The role of the G20 in WTO governance

Cho, Sungjoon; Sieber, Charlotte (2011). The role of the G20 in WTO governance. In: WTO Public Forum 2010: The Forces Shaping World Trade (pp. 29-33). Geneva, Switzerland: World Trade Organization

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Report by Professor Sungjoon Cho, Associate Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law (Chair), and Charlotte Sieber-Gasser, Doctoral Research Fellow, World Trade Institute, University of Bern, Session 27, WTO Public Forum 2010: The Forces Shapping World Trade, pp.29-33.

In the course of the financial crisis, the global geography of power has shifted from G8 to G20. The latter, although representing roughly two thirds of global trade, consists of relatively a small number of global players and is consequently excluding many others from decision-making at the international stage. Nevertheless, the G20 has been successful in its reaction to the financial crisis and became therewith an important new player within the international community. When highlighting how the G20 might interfere with the WTO, the panel voiced concerns over the political legitimacy of the G20, given the limited number of members and the global impact of its decisions. It agreed on the impression that although the G20 intends to extend its debates from the financial sector to world economy in general, it has so far little achieved in this direction, particularly when it comes to moving the Doha agenda forward. It remains, thus, open how the G20 will evolve in the coming few years, and what mandates it will shed or adopt. So far, the G20 has complemented the WTO and international financial institutions in handling the financial crisis. Yet, even if there is little evidence pointing towards a less cooperative role in the future, the desirability of a G20 commitment in WTO trade negotiations has yet to be debated. The panel concluded by providing ideas on how the potential of the G20 might be used to serve global interests even better in the future.

In their concluding remarks, the panellists agreed that it remains to be seen whether or not the G20 will further broaden its agenda. Given the ebbing away of the financial crisis there is even the question whether the G20 will remain an important international forum for financial collaboration, or whether it has already served its cause and will eventually disappear from the international stage. The Chair concluded the well attended and lively panel with voicing the hope that the two international bodies – the G20 and the WTO – will work in a positive way together in the future and face the challenges and opportunities in their collaboration to the benefit of everyone.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > World Trade Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > World Trade Institute

02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation

UniBE Contributor:

Sieber, Charlotte


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law


978-92-870-3751-0 2010


World Trade Organization




Pablo Rahul Das

Date Deposited:

28 Jul 2016 11:09

Last Modified:

20 Feb 2020 08:52




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