BEIJING, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) industrial and emerging countries will gather in Toronto, Canada, on June 26-27 to discuss ways to consolidate the recovery of the world economy and the reform of the international financial system in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
This will be the fourth G20 summit since the global financial crisis started in 2008. The following are some basic facts about the G20.
The G20 was initiated at a meeting of G7 finance ministers in Washington D.C., in September 1999 when the Asian financial crisis had wakened the world's economic powers to the need of incorporating key industrial and emerging market countries into the global economic and financial policy making.
The inaugural meeting of the organization took place in Berlin in December 1999 and was attended by finance ministers and central bank governors from G20 members.
The G20 has a membership comprising 19 countries and a regional bloc, including the G7 nations, namely, the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada, and Russia, China, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey as well as the European Union.
The G20 nations, with two thirds of the world's population, account for more than 80 percent of its economic output and about 80 percent of global trade.
Serving as an unofficial ministerial negotiation mechanism, the G20 operates without a permanent secretariat. Finance ministers and central bank governors of G20 members hold annual meetings with a rotating presidency.
In 2008, against the backdrop of deepening financial crisis, the G20 held a meeting at the head-of-state level in Washington D.C. of the United States in November.
The G20 top leaders gathered for a second time in London in April 2009 and a third time in Pittsburg, the United States, in September the same year to further their job of stabilizing the global financial system and reviving the world's economy.
China, a founding member of the G20, hosted the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors during its presidency in 2005.