The Group of Twenty (G20) was formed in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis as a forum for Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to discuss global economic and financial issues. It comprises 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, United Kingdom, and the United States) and the European Union. The G20 members represent around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.
G20 is a rotational form of Presidency so it does not have a permanent secretariat or staff. Due to the the global economic and financial crisis of 2007, and 2009, The G20 was upgraded to the level of Heads of State/Government. Since then G20 Leaders have met regularly, and it has become the premier forum for international economic cooperation. The forum discusses broad macroeconomic issues, as well as agendas in terms of trade, climate change, sustainable development, health, agriculture, energy, environment, climate change, and anti-corruption.
There are two committees to look into the functioning of G20 divided on the basis of the subject matters they delve into which are the Sherpa Track and the Finance Track.
Sherpa Working Group focuses on Socio-economic issues such as agriculture, anti-corruption, climate, digital economy, education, employment, energy, environment, health, tourism, trade, and investment. It further comprises various working groups such as I. Agriculture Working Group
II. Anti-corruption Working Group
III. Culture Working Group
IV. Development Working Group
V. Digital Economy Working Group 4
VI. Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group
VII. Education Working Group
VIII. Employment Working Group
IX. Energy Transitions Working Group
X. Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group
XI. Health Working Group
XII. Tourism Working Group
XIII. Trade and Investment Working Group
The Finance Working Group is headed by the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and focuses on Fiscal and monetary policy issues such as the global economy, infrastructure, financial regulation, financial inclusion, international financial architecture, and international taxation. It comprises various Working Groups such as
I. Framework Working Group
II. International Financial Architecture Working Group
III. Infrastructure Working Group
IV. Sustainable Finance Working Group
V. Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion
VI. Joint Finance and Health Task Force
VII. International Taxation Issues
VIII. Financial Sector Issues
India’s G20 Presidency
For the first time, India took G20’s Presidency in December 2022, which marks a significant milestone for India’s global leadership role. With the motto of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or the ‘World is One Family’, India aims to discuss and address pressing issues of a diverse economy, technological prowess, and commitment to sustainable development, along with inclusive growth, digital innovation, climate resilience, and equitable global health access. India’s G20 Presidency is scheduled from September 8-10, 2023 that will witness the presence of world leaders.
But due to unforeseen circumstances several top dignitaries has opted out as Russian President Vladimir Putin will be represented byForeign Minister Sergei Lavrov, due to war conditions in Russia, Chinese President Xi Jinping will be represented by Premier Li Qiang, may be because of false map released by China and increasing tensions between India and China can be the reason for his absence and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will not be attending the summit.
Why is the summit acting as a catalyst to India’s Global Representation?
The world is facing multiple, complex, and interconnected challenges in terms of Sustainable Development, World Peace, Development in Science and Technology, Shortages in Food Grains, Climatic Disasters, Widespread poverty, hunger, diseases, etc. Keeping in mind all these India is spearheading the summit with a collective and inclusive approach.
Further Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi envisions India’s G20 agenda to be “inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented, and decisive.”
India has emerged as the fifth largest economy in the world and has gained confidence of world members in terms of trade, investments, development and growth so G20 , 2023 focuses on key issues of –
- Green Development and Climate Finance- The sustainable development group addresses top three priorities of Mechanisation and mobilisation of timely and adequate resources for climate finance; Enabling finance for the Sustainable Development Goals; and then Capacity building of the ecosystem for financing toward sustainable development.China, the US, India, Russia, and Japanare the top five carbon emitters globally, contributing to 56 percent of global carbon emissions giving rise to various phenomena of floods, heatwaves, loss of biodiversity etc as recently can be seen in Himachal Pradesh in India. So addressing the climate finance and development within the carrying capacity is the need of the hour and being taken care by the disaster management and risk reduction working group as well.Moreover India emphasised on the adoption of its unique initiative of LiFE i.e. Lifestyle for Environment.
- Accelerated, Inclusive & Resilient Growth- As world is one family so inclusive development is the key towards achieving growth by focusing on harnessing the potential of bringing structural transformation via supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in global trade, promoting labour rights and welfare, addressing the global skills gap, and building inclusive agricultural value chains and food systems. For instance India is following the policy of anti-dumping for safeguarding the domestic industry as well as it has introduced various export bans on food items such as onions to protect the domestic farmers, on the same hand for knitting the world together it has stepped forward by supporting Black Sea Grain Agreement.
- Accelerating progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)– India adopted the SDGs and strongly committed towards their accomplishment by working on various factors of reducing poverty, malnourishment, inequality etc and spreading a message in the world for human centric approach rather than solely capitalist and profit making development.
- Technological Transformation & Digital Public Infrastructure- India is impressively working towards enhancing its science infrastructure specifically in the domain of space and research and development and it is expected to contribute to the world 600 billion dollar economy of Spacetech in the near future. Recent success of Chandrayaan-3, AdiyaL1 are the stepping stones towards achieving this milestone. Individually India is focusing on its human resource as well as technology efficiency and collectively it has decided to share the resources of space research with other countries as well as in areas such as digital public infrastructure, financial inclusion, and tech-enabled development in sectors such as agriculture and education. that will open up the opportunities for various investors as well as various start-ups in the science diaspora specifically.
- Multilateral Institutions for the 21st century- India’s initiative towards keeping the step forward for the permanent membership of African Union has borne fruits and leaves the message of India’s efforts to reform multilateralism and create a more accountable, inclusive, and representative international system that is fit for addressing 21st century challenges.
- Women-led development- women-led development has emerged as a crucial focus as women development is considered as a bedrock for any country’s development. So concentration is being done on promoting educational opportunities for women along with Women’s Entrepreneurship that will be A Win-Win for Equity and Economy via digital inclusion
G20 Centre of Attraction- Bharat Mandapam
India’s G20 summit will take place at the International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) complex also known as Bharat Mandapam in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Bharat Mandapam will act as a protagonist to showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and legacy and is referred to as a cultural corridor. Depicting the state-of-the-art infrastructure, standing amidst the majestic, 29-foot-tall bronze statue of Nataraja that reflects the tradition and culture where dancing and singing serve as a tool to worship god.
Along with this the key highlight of the mandapam its ‘Shankha’ (conch shell) shape structure that also depicts various elements of art and culture. Bharat Mandapam derives its name from Lord Basaveshwara’s concept of Anubhav Mandapam and bridging the tradition of culture and modernity it has interpreter room equipped with cutting-edge technology that support 16 different languages, advanced AV systems with huge-sized video walls, building management system ensuring optimal functionality and energy efficiency as it works on the principle of sustainability. It has a multi-purpose hall and plenary hall together with a seating capacity of seven thousand attendees more than the size of Sydney’s Opera House.
Moreover its walls depicts various cultures such as ‘Surya Shakti’, that symbolises India’s commitment to harnessing solar energy, ‘Zero to ISRO’, celebrates the nation’s achievements in space exploration, and ‘Pancha Mahabhuta’, representing the fundamental elements of the universe – Aakash (Sky), Vayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Jal (Water), Prithvi (Earth), and more. Additionally, the Convention Centre is adorned with an array of paintings and tribal art forms from diverse regions across the country.
Addressing at the global level will require smart moves and strong decisions as currently increasing tension between Russia- Ukraine war needs to come to a solution as both countries are shedding their blood fiercely and requires consensus, so drawing peace between these countries is going to be a task of Blood, Sweat and Tears. Secondly China’s increasing tensions worldwide because of its inauthentic activities as recently it has claimed parts of India, myanmar territory that is a serious cause of concern.
Financial Inclusion and redevelopment path is also going to be major road blocker as China is undergoing the situation of deflation and is trying to oppress the world via its Border Road Initiative, also US is undergoing financial crunch, so sustainable financing needs to be taken care song with the path of sinking development with the climate change that can have devastating impacts in near future if not taken care of. It is rightly said “A better democracy is a democracy where
women do not only have the right to vote and to elect but to be elected.”So women-led development will also be a key challenge to promote equity and inclusiveness with achieving SDGs at global level.
2023 has been a great year for India’s journey towards milestones in terms of Channdrayaan’s 3 success, launch of Aditya L1, launch of INS Vindhyagiri depicting India’s defence strength, various new start-yps have emerged that shows hidden talent is addressing the desired platforms and many more. So G20 can be taken as a cherry on the cake for developing multilateral as well as bilateral ties and letting the voice of India be heard in the world. Visit of the UK Prime Minister can be instrumental in getting the lift in the nuclear Liability deal that can boost India’s finances in the defence and research and development sector.
Ties in the trade sector can be promoted with the USA, UK, Turkey, Saudi Arabia as they contribute to a major chunk of the trade exports and GDP. Moreover a collective platform can be developed for promotion of all countries parallelly and side by side then only the motto of One Earth, One Family and One Future can be achieved. Moreover it is of paramount importance that the promises made at the G20 are properly implemented. Benefits reach the most vulnerable countries and communities by delivering structural solutions on shared economic policy frameworks by mutual consent.
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Bhanvi is a Visiting Researcher at IMPRI.
Acknowledgement: The author would like to thank Liya Jomon for her kind comments and suggestions to improve the article.
Disclaimer: All views expressed in the article belong solely to the author and not necessarily to the organisation.
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