Prime Minister Narendra Modi is participated in the 16th G-20 Summit being held in Rome. The summit is very significant in view of COVID-19 pandemic. With the theme- ‘People, Planet, Prosperity’ discussions are being held on recovery from the pandemic & strengthening global health governance, Economic recovery & resilience, Climate change & energy transition and Sustainable development & food security. India fully supports the priority areas of this summit and G -20 has also acknowledged India’s Leadership on global concerns and has supported views of India on wide array of issues. G20 has emerged as the premier global forum for international cooperation. The grouping represents 80% of the world’s GDP, 75% of global trade, and 60% of the world’s population. Italy is holding the Presidency of the G20 this year and India will take on the G20 Presidency during 1 Dec, 2022-30 Nov 2023 term.
Outcomes of the meet:
- Leaders committed to the key Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
- They also pledged to reach a target of net zero carbon emissions “by or around mid-century”, instead of setting a clear 2050 date, as campaigners and summit host Italy were hoping for.
- They agreed to stop funding new dirty coal plants abroad by the end of 2021.
- They reaffirmed the so far unmet commitment to mobilise $100 billion for developing countries for climate adaptation costs.
- They approved on an agreement that will subject multinationals to a minimum 15 percent tax, as part of an effort to build “a more stable and fairer international tax system”.
- They decided to pursue the recognition of more vaccines by the World Health Organization under a “One Health approach” for the world, and providing finances and technology for vaccine production at “mRNA Hubs” in South Africa, Brazil and Argentina.
The G20 is an annual meeting of leaders from the countries with the largest and fastest-growing economies.
- Its members account for 85% of the world’s GDP, and two-thirds of its population.
- The G20 Summit is formally known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”.
- After the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-1998, it was acknowledged that the participation of major emerging market countries is needed on discussions on the international financial system, and G7 finance ministers agreed to establish the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in 1999.
- The group has no permanent staff of its own, so every year in December, a G20 country from a rotating region takes on the presidency.
- That country is then responsible for organising the next summit, as well as smaller meetings for the coming year.
- They can also choose to invite non-member countries along as guests.
- The first G20 meeting took place in Berlin in 1999, after a financial crisis in East Asia affected many countries around the world.
- Full membership: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
Its relevance in changing times:
- As globalization progresses and various issues become more intricately intertwined, the recent G20 summits have focused not only on macro-economy and trade, but also on a wide range of global issues which have an immense impact on the global economy, such as development, climate change and energy, health, counter-terrorism, as well as migration and refugees.
- The G20 has sought to realize an inclusive and sustainable world through its contributions towards resolving these global issues.
- The increased participation of emerging countries in global issues,
- the reform of international financial institutions,
- the monitoring of national financial institutions,
- The improvement in the regulations of the economies whose problems led to the crisis and the creation of safety nets to prevent problems in the future.
- The G20 also specifically helped to provide emergency funds during the 2008 crisis and plays an important role in financing for development.
The relevance of the G20 has been questioned for some time now. The reasons for the same are:
- The G20 has merely meandered around important challenges to the world economy, doing precious little about it. Consequently, in the past few years, there has been persistent criticism of the G20. Many regard it as one more place to talk shop and photo-op.
- The G20 summit faces the risk of being reduced to a G2 event. Bilateral meetings are more prominent.
- The international media, at any rate, seems to have very little interest in the summit’s official agenda – future of work, infrastructure for development and sustainable food future – and remain focused largely on the bilateral talks like USA-China in the garb of trade wars.
- The irony is that the single most important challenge to global economic stability today is being posed in an area that the G20 refused to include in its initial agenda at the time of its formation in 2008-09, namely, international trade.
- While the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is an invitee to the G20, multilateral trade was consciously kept outside the G20’s ambit so that the G7 could continue to manipulate the WTO agenda.
- Yet, when faced with the current challenge to global growth from the unilateral trade policy actions of the US, the G20 will together talk only about long-term issues like the future of work, infrastructure and food, while immediate trade-related issues arising from US unilateralism will only be discussed in bilateral on the sidelines.
- With the intellectual and analytical resources available to leaders of the G20 countries, some review should be undertaken of mistakes made in the past, and how these could be repaired and avoided in fu
- It would be desirable to devote an entire session of the G20 to the problem of terrorism.
- What is the point in focusing only on economic growth when the disparities across the globe and power politics lead to serious and lasting threats to human security globally?