I blogged last year how I was walking back at night to our 2M Europe Office in Paris’ Latin Quarter 5th district and while passing the Place d’Italie, I suddenly found myself surrounded by illuminated billboards boasting our River City Brisbane ahead of the G20 Summit 2014. With Angela Merkel, Barak Obama and other Heads of State en route to the Queensland capital in November, Brisbane is the exciting place to be.
The event still felt like a long way away at that time… well, 2014 is now well and truly underway, and so are the G20 preparations everywhere including here at 2M. The 2M Team has been busy attending G20 briefings and related events and have already been involved in translating letters to the Heads of State and other information, as well as advising on simultaneous conference interpreting requirements.
With this global event right on our doorstep, I thought I’d give you a brief run down on what the G20 is actually about.
What is the G20?
The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier forum for international economic cooperation and decision-making, with members from 19 countries plus the European Union. G20 leaders, finance ministers and central bank governors meet regularly to discuss ways to strengthen the global economy, reform international financial institutions and improve financial regulation.
When does the 2014 G20 take place?
Whilst the Leaders Summit takes place in Brisbane on 15 & 16 November 2014, the G20 is actually not one single event, but a series of events held throughout the year and different locations in Australia as well as worldwide. The Finance Ministers Meeting is on 20 and 21 September in Cairns, but there are plenty of other G20 related meetings from Hobart to Perth throughout the year.
Who belongs to the G20?
G20 members account for 85 percent of the world economy, 80 percent of global trade, and two-thirds of the world’s population. The G20 represents all geographic regions of the world, and members of the G20 are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union.
Each G20 host extends five invitations to guest countries.
Australia has invited Spain (permanent invitee); Myanmar, as the 2014 Chair of ASEAN; Senegal representing the New Partnership for Africa’s Development; Singapore and New Zealand.
The Chair of the African Union (AU) will also be invited.
The G20 and languages
With leaders from this variety of countries present, you can just imagine how crucial accurate interpreting and language services are for the G20. Conference interpreting plays a prime role at these meetings. For a quick overview on what simultaneous interpreting involves, watch my brief 3 minute guide on Lingo Facto’s expert series, or read our previous blog here.
How did the G20 evolve?
The first G20 leaders’ meeting took place in Washington in 2008. In the years that followed, further summits were held in London, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Seoul, Cannes, Los Cabos and St Petersburg.
The actions of G20 leaders in response to the 2008-09 global economic crisis restored consumer and business confidence and supported the first stages of economic recovery. The London Summit was pivotal, with leaders agreeing to deliver unprecedented domestic fiscal stimulus packages estimated at over US$5 trillion, as well as to provide an additional US$1.1 trillion in resources for the IMF, the multilateral development banks and increased support for trade finance.
The G20 agenda also now encompasses work on such issues as trade, development, anti-corruption, food security and employment.
The G20 leaders’ meetings follow on from the G20 financial ministers’ and central bank governors’ meetings that were established in response to the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. This will be held in Cairns this year.
Unlike international organisations such as the OECD, IMF and the World Bank, the G20 does not have a permanent secretariat. The chair rotates between members and is selected from a different regional grouping of countries each year. Australia’s G20 Taskforce, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, is managing the events this year.
How does the G20 work?
The G20 works closely with a number of key international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the United Nations (UN), and the International Labour Organization (ILO). Representatives from regional organisations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the African Union (AU), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have attended various G20 Summits.
The topics for the Summit are prepared by so-called “Sherpas” who meet at various times throughout the year.
G20 – that’s it?
No, this is actually just one part of it all, albeit the most high-profile one. These important engagement groups complete the entire spectrum:
B20 (Business 20, chaired by the MD of Wesfarmers Mr Richard Goyder AO);
C20 (Civil Society 20, chaired by Reverend Tim Costello AO);
L20 (Labour 20, chaired by the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Ms Gerardine Kearney);
T20 (Think 20, organised by the Lowy Institute for International Policy’s G20 Studies Centre);
Y20 (Youth 20, organised by the Australian Y20 Planning Group).
G20 Security – how will it impact my business?
Qld Police Service are partnering with State and Commonwealth Government agencies to deliver a safe, secure and effective security operation and work along with the business community in the execution of Queensland based 2014 G20 events. If you have any questions regarding possible G20 impacts, please contact Business Engagement Manager Senior Sergeant Scott Harris on G20.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07 3015 3460.
Brisbane Marketing has been busy ensuring Brisbane and Brisbane businesses get most out of this event; for more info contact Michelle Wade on email@example.com. I am just about to head back to Paris in a week’s time and I look forward to proudly spreading the word and seeing G20 Brisbane billboards and exposure all around Europe.
Written by Tea C. Dietterich, CEO of 2M Language Services.
Tea heading to 2M Europe Office in Paris