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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS :Heading the G20 and New Delhi’s choices

Source: The Hindu,

  • Prelims: Current events of international importance, G20, G7 etc.
  • Mains GS Paper II: Significance of G20 countries, Bilateral, regional and global grouping and agreements involving India or affecting India’s interests.

 

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • India will assume for the first time the Group of 20 (G20) year-long presidency from December 1, 2022 to November 30, 2023, culminating with the G20 Summit in India in 2023.
  • 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

 

Current Affairs

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

G20:

  • The G20 is an informal group of 19 countries and the European Union, with representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  • The G20 membership comprises a mix of the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies, representing about two-thirds of the world’s population, 85% of global gross domestic product, 80% of global investment and over 75% of global trade.

 

How does the G20 Works?

  • The working of G20 is divided into two tracks:
    • The finance track: It comprises all meetings with G20 finance ministers and central bank governors and their deputies.
      • Meeting several times throughout the year they focus on monetary and fiscal issues, financial regulations, etc.
    • The Sherpa track: It focuses on broader issues such as political engagement, anti-corruption, development, energy, etc.
      • Each G20 country is represented by its Sherpa; who plans, guides, implements, etc. on behalf of the leader of their respective country.

 

Importance:

  • Recommendations to its own members: It is an advisory body, not a treaty-based forum and, therefore, its decisions are recommendations to its own members.
  • Representations of important international institutions: The representation of the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, and other multilateral institutions in it makes the G20 an incomparable body.
  • Financial and economic challenges: 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.

 

Complexities:

  • Existential crisis: The forum is faced with an existential crisis, where the major powers have fallen out.
    • It makes the task of the presidency much more complicated, as the current president ( Indonesia) is discovering.
  • Impact on 2022 Bali Summit: The disastrous impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine, India-China border tensions, EU/U.S.-Russia hostility, and deteriorating U.S.-China relations are already visible in the run-up to the 2022 Bali summit where all G20 leaders may not be sitting physically in the same room.

 

India’s choices:

  • Vaccine aid and diplomacy: The G20 presidency offers a unique branding opportunity for India’s recent achievements, including the ability to combat COVID-19 effectively at home and abroad through vaccine aid and diplomacy.
  • India’s digital revolution: Its steady progress in switching to renewables, meeting its targets to counter climate change, and its push for self-reliance in manufacturing and reshaping global value chains.
  • Startups: New trends in entrepreneurship, business innovation, the rise of many start-ups as unicorns, and gender progress too need to be showcased.
  • Domestic successes: A single-year presidency does not empower the host to change the world, but India can provide evidence of its domestic successes, tested at the continental scale, for global adoption.
  • Attractive investment and tourism destination: It can also be utilized 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.
  • Global South: Four democracies on the path to becoming powerful economic players — 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.
  • IBSA — India, Brazil, and South Africa: This forum, insulated from the geopolitical pressures constraining the BRICS (where these three countries are required to work with Russia and China), can develop a cohesive plan to project the priority concerns of the Global South.
    • IBSA needs an urgent rejuvenation by convening an informal meeting of its top leaders, perhaps on the sidelines of the Bali summit.
  • Chief global diplomat: As the G20 president, India will be obliged to take a broader view of the G20 agenda to synthesize divergent interests of all constituents of the forum:
    • Five permanent members of the UN Security Council
    • The developed world united under the flag of the G7
    • Five members of BRICS
    • Other G20 members such as Argentina and Mexico.

 

 

Present global challenges that need to be addressed:

 

 

Way Forward

  • Multilateral cooperation: India’s mission will be not only to save the G20 but also the future of multilateral cooperation in diverse domains of the grouping’s multidimensional agenda.
  • Inclusive approach: As the president and host, India should factor in the perspectives of countries not represented in the G20.
    • India should advocate an inclusive approach, with pragmatic and human-centric solutions to global issues.
  • Elevating the African Union (AU): An important aim should be to end Africa’s marginalization by elevating the African Union (AU) from permanent observer to a full-fledged member of the G20, thus placing it on a par with the EU.
  • India-focused view: The challenge is to combine an India-focused view, promote the vital interests of the Global South, and demonstrate diplomatic acumen to communicate with and reconcile the viewpoints of rival and adversarial power centers such as the West, Russia, and China.
  • Strengthening partnership: The G20 must strengthen the partnership with international organizations such as the IMF, the OECD, the WHO, the World Bank and the WTO, and delegate them the task of monitoring progress.
  • International Institute for Regulatory Development (IIRD): Upcoming G20 meet is an opportunity for India to initiate the reshaping of the global regulatory construct through the establishment of an International Institute for Regulatory Development (IIRD). India can be a torchbearer for a new regulatory framework.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

  1. The long sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalized nations has disappeared on account of its new found role in the emerging global order.’ Elaborate(UPSC 2019)

(200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)

  1. If the last few decades were Asia’s growth story, the next few are expected to be Africa’s.” In the light of this statement, examine India’s influence in Africa in recent years(UPSC 2021)

(200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)