The main problem with the G20 is that different countries have to balance their international commitments with domestic politics, not the easiest task in the world. Jim Hoagland argues in the Washington Post today that it seems very hard for a real consensus to be reached because of this very problem. My contention would be that the G20 is supposed to do one thing: provide a framework. In that respect, it is a very effective organization. It is supposed to make sure that all the countries in the organization are on the same page. Think of it like the global chamber of commerce.
This means that the U.S. does not have to institute the exact policies espoused by the G20, but it does help for international image. Its main job is to provide a reference point to the world on political and economic management. In that regard, it is a very effective organization.
Photo Credit: Washington Post