The Group of 20 was founded in the shadow of the G7 of 1999 in Berlin. The idea was to create a comprehensive forum for world leaders to discuss international economic issues. Even though it provides an excellent opportunity to reach binding agreements between world leaders, the summit usually ends with a non-binding summary of the discussed topics. The G20 summit has been held annually since 2011, and consists of the heads of state of many of the most powerful players in the international community. The G20 is seen by most countries as an informal forum where the economic world leaders could discuss pressing economic issues. However, in recent years more and more issues less related to the world economy have been the topic of discussions in the G20. In the most recent G20 summit of 2017 issues such as gender equality, migration and development aid were determined as vital points in their agenda. Generally, the aim of a G20 summit is to reach consensus regarding important topics. Yet, this does often mean that the most controversial issues are excluded from the summit itself. Nevertheless, having consensus as the basis of debate and discussions does give the G20 widespread political support.
Topics of 2018
A: “Too Big to Fail”
Currency, one of the basic principles of human society. Something which has been given a status of both evil and good, even though it fundamentally boils down to paper and metal. A representation of the worth of certain goods, or better yet a tool that facilitates trade. However, our modern society has increasingly become a more global community not only connecting people but also its economies, thus demanding more versatility and application possibilities of our currency. Among others, unfettered investments in a wide range of goods, which sometimes have a very whimsical nature, eventually resulted in the financial crisis of 2008, which impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. The world woke up to the realisation that despite our political and cultural differences, our economies and businesses are heavily interdependent. Many big businesses which have a fundamental role in our economy such as banks, share an economic power, that influence both national as international economies. One of the bombshells that hit the world was that even these businesses can fail which would result in the collapse of the American economy and consequently the world economy.
During the G20 session of TEIMUN 2018 the delegates will have to find a lasting solution to this important issue. The main focus will be finding safeguards as to prevent the fall of major integral businesses. However, during their search for answers the delegates must keep in mind the underlying causes of the previous financial crisis and as such try to protect the future world economy from the fickle nature of humanity.
B: Climate Change
The climate has always been changing over time. Our planet warms up and it cools off over periods of thousands of years. But in the last century the Earth has warmed up more rapidly and the vast majority of the scientists nowadays agree that this is due to human activity. Consequently, the world must deal with rising sea levels, bigger floods and more extreme droughts. Among other things climate change threatens the world’s capacity to feed a growing population and thus needs to be addressed. As a transnational issue that affects all, states need to work together. Given that responding to climate change would mean changes in domestic politics in different countries and at different levels, loosely integrated regimes based on flexible cooperation like the G20 summit could prove to be of key importance in addressing this issue. At the G20 Summit of 2017 19 of the 20 states reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement and stressed the importance of a ‘resilient, sustainable, and green recovery’ building on the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, where the states agreed on phasing out inefficient fossil fuel energy subsidies. During the G20 summit of TEIMUN 2018 the delegates will have to come up with a progressive action plan backed by the whole of the international community with more practical implications than ever before to address the issue of climate change. It will require innovative thinking and swaying voices to convince the world to take an actual step forward instead of giving in to the tempting calls of isolationism and protectionism.