The Group of Twenty, or G20, is the premier forum for international cooperation on the most important aspects of the international economic and financial agenda. It brings together the world’s major advanced and emerging economies.
The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the USA. The G20 Countries together represent around 90% of the global GDP, 80% of the global trade, and two-thirds of the world’s population.
The objectives of the G20 are:
- a) Policy coordination between its members in order to achieve global economic stability, and sustainable growth;
- b) To promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises; and
- c) To create a new international financial architecture.
–The G20 was created in response to both the Asian financial crises that arose in the 1990s and to a growing recognition that many countries were not adequately represented in global economic discussion and governance.
–In December 1999, the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of advanced and emerging countries of systemic importance met for the first time in Berlin, Germany, for an informal dialogue on key issues for global economic stability. Since then, Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors have met annually.
–The G-20 operates without a permanent secretariat or staff. The chair rotates annually among the members and is selected from a different regional grouping of countries. The chair is part of a revolving three-member management group of past, present and future chairs referred to as the Troika.
–The present Troika is of Indonesia-India-Brazil.
–India assumed the presidency of the G20 grouping from Indonesia, on December 1, 2022, and will hold the post for a year. This offers a unique opportunity for India to contribute to the global agenda on pressing issues of international importance.
–India’s G20 logo juxtaposes planet Earth with the lotus, India’s national flower, and the theme is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.
–At the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war, and a subsequent polarised world, India will set the global agenda with 200 G20 meetings across the country.
India Should Go Beyond Pomp Show G20
–Agreed that G20 is a platform for discussing economic issues, given that the formation itself was out of an economic crisis in the 1990s and its efforts led the world to come out of another one in 2008.
–But it is vital for India now to show and demonstrate solutions for global peace, security, and stability. The territorial integrity of Ukraine had been violated, and closer to our own borders, we can feel the ‘No War No Peace’ phase.
–By raising a ‘Voice of Global South’, India has rightly raised concerns about food, fuel, and fertilizer shortages, and the global south is particularly affected, but the origin of the crisis itself is the war. So, if we intend to go by the root-cause analysis, the war has to end first, the global supply chain restored, grain, fertilizer, oil, and natural gas supply resumed, restarting the supply of crude sunflower oil. The answers to whatever concerns raised by India and others during the recent Foreign Ministers’ meeting lie in the very end of the aggression.
–Our willingness to contribute to any peace process must reflect in our talks with the leaders of the world wherein even the terms of the agreement are discussed; instead of leaving the matter open. For that, we must go beyond the 100 monuments from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
–Russia and China will throw their weight around, so also the West will show stubbornness. Citing differences of opinion in two paragraphs by Russia-China, India did not issue any joint communiqué in the recent meetings between the Finance Ministers and the Central Bank Governors.
–India has to evolve its ‘Voicing for the Global South’ strategy to the real ‘Building of Consensus For All’ strategy, however difficult the situation may be. Raising concerns without sound solutions will turn this event into just another show without purpose.
–Understandably, we are not sitting on fence, we are standing our ground. But with the kind of expectations from us, we should be creative in the hot-seat of the presidency, without being pulled into any of the camps – G7 or the Russia-China.
–The broad agenda of the G20 is to ensure the world’s financial stability and that the fruits of economic development, including technological advances, reach people across the globe. The current presidency presents a unique opportunity for India’s foreign policy to put its stamp on the global agenda that India mustn’t miss.
–We had a role in preventing attacks on the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, Ukraine, and the Grain Deal through the Black Sea. We have said that that ‘the use of nuclear weapons is against the tenets of humanity’ and that ‘today’s era is not of war’. We need to continue that ambitious, action-oriented, and decisive response.
–This will involve our diplomatic skills, drafting skills, and negotiating skills, and we have that. We just need to make people sit around and deliberately bring forth the points of security guarantees, clause by clause discussion of terms. We can then assert to bring into focus post-pandemic reset, climate change across the globe, terrorism in our region, conflicts in Africa, and the fuel production for maintaining prices.
–Ukraine’s Peace Formula has mentioned a ‘Special Tribunal’, the establishment of which will be the prerogative of ICC, ICJ in a Post-War scenario. China’s 12-Point Peace plan is biased towards Russia. If we are called the ‘Honest Broker’, the word ‘honesty’ is important, now more than ever. The words ‘return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy’ should now resonate with ‘we will provide the platform for dialogue and diplomacy’.
For India’s G20 to hold its words of ‘One Earth-One Family-One Future’, we need to demonstrate that it is multilateralism, going beyond Non-Alignment, that helps resolve even the toughest of conflicts and wars.
–BY YOGITA KADU