About the Leaders-20
Established in 2003 by the Centre for Global Studies (CFGS) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the L20 project explores the concept of a forum for leaders to reach pragmatic solutions to critical global problems in an informal setting. A forum at the Leaders' level is the only means by which cross-cutting package deals can be crafted as Leaders can transcend the traditional silos of government ministries and international institutions. Leaders have the ability to mobilize their governments through top-down political direction, ensuring their global promises translate into national action. Leaders can also rise above domestic politics and adopt policies that provide global collective benefits. Through this "capacity building", Leaders can apply peer pressure and clarify enlightened self interest in coordinating actions on deadlocked global crises. In addition, inter-personal trust among Leaders allows for candid discussion of sensitive issues without political posturing.
The L20 project explores the potential for the discussion of pragmatic ideas and strategies in reaching consensus on otherwise insolvable issues. The group of 20 leaders in global governance would be similar in country composition to the existing Finance Ministers G20, therefore small enough to be effective yet large enough to represent the world's diversity. This process includes multiple preparatory meetings during which political "sherpas" (Leaders' personal representatives) from each country involved refine the problem being addressed and debate possible solutions. The political "sherpas" produce a draft communiqué, which forms the basis for discussion and decision by heads of government at the Leaders Forum.
The L20 project was rolled out in three phases. During the first phase, meetings held in Canada and Italy revealed strong governmental and non-governmental support for the creation of a Summit of Leaders modeled after the G20 (Finance Ministers forum). Phase II and III built on that support, introducing a series of topical meetings that focused on intractable issues such as climate policy, agricultural subsidies, water issues and financial crises. The meetings provided insights into how the L20 could assist in solving global problems and established key criteria for developing the agenda for an initial L20 meeting. In-depth reports on each of the meetings are contained in the L20 Library.
About 'Breaking Global Deadlocks'
"Breaking Global Deadlocks" emerged from the L20 project to test its feasibility. The aim is to demonstrate the merits of a Leaders Forum approach to those who have the power to catalyze the first Leaders Forum meeting. The project hopes to translate the L-20 idea from a theory into practice.
The meetings conducted through out the L20 phases helped shape the direction and focus of the Breaking Global Deadlocks Project. As a result, the project simulated examining Climate Change and Energy Security in a Leaders’ forum-like preparatory process. We also reduced the group of 20 to 14 (L14) for the simulation. We adopted the Gleneagles formula of the "+5+", adding Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa to the G8 countries and added Egypt, to include an Islamic country.