Through the prism of the G20, the world’s premier forum for international economic cooperation, we have learnt that the complicated challenges of the 21st century cannot be tackled without coordinated and collective action. The gradual expansion of the G20 agenda responds to the fact that managing risks of a non-economic nature, such as geopolitical tensions, climate change, migration and terrorism, have become ever more critical to the stability of the global economy. Agreement has not always been easy and results do not always come swiftly. However, this is how the G20 can make progress. Almost a decade after the financial crisis, we are confronted with an unprecedented global challenge in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has intensified geopolitical rivalries, especially between the US and China, whose bilateral relations matter to global stability. In geopolitics, a nation has no permanent economic competitors, systemic rivals or negotiating partners, but only permanent interests. To some G20 Leaders, their relationships with their peers define their national interests. As with many Summits, the G20 is no exception: what is said behind closed doors can reveal more about current power dynamics than statements made in the public arena.
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