India's Presidency G20

Issue 06

India's Presidency G20

India Perspectives |author

Issue 06

The G20 is an international forum which includes 19 of the world’s largest economies including both industrialized and developing nations, and the European Union. Its core mandate is to address the major challenges related to the global economy and financial architecture such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, sustainable development, among others. It seeks to evolve public policies to resolve them.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with other G20 Leaders’ planted mangroves at the Taman Hutan Raya Ngurah Rai forests in Bali

Together, the G20 members represent 85 per cent of the global gross product; 75 per cent of international trade; two thirds of the world population; 80 per cent of global investments in research and development, and 60 per cent of the world land area.
Because the G20 is a forum, its agreements or decisions are not legally binding but they do influence countries’ policies and global cooperation.
The G20 is small and cohesive enough to allow concrete in-person discussions to find solutions to the new challenges on the international economic and financial agenda, and is broad and inclusive enough to represent the vast majority of world economic production.

The G20 was conceived in 1999, while the repercussions of the Mexican peso crisis (1994), Asian financial crisis (1997) and the Russian rouble crisis (1998) were still being felt. In a meeting of finance ministers and presidents of central banks of the G7, it was decided to expand the group and make it more representative in order to generate policies that would have a wider impact on the global economy. A group of key emerging economies was invited to a new forum of finance ministers and presidents of Central Banks. This became the G20.

Unveiling of logo, theme and website of India’s G20 Presidency by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The G20 upgraded to the Summit level from the finance ministers and presidents of central banks became the main instrument to face the global financial crisis of 2007-‘08.
While economic and financial issues tend to lead the agenda, other areas have gained prominence in recent years. Recent additions include participation of women in the labor market, sustainable development, global health, fight against terrorism and inclusive ventures, among others.

The group’s stature has risen significantly during the past decade. It is however also criticized for its limited membership, lack of enforcement powers, and for the alleged undermining of existing international institutions. Summits are often met with protests, particularly by anti-globalisation groups.

The G20 seeks to enrich the content of its dialogues by encouraging the participation of civil society through affinity groups. Each of them focuses on an issue of global importance and meets independently throughout the year. From the dialogue in the various meetings, each group delivers a series of recommendations to the G20. Currently, the affinity groups comprise of: Business 20 (B20), Civil 20 (C20), Labor 20 (L20), Science 20 (S20), Think 20 (T20), Women 20 (W20), Youth 20 (Y20).

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden and Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the summit in Bali for G20 Summit in November 2022

On the conclusion of the Indonesian presidency, India will assume the leadership of the G20 from 1st December, 2022.

Releasing the logo, theme and website of India’s G20 Presidency on 8th November, 2022, PM Narendra Modi stated: “India’s G20 presidency is coming at a time of crisis and chaos in the world. The world is going through the after-effects of a disruptive once-in-a-century pandemic, conflicts and lot of economic uncertainty.”
The world has been subjected to huge instability and volatility over the last three years and more. The Covid-19 pandemic has had adverse impacts on countries worldwide, affecting not only health and social aspects but also economic arenas.

The ongoing conflict in Europe has had global implications through high inflation, shortages of food, fertilizers and energy, unsustainable debts, supply chain disruptions and more. In addition, the challenges of climate change, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and others continue to unsettle the global community. It is in these circumstances that India has been entrusted with the responsibility of steering the activities of the G20 in the coming year.
Because of its impressive performance in handling the shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia- Ukraine conflict, India has emerged as a beacon of hope in an otherwise dark and gloomy global scenario.

During its presidency, India is committed to focusing on issues of critical importance to the world. The theme identified by India for its presidency is ‘’One Earth, One Family, One Future.’’ This flows from the philosophy of ‘’Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’’ (The World Is One Family) which appears in our ancient scriptures and forms the foundation of our foreign policy.

The concept of ‘Lifestyle for the Environment’ (LiFE) was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, 2021. Mission LiFE was launched by PM Modi in the presence of UN Secretary General at the Statue of Unity, Gujarat in October, 2022. Mission LiFE is envisioned as an India-led global mass movement that will encourage individual and collective action to protect and preserve the environment. India can be expected to highlight LiFE as a critical focus area for discussion and action during its presidency.

India, as a result of its own experience, particularly during the pandemic, believes that digital technology and digital public platforms are key to deepening engagements of government with citizens, reducing corruption and promoting expeditious delivery of services, and financial transactions. Digital solutions to traditional problems have transformed and elevated the lives of people across the world. During India’s presidency, it would like to share its success stories for the benefit of the global community.

India will aspire to deliver outcomes in areas of critical interest such as integrating the climate and development agenda, accelerating progress towards achieving the SDG 2030 mandate, furthering development cooperation, supporting small and marginal farmers, enhancing food security and nutrition, addressing global skill gaps, promotion of blue economy and coastal sustainability, digital health solutions, green hydrogen and tech-enabled learning.

India would also like to promote the outreach and potential of its initiatives in the climate change and disaster risk reduction spheres as envisaged in the International Solar Alliance and Coalition for Disaster Risk Initiative projects.

India would like to ensure that the G20 stays committed to its original mandate of dealing with the financial and economic challenges and not allow important but extraneous geo-political issues like the Russia- Ukraine conflict to impact the broader agenda. The G20 should exhibit the necessary leadership and flexibility to accommodate differences among its members to effectively deliver outcomes.

India’s G20 Presidency will comprise around 200 events to be held across all the states and Union Territories. The endeavor would be to create a uniquely Indian experience which is spiritually invigorating and intellectually rejuvenating.

While releasing the logo, theme and website of G20, PM Modi called upon all State governments, political parties and individuals to not look upon India’s G20 Presidency as the responsibility only of the Central government. This honour and prestige belongs to the whole country, he said, and there should be an ‘’all of the country’’ approach to make the year-long event successful and memorable.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the working Session on food and energy security of G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia

India received the mantle of the G20 Presidency from Indonesia. India will hand over the baton to Brazil at the end of November, 2023. It is for the first time in the history of the G20 that the troika comprising of the current, past and future Presidencies will comprise of three major developing and emerging economies. This provides a unique opportunity to India, supported by Indonesia and Brazil, to make a significant contribution to peace, security, stability and prosperity in the world.

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