Heading the G20 and New Delhi’s choices

Source: The post is based on the article “Heading the G20 and New Delhi’s choices” published in The Hindu on 25th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2: Important International Institutions.

Relevance: About India as a G20 president and hosting G20 Summit.

News: From December, India will assume for the first time the Group of 20 (G20) year-long presidency along with the G20 Summit in India in 2023.

What is G20?
Must read: G20 and its Significance – Explained, pointwise

The G20 has played a vital role in addressing financial and economic challenges such as the global financial crisis of 2008-09 and the Eurozone crisis of 2010.

The representation of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, and other multilateral institutions in it makes the G20 an incomparable body.

What is the significance of India as a G20 president and hosting the G20 summit?

India has hosted large international conferences such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in 1983 and the Third India-Africa Forum summit in 2015. But nothing compares with hosting the G20. This is because,

a) It is the world’s informal steering directorate on global economic issues; b) It entails the responsibility of shaping decision-making on key challenges facing the world today; and c) Its summit is preceded by a large quantum of preparatory deliberations that feed into the final outcome.

Read more: Preparing for the presidency – On Assuming G20 Presidency
 What are the challenges faced by the G20 at present?

The existential crisis of countries: The major powers of the G20 nations are facing challenges, especially after the disastrous impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic. This makes the task of the presidency of the country much more complicated. This is seen in the present president of Indonesia.

Various international disputes: The war in Ukraine, India-China border tensions, EU/U.S.-Russia hostility, and deteriorating U.S.-China relations all impact the outcome of G20. So, the upcoming Bali summit will affect the Delhi summit.

What are the major opportunities for India as a G20 president?

First, the G20 presidency offers a unique branding opportunity for India’s recent achievements. This includes the ability to combat COVID-19 both in India and abroad through India’s vaccine diplomacy, India’s digital revolution, reshaping global value chains, etc.

Secondly, it can be utilised to transform India’s sub-optimal physical infrastructure to create an attractive investment and tourism destination, especially as several important G20 meetings will be hosted outside Delhi.

Thirdly, four democracies — Indonesia, India, Brazil, and South Africa — hold the presidency from December 2021 to November 2025. This offers a rare opportunity for synergy and solidarity to advance the interests of the developing world and to assert their combined leadership of the Global South.

Fourthly, all three members of IBSA Forum — India, Brazil, and South Africa — will hold the G20 presidency consecutively in 2023, 2024, and 2025. This forum is insulated from the geopolitical pressures and can develop a cohesive plan to project the priority concerns of the Global South.

Read more: Data opportunity at the G20
What India as a G20 president can do to save the G20 and India’s stake?

a) India can provide evidence of its domestic successes, tested at the continental scale, for global adoption, b) IBSA needs an urgent rejuvenation by convening an informal meeting of its top leaders on the sidelines of the Bali summit,

c) India should factor in the perspectives of countries not represented in the G20 and advocate an inclusive approach, with pragmatic and human-centric solutions to global issues. For instance, India can demand the G20 for elevating the African Union (AU) from a permanent observer to a full-fledged member of the G20, thus placing it on a par with the EU.

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