The Future of the G20 and Its Place in Global Governance

to appear in CIGI

Paul Heinbecker

Published: April 2011

Keywords: G20, Global Financial Crisis, UN, Global Governance, L20/G20


Despite the success of the G20 in helping prevent the 2008 global financial crisis from becoming an economic depression, the group can do more in the area of effective global governance, particularly on economic and security issues, says CIGI Distinguished Fellow Paul Heinbecker in the fifth instalment in CIGI's G20 Paper series.

The G20 could play a major role in determining whether we are to live in a time of enhanced cooperative governance or in a zero-sum international competition. To achieve its potential, Heinbecker calls for a "reciprocal, strong relationship" between the G20 and the UN, and stresses the importance of the G20's relationship to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Based on the evolution of the G8, he suggests that the G20 will begin to consider adding political and security issues to its agenda. The author highlights the world's most pressing hybrid issues, which a broader G20 agenda could help to tackle, such as "the economic and financial dimensions of climate change, food and energy security, and support for the political transformation of the Middle East and North Africa, which will have major economic dimensions and impact."

A former ambassador and permanent representative of Canada to the UN, Paul Heinbecker is one of Canada's most experienced commentators on foreign policy and international governance.

Disciplines: Governance

Publication: the-future-of-the-g20-and-its-place-in-global-governance.pdf