Domestically, the decision for Korea to take on the presidency of the Group of 20 (G-20) in 2010 was received with both excitement and concern. It was the first presidency by a country not a member of the Group of Seven. There was also skepticism that, as the world economy recovers, the sense of urgency for G-20 actions would weaken, slowing the momentum for close policy coordination among G-20 members. Against this backdrop, Korea embarked on its year of presidency and took on the challenge of alleviating such concerns and reaffirming the G-20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation.
The Seoul summit, which marked the end of Korea’s presidency, was a success. We were able to draw meaningful conclusions on all issues on the agenda that, for many of us, seemed like a daunting challenge to begin with. Such success is a testament to Korea’s capacity as a global leader as well as to the importance of the G-20 in addressing global challenges.