On December 1, 2012, Russia assumed the rotating chair of the Group of Twenty (G20), the premier forum for global economic coordination. It did so at a time of growing uncertainty about the future role of the G20 and gnawing doubts about the ability of the organization to fulfill past promises.
Hoping to assist the government of Russia in defining priorities for its year-long chairmanship, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Moscow-based Institute for Contemporary Development (INSOR) solicited short memos from their partners in the Council of Councils (CoC), an international network of premier policy institutions roughly tracking the G20’s own membership. The eleven CoC contributions included here provide diverse opinions and perspectives regarding the G20’s recent performance, its current challenges, and its potential future directions. These memos have circulated widely in Moscow, including with Russian finance ministry officials, the Russian G20 sherpa—Ksenia Yudaeva—and her negotiating team. Each memo included here reflects the personal opinion of the author.