By: Josh Lipsky
What is the kernel of the issue?
The Biden Administration has a unique opportunity to revitalize the G20 in its first 100 days. The G20 Leaders’ Summit was created during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and became the key forum to coordinate the rescue of the global economy. However, in the years since it has lost some of its focus and influence.
Why is the issue important?
With another global economic crisis underway, the G20 can prove it is still relevant. It is of the few multilateral bodies that represents all of the world’s largest economies, including China. If the G20 cannot rise to the challenge now than the usefulness of the G20 going forward will be in question.
What is the recommendation?
President Biden should work with new Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi to flip the script on the usual order of operations. Instead of waiting until the end of 2021 for a leaders’ meeting, Biden and Draghi can call immediately for an extraordinary summit focused on vaccine distribution. This would be the logical next step after today’s announcement at the G7 that the US will contribute $ 4 billion dollars to COVAX. By restoring confidence in the G20, Biden can send a signal that America is ready to help lead the world in tackling the most pressing health and economic challenge in a generation.