Increasing strategic competition among major powers has had a negative effect on the efficacy of formal multilateral cooperation. This has also been reflected in informal forums such as the G7, G20 and BRICS. Yet some new dynamics have emerged.

Since Russia was excluded from the G8 in 2014, the G7 has become a key forum for Western cooperation. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has further geared the group towards a stronghold of Western economies and democracies.

The BRICS group has continued to meet at leaders’ level, and has consolidated its position. Despite variation in its members’ interests, the group aims to balance the G7, and its importance for China and Russia has been elevated.

Currently, the G20 constitutes a forum in which strategic competition can potentially be managed. Along with the G7 and BRICS countries, other powers play an increasingly notable role. The dynamics of the group also displays an increasing “Southernization” of informal multilateral cooperation.

Alana Saul