Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Thursday he would remain in office until his term ends in September while ceding authority to Vice President Omar Suleiman. His address to the nation, and a following speech by Suleiman, served only to further inflame the hundreds of thousands of protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square who had expected to hear that he was stepping down altogether. Experts were divided on whether Egypt’s army, its most powerful and respected institution, would side with demonstrators and force Mubarak out.

Whether this would result in democratic rule, however, remains a very open question. If Suleiman takes full power, he is expected to be a ruthless authoritarian akin to Mubarak, and there is little reason to expect an honest election later this year. But if the army takes over and announces it will oversee a transition to democracy, there is vast uncertainty as well.

One survey by Pechter Middle East Polls shows the most powerful factor driving recent demonstrations is anger over the economy and high unemployment, especially among well-educated young people. The same poll says the Muslim Brotherhood – the powerful religious group feared by the U.S., Israel and Mubarak alike – is only viewed positively by 15 percent of the those surveyed. This offers hope for creation of a secular, Turkey-like democracy.

However, other polls are alarming. A Gallup survey showed Egyptians support democracy, but most define the term as theocracy, with two-thirds saying Islamic law alone should govern the country. This suggests creation of a nominal democracy dominated by Muslim authoritarians – a prospect that bodes ill for Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority and could prompt the army to suspend a transition to democracy.

The implications of this tumult for the U.S. – and Israel, which has peacefully cooperated with its western neighbor for three decades – are unsettling. If the army maintains power with U.S. support – and the continuation of $2 billion in annual U.S. aid – only an economic turnaround is likely to stem further public unrest. But changing who governs Egypt won’t in the short term change endemic problems – corrupt public institutions, relatively few natural resources, poorly developed export industries – that keep the economy weak. A revolt remains possible, one that could bring to power an Iran-style regime that abrogates the Egypt-Israel peace treaty and turns the Sinai Peninsula into a battleground again.

Obviously, the stakes are high, and not just for Egyptians yearning for change.

Meanwhile, the Arab world’s perception of U.S. hypocrisy is likely to grow. America’s preference for stable regimes, dictatorial or otherwise, may be defensible, but it is hard to reconcile with our noble rhetorical championing of democracy. So much for a “hearts and minds” strategy to improve the U.S. image in the Middle East and in other Islamic nations so as to lessen the support for jihad against the West.


G-20 Seoul Summit to Be Held on November 11-12, 2010

The Presidential Committee for the G-20 Summit, which is chaired by Dr. Sakong Il, announced today that the G-20 Seoul Summit will be held this coming November 11-12. Before the date was announced, the committee explained its decision to the G-20 member nations through diplomatic channels.

Dr. Sakong said, “The G-20 Summit Committee will endeavor to make the summit a success by pooling support from all government ministries and agencies.” He went on to say, “We all need to channel our efforts to elevate Korea’s prestige and upgrade our society on the occasion of the G-20 Summit.”

G-20-related events will be held throughout the year leading up to the Seoul Summit in November. The first such meeting will be the Meeting of Finance Ministry and Central Bank Deputies to be held in Songdo, Incheon February 27-28.

Attachment: 1. Schedule for G-20-Related Events

2. Overview of the G-20


Schedule for G-20-Related Events




February 27-28

Meeting of Finance Ministry and Central Bank Deputies

Songdo, Incheon, Korea

April 23

Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

Washington, D.C., the United States


Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

Busan, Korea

June 26-27

Fourth G-20 Summit in Canada

Toronto, Canada


Meeting of Finance Ministry and Central Bank Deputies

Gwangju, Korea


Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

Washington, D.C., the United States

October or November

Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

Gyeongju, Korea

November 11-12

Fifth G-20 Summit in Korea

Seoul, Korea

*Sherpas are high-level representatives from the G-20 member countries.


Overview of the G-20

1. Background

In response to the global financial crisis in late 2008, the United States convened the Group of 20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy on November 14–15, 2008, in Washington, D.C. It was attended by the leaders of the member nations of the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meetings. At the third G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh in 2009, the leaders designated the G-20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation.

The G-20 is made up of seven advanced economies, 12 emerging economies and the EU. Member nations of this body account for over 85 percent of the world’s GDP and are home to two-thirds of the global population.

The member nations include the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, South Korea, Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the EU.

2. Major Agreements

The First Meeting (Held in Washington, D.C., the U.S., November 14–15, 2008)

During the first meeting, member countries agreed to implement economic stimulus measures, including fiscal and monetary policy instruments, to prevent the financial crisis from spilling over into the real economy. They also agreed to refrain from raising new barriers to investment or trade in goods and services and from imposing new export restrictions for the coming 12 months. Also agreed on were common principles for financial reforms. 3

The Second Meeting (Held in London, the U.K., April 2, 2009)

This meeting decided to implement expansionary fiscal measures mobilizing up to US$5 trillion through 2010 with a view to shoring up global growth and employment. Policy measures were expected to aim at improving financial regulations, stabilizing financial markets and expanding liquidity for emerging nations. Steps were to be taken to deter protectionism and boost international trade and investments.

The Third Meeting (Held in Pittsburgh, the U.S., September 24-25, 2009)

The member countries agreed to hold the meeting annually in order to make it serve as the premier consultative body for international economic cooperation. The meeting agreed to strengthen international coordination in macroeconomic policies while preparing for eventual exit strategies from the emergency fiscal measures.

The summit emphasized the need to faithfully follow through on the agreements made in the London G-20 Summit to bring stability to the global financial market. The leaders saw eye to eye on the need to beef up funds for major international financial organizations, reform them and continue to strengthen financial regulations.

The meeting also agreed to prepare international cooperative measures for sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy. It also reiterated the importance of discouraging protectionism and furthering the DDA (Doha Development Agenda) and other multi-lateral trade processes. The meeting stressed the need to solidify efforts to support developing economies.

3. The 2010 G-20 Summits

The Fourth G-20 Summit is slated for June 26-27 in Toronto, Canada and the fifth for November 11-12 in Seoul, Korea.



the G-20

The Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was established in 1999 to bring together systemically important industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy. The inaugural meeting of the G-20 took place in Berlin, on December 15-16, 1999, hosted by German and Canadian finance ministers.


The G-20 is the premier forum for our international economic development that promotes open and constructive discussion between industrial and emerging-market countries on key issues related to global economic stability. By contributing to the strengthening of the international financial architecture and providing opportunities for dialogue on national policies, international co-operation, and international financial institutions, the G-20 helps to support growth and development across the globe.


The G-20 was created as a response both to the financial crises of the late 1990s and to a growing recognition that key emerging-market countries were not adequately included in the core of global economic discussion and governance. Prior to the G-20 creation, similar groupings to promote dialogue and analysis had been established at the initiative of the G-7. The G-22 met at Washington D.C. in April and October 1998. Its aim was to involve non-G-7 countries in the resolution of global aspects of the financial crisis then affecting emerging-market countries. Two subsequent meetings comprising a larger group of participants (G-33) held in March and April 1999 discussed reforms of the global economy and the international financial system. The proposals made by the G-22 and the G-33 to reduce the world economy's susceptibility to crises showed the potential benefits of a regular international consultative forum embracing the emerging-market countries. Such a regular dialogue with a constant set of partners was institutionalized by the creation of the G-20 in 1999.


The G-20 is made up of the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries:














Saudi Arabia

South Africa

Republic of Korea


United Kingdom

United States of America

The European Union, who is represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank, is the 20th member of the G-20. To ensure global economic fora and institutions work together, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the President of the World Bank, plus the chairs of the International Monetary and Financial Committee and Development Committee of the IMF and World Bank, also participate in G-20 meetings on an ex-officio basis. The G-20 thus brings together important industrial and emerging-market countries from all regions of the world. Together, member countries represent around 90 per cent of global gross national product, 80 per cent of world trade (including EU intra-trade) as well as two-thirds of the world's population. The G-20's economic weight and broad membership gives it a high degree of legitimacy and influence over the management of the global economy and financial system.

Achievements The G-20 has progressed a range of issues since 1999, including agreement about policies for growth, reducing abuse of the financial system, dealing with financial crises and combating terrorist financing. The G-20 also aims to foster the adoption of internationally recognized standards through the example set by its members in areas such as the transparency of fiscal policy and combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In 2004, G-20 countries committed to new higher standards of transparency and exchange of information on tax matters. This aims to combat abuses of the financial system and illicit activities including tax evasion. The G-20 has also aimed to develop a common view among members on issues related to further development of the global economic and financial system.

To tackle the financial and economic crisis that spread across the globe in 2008, the G20 members were called upon to further strengthen international cooperation. Accordingly, the G20 Summits have been held in Washington in 2008, in London and Pittsburgh in 2009, and in Toronto and Seoul in 2010.

The concerted and decisive actions of the G20, with its balanced membership of developed and developing countries helped the world deal effectively with the financial and economic crisis, and the G20 has already delivered a number of significant and concrete outcomes:

First, the scope of financial regulation has been largely broadened, and prudential regulation and supervision have been strengthened. There was also great progress in policy coordination thanks to the creation of the framework for a strong, sustainable and balanced growth designed to enhance macroeconomic cooperation among the G20 members and therefore to mitigate the impact of the crisis. Finally, global governance has dramatically improved to better take into consideration the role and the needs of emerging of developing countries, especially through the ambitious reforms of the governance of the IMF and the World Bank.


Unlike international institutions such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), IMF or World Bank, the G-20 (like the G-7) has no permanent staff of its own. The G-20 chair rotates between members, and is selected from a different regional grouping of countries each year. In 2011 the G-20 chair is France. The chair is part of a revolving three-member management Troika of past, present and future chairs. The incumbent chair establishes a temporary secretariat for the duration of its term, which coordinates the group's work and organizes its meetings. The role of the Troika is to ensure continuity in the G-20's work and management across host years.

Former G-20 Chairs

1999-2001 Canada

2002 India

2003 Mexico

2004 Germany

2005 China

2006 Australia

2007 South Africa

2008 Brazil

2009 United Kingdom

2010 Republic of Korea

Meetings and activities

It is normal practice for the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors to meet once a year. The ministers' and governors' meeting is usually preceded by two deputies' meetings and extensive technical work. This technical work takes the form of workshops, reports and case studies on specific subjects, that aim to provide ministers and governors with contemporary analysis and insights, to better inform their consideration of policy challenges and options.

Interaction with other international organizations

The G-20 cooperates closely with various other major international organizations and fora, as the potential to develop common positions on complex issues among G-20 members can add political momentum to decision-making in other bodies. The participation of the President of the World Bank, the Managing Director of the IMF and the chairs of the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee in the G-20 meetings ensures that the G-20 process is well integrated with the activities of the Bretton Woods Institutions. The G-20 also works with, and encourages, other international groups and organizations, such as the Financial Stability Board and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, in progressing international and domestic economic policy reforms. In addition, experts from private-sector institutions and non-government organisations are invited to G-20 meetings on an ad hoc basis in order to exploit synergies in analyzing selected topics and avoid overlap.

External communication

The country currently chairing the G-20 posts details of the group's meetings and work program on a dedicated website. Although participation in the meetings is reserved for members, the public is informed about what was discussed and agreed immediately after the meeting of ministers and governors has ended. After each meeting of ministers and governors, the G-20 publishes a communiqué which records the agreements reached and measures outlined. Material on the forward work program is also made public.