Global Governance | Analysis and New Insights
Making Multilateralism Work: How the G-20 Can Help the United NationsDownload
The issue of relations between the United Nations and the G-20 is usually cast in terms of the G-20 stealing the United Nations’ thunder. But this misunderstands the nature of the G-20, the purposes and strengths of the United Nations, and the potential relationship between the two. Rather than viewing the G-20 as a threatened usurper of the United Nations, this analysis brief regards the universality of the United Nations as an enduring political strength of the organization. It also assumes that the G-20 (like the G-8 before it) will have minimal operational or actionable roles and will depend on the formal institutions to implement most, if not all, of its major initiatives. Given their nature, then, there is a necessary relationship between the G-20 and similar bodies and formal, inclusive institutions. A better way to think about the relationship between the two entities is to ask if the G-20 helps the United Nations perform and reform.
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