We are confronted today by multiple crises that are complex in nature and global in scope. Seemingly intractable state fragility and violent extremism threaten the stability of entire regions and worldwide displacement is at the highest level ever recorded. The impact of climate change is already apparent in rising sea levels and altered landscapes, resulting in the loss of habitats, lives and livelihoods. These and other global challenges demand comprehensive, global solutions that are designed and implemented by governance institutions and processes that are inclusive, agile and responsive.
Delivering effective solutions to the transnational challenges of the 21st Century requires reforming important elements of the system of global governance established in the mid-20th Century, and engaging new stakeholders through dynamic, flexible arrangements. It was this imperative that led The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Stimson Center to convene the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance, which was co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright and former Foreign Minister of Nigeria, Ibrahim Gambari. The analysis and recommendations contained in its final report, “Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance,” aim to develop new frameworks for collective action in response to a range of threats to global security and justice. Several recommendations concern the G20 and its role in global governance.
The G20 is uniquely able to play a pivotal role in enhancing the effectiveness and legitimacy of contemporary global governance – its membership transcends significant geopolitical divides, represents two-thirds of the world’s population, and accounts for approximately 80% of Gross World Product. The efficiency of its decision-making processes is undoubtedly enhanced by the relatively small number of actors involved at the leadership level. To leverage its strengths in support of the global public good, however, the G20 must give serious thought to how it can be more inclusive and consultative, and how its efforts can have a truly global impact.