November 13, respectively just before the Summit, G20 leaders encouraged all countries to share burden in assisting refugees and also demonstrated their strong will to combat against terrorism.
Regarding the development agenda, which has been strengthened since it was introduced in the 2010 Seoul G20 Summit for the first time, there was consensus to establish a collective action plan in 2016 to follow-up the 2030 Development Agenda, and also G20 leaders agreed on exerting their efforts to expand energy access into Sub-Sahara African region which have suffered from serious energy shortage.
Korea got good results in implementing the Growth Strategy, which had been submitted in the 2014 Brisbane Summit, by faithfully carrying out its commitments. In addition, Korea contributed to performing a outstanding leadership bridging the gap among developed and developing countries. President Park Geun-hye emphasized the necessity of structural reform to overcome low growth, and shared Korea’s experience of creative economy and structural reform. In addition, President Park suggested a careful and gradual coordination on monetary policies of developed countries, and also emphasized Korean government’s will to faithfully implement the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) and to effectively respond to Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).
Regarding the issue of climate change, President Park shared the exemplary cases of Korean new energy industries, emphasizing that we should seize an opportunity of creating new growth engine by appropriately responding to climate change. President Park stressed the necessity to support developing countries thorough Green Climate Fund(GCF). President Park also had bilateral meetings with the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron and India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi respectively on the occasion on the G20 Summit.
Since the first G20 Summit was held in 2008 to deal with financial crisis following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, twenty countries’ leaders have gathered in ten times until the Antalya Summit. As a premier forum for international economic cooperation, the G20 Summit has served as an excellent venue for discussing major global economic issues. In particular, taking into account that terrorism and refugee issues were discussed at the Antalya Summit, it is expected that other global issues, besides financial and economic issues, will continue to be on the G20 agenda for international cooperation
The Korean government will keep on doing its utmost to enhance Korea’s status on the global fora by participating actively in the G20 Summit and taking the lead in discussing key agenda items. Such efforts will contribute not only to creating a stable global economic environment but also to laying the foundation for the sustainable growth of Korea.
Since the first G20 Summit was held in 2008 to deal with the financial crisis following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, leaders of twenty countries have gathered eleven times until the Hangzhou Summit. As the premier forum for international economic cooperation, the G20 Summit has served as an important venue for discussing major global economic issues. Under the theme of “Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected, and Inclusive World Economy,“ the G20 leaders strengthened cooperation not only on the agenda of macroeconomic coordination, trade, and investment, but also on innovation, new industrial revolution, digital economy, development, climate change, and refugees at the Hangzhou G20 Summit held on Sept. 4 - 5, 2016. As a result, the G20 Leaders’ Communique and its 37 key annexes were adopted.
In particular, the G20 leaders newly adopted the agenda on innovation, new industrial revolution, and digital economy based on ICT which is a driving force to overcome the low growth of global economy. As a result, key annexes of the Leaders’ Communique including the “G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth,“ “G20 2016 Innovation Action Plan,“ and “G20 2016 Innovation Action Plan“ were adopted; a task force was also established to develop more in detail the outcomes of this agenda. In addition, the G20 leaders identified polarization as one of the causes that fuels protectionism. In addition, the G20 leaders emphasized the importance of implementing domestic policies to distribute the benefits of free trade. And leaders also agreed on the formation of a Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity to be facilitated by the OECD.
On the other hand, the International Finance Architecture (IFA) Working Group meeting was held after a two year hiatus and resulted in the endorsement of recommendations on strengthening international finance architecture. In addition, 13 areas for cooperation were agreed upon, including analysis and monitoring of capital flows, strengthening the Global Financial Safety Net (GFSN), IMF reform, enhancing the role of SDR, and etc.
Regarding the development agenda which was initially introduced at the 2010 Seoul G20 Summit, the G20 leaders endorsed the “G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development“ in order to implement the 2030 Agenda of UN adopted in 2015. At the same time, the G20 leaders reaffirmed their willingness to address global challenges affecting global economy such as terrorism, refugees, climate change, AMR, and etc., They also committed to working together to minimize the possible negative impact of Brexit.
Korea, as the co-chair of the Innovation Task Force with China and United Kingdom, has led discussion on the agenda on innovation which was newly adopted in 2016. President Park Geun-Hye introduced the Creative Economic Policy as the ’Inclusive and Innovative Economic Model’, and emphasized the faithful implementation of the G20 Growth Strategy and structural reform. In addition, President Park introduced Korea’s leading examples in structural reform in the four main sectors ? public, labor, finance, and education ? receiving applause at the Summit.
On the trade agenda, President Park contributed to reaching consensus in enhancing free trade system, and attaining inclusive growth by distributing its benefits. In addition, since Korea suggested the standstill commitments to fight against protectionist measures at the first G20 Summit in Washington, it has continued to play a leading role in extending those standstill commitment by 2018.
Korea will continue to do its utmost to enhance its presence on the global fora by participating actively in the G20 Summit and taking the lead in discussing key agenda items. Such effort will contribute not only to creating a stable global economic environment, but also to laying the foundation for the sustainable growth of Korea.
In 2008, leaders from 20 major economies gathered to seek ways to overcome the global financial crisis. Since then, G20 leaders have had a total of 12 meetings, including the one in Hamburg in 2017, to discuss key global issues, making the G20 into an premier economic forum for international economic cooperation.
The 2017 G20 Hamburg Summit was held under the theme of “Shaping an Interconnected World,”and G20 leaders discussed ways to strengthen policy cooperation to address not only traditional issues in the areas of macro-economy, trade, and investment but also issues related to digital economy, development, climate change and refugees. The G20 Leaders Communique and its 14 key annexes were adopted as an outcome document. In addition, the leaders adopted the G20 Leaders Statement on Countering Terrorism to call on the international community to strengthen cooperation and faithfully implement the commitments to counter terrorism, block terrorism financing, and prevent the use of the internet for terrorist purposes.
Furthermore, the Hamburg Action Plan was adopted to present the G20’s strategy for achieving strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. The leaders also adopted the G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth and the Hamburg Update: Taking forward the G20’s Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to lay a strong foundation for making advancements in the existing agenda items.
The 2017 G20 Hamburg Leaders Summit was the first multilateral diplomatic forum that President Moon Jae-in has participated since he took office. President Moon delivered remarks as the lead speaker of the first session and introduced Korea’s paradigm shift to people-centered economy, gender equality, and renewable energy.
Korea has also solidified its status as a responsible middle power by highlighting the importance of providing humanitarian assistance to address the health issues in North Korea and by helping to solve global issues through financial contributions to the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi). This initiative was launched to raise the awareness of the international community on the need to support female entrepreneurs in developing countries.
Marking its 10th anniversary, the G20 Leaders’ Summit took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 30 November - 1 December 2018. Under the main theme of “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development,” G20 leaders adopted the leaders’ declaration along with thirty two documents including Ministerial Declarations and Working Groups Documents focusing on the future of work, infrastructure for development, a sustainable food future, and gender mainstreaming across the G20 agenda.
Thanks to the painstaking discussions at the Summit, there were meaningful outcomes in such areas as trade, the digital economy, international tax system, development, and climate change. G20 leaders recognized the importance of the multilateral trading system and agreed to support the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization to improve its functioning and to review progress at the 2019 G20 Summit. While sharing the need to improve the digital infrastructure and measurement of the digital economy to maximize the benefits of digitalization, G20 leaders supported the G20 Repository of Digital Policies and agreed to work on artificial intelligence, emerging technologies, and new business platforms. As for the issue of climate change, signatories to the Paris Agreement reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the Agreement taking into account of the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”.
Being an advocate of multilateralism and the international rules-based trade, Korea actively participated in the discussions and supported the G20’s commitment to achieving strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth. In particular, the main theme of the 2018 G20 Summit was in line with the Korean government’s vision of an inclusive state where all people prosper together. At the Summit, President Moon Jae-in emphasized the importance of international policy coordination in order to respond risks and challenges in current global economy. President Moon also asked for the international community’s strong support for the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.
The 14th G20 Summit took place in Osaka, Japan on June 28 and 29, 2019. The two-day Summit covered a wide range of pressing challenges of the global economy. Several outcome documents were adopted, including the G20 Osaka Leaders’ Declaration, the G20 Osaka Leaders' Statement on Preventing Exploitation of the Internet for Terrorism and Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism, and several supplementary documents on various topics.
The G20 Leaders’ Declaration demonstrated strong political leaderships of G20 on the issues of trade and investment, digital economy, quality infrastructure, women’s empowerment, global environmental challenges such as marine plastic litter, counter-terrorism among others. On the issue of climate change, the Leaders’ Declaration included differing views among the G20 member states. The G20, except one member state, confirmed its commitment to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement.
At the Summit, President Moon Jae-in urged G20 member states to take lead in easing trade tensions and protectionism as well as to proactively respond to the downside risk of the global economy. In this context, the President gave his support for WTO reform for a free and fair trade order and pledged Korea’s active engagement in relevant discussions. He also emphasized the peace-driven economy on the Korean Peninsula, which would be beneficial to all.
The 15th G20 Summit took place on November 21–22, 2020 in a virtual format. Under the main theme of “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All” and main working agenda items, such as empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers, the G20 leaders discussed ways to cooperate in various areas, including health, global economy, international financial architecture, international taxation, investment in infrastructure, sustainable development, employment, education, tourism, and displacement and refugee. As a result, 34 outcome documents, including the G20 Leaders’ Declaration and the Ministerial Declaration, were adopted.
Recognizing that solidarity and multilateral cooperation were essential more than ever to respond to COVID-19 and promote global economic recovery, the G20 leaders made progress with various agenda items, including the Debt Service Suspension Initiative, cross-border movement of people, and the digital economy. They also highlighted the need to maintain their high level of interest in women’s empowerment.
In his remarks at the summit, President Moon Jae-in explained to the leaders that Korea was able to overcome the COVID-19 crisis because Korean people played a central role in preventing the spread of the virus. He also mentioned that the Korean government quickly identified confirmed cases and prevented the transmission of the virus by staying transparent about the COVID-19 situation based on the principles of openness, transparency, and democracy. President Moon highlighted Korea’s commitment to developing COVID-19 vaccines and treatments and to strengthening cooperation and humanitarian aid through cooperation with the International Vaccine Institute. Underscoring the importance of swift recovery of the global economy, the president suggested that countries facilitate cross-border movement of people and necessary goods and called for strengthened cooperation and solidarity between the G20 countries in the fight against COVID-19.
The 2021 G20 Summit was held in Rome on October 30-31, the first face-to-face G20 Summit since the outbreak of COVID-19. The G20 Summit is often referred to as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, and the 2021 G20 Summit was the 16th meeting of the leaders of the Group of Twenty.
Under the theme of “People, Planet, Prosperity,” the G20 leaders discussed ways to increase cooperation on various G20 agenda items, especially the global economy, health, climate change, environment, and sustainable development. A total of 50 outcome documents were adopted, including the G20 Leaders’Declaration, 20 ministerial declarations, and various other working group documents.
The G20 leaders shared a sense of urgency in making a joint response to challenges such as the global health and climate crises and agreed on the need for better coordination between developed and developing countries. They also agreed to work together to provide support for the developing countries suffering from the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; enhancement of food security; the equal distribution of vaccines; and women empowerment. Significant outcomes of the summit include the G20 leaders’ support for the goal of vaccinating at least 70% of the global population by mid-2022, their endorsement on the agreement on international taxation, and their commitment to putting and end to international public financing for new unabated coal power generation abroad by 2021.
At the summit, President Moon introduced Korea’s successful pandemic policy and financial relief measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. He also pledged to provide support through COVAX and bilateral agreements to help improve access to vaccines in developing countries. Highlighting the urgent need to tackle the climate crisis, President Moon promised Korea would increase its nationally determined contributions for 2030 and join in the Global Methane Pledge to cut methane emissions. He also reaffirmed Korea’s commitment to providing financial support to developing countries to help them achieve carbon-neutrality, while urging for solidarity and cooperation among nations for an inclusive recovery. In addition, President Moon participated in the Global Supply Chain Resilience Summit hosted by President Biden of the US. In his lead speech, President Moon stressed the need for coordinated action to address global supply chain issues.