It is four years since, in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, the Group of 20 (G20) was created as a key forum for global governance. But despite its initial promise as a useful means of marshalling a coordinated response to the crisis, cooperation among G20 governments has since become more difficult as they focus on domestic economic and political issues, and the body's effectiveness has declined.

It is four years since, in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, the Group of 20 (G20) was created as a key forum for global governance. But despite its initial promise as a useful means of marshalling a coordinated response to the crisis, cooperation among G20 governments has since become more difficult as they focus on domestic economic and political issues, and the body's effectiveness has declined.

Meeting in Mexico City on 4–5 November, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors will take forward consultations on global financial-sector reform and regulation, as well as plans for restructuring multilateral financial institutions. These changes are all the more necessary because the legacies of the 2008 crisis, including slow growth and Europe's debt problems, continue to overshadow the global economy. Ahead of the meeting, Mexico's Deputy Finance Minister Gerardo Rodriguez expressed the hope that Europe's 'financially troubled countries' would make the most of safety nets, including Europe's bailout fund, so as to limit the 'uncertainty damaging the global economy'.

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