Center for Governance and Sustainability

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

G20 + 3Gs

pg. 35: The international system recently took a big step in the direction of greater legitimacy through the expansion of the Group of 8 Leaders’ gathering into the Group of 20. Just because the G20 countries are the largest does not necessarily mean that they will always have the best ideas or the best interests of the entire international community at heart. Indeed, the history of international relations is replete with examples of large powers reaching agreements that advance their own national interests at the expense of smaller states. Thus, particularly at such a formative moment in international governance, it is constructive that 23 small and medium-sized states have formed the Global Governance Group for the purpose of contributing an additional intergovernmental cross-section of views to the debate.


Readers' Guide Comment on “through the expansion of Group of 8 Leaders’ gathering into the Group of 20”

This is an interesting factual error. The G8 still exists. The G8 members in the G20 agreed that military-political matters will be kept in G7/G8 and not moved to the G20 forum. 1

Readers' Guide Comment on “the Global Governance Group"

The Global Governance Group (3Gs) 2 was nurtured into existence by Singapore, partly as the next generation of organization of developing countries (a sequel to NAM, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the G77), and partly in response to the newly created G20. WEF recognizes the potential of large powers to reach agreements at the expense of smaller states and therefore welcomes the 3Gs as a counter-weight to the G20. WEF does not indicate how 3Gs could structurally act as a counter-force to the G20, nor does the GRI report make any further reference to the 3Gs.

In addition to the 3Gs there is also another global re-alignment that acts as a potential counterweight to the G20. The g7+ is a group of nineteen of the world’s most fragile states.These states have joined together to share experiences and to “lobby international actors to engage more effectively in fragile and conflict affected countries and regions.”  While the g7+ 3 was established in April 2010 in Dili, Timor-Leste before the conclusion of the GRI study, it is not mentioned in the report.

Related Ideas: Three Special Mechanisms; G20: The Global Leaders

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