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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : The G-20 can be the UN Security Council alternative


Source: The Hindu


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



  • India formally assumed the G20 Presidency, from
    • The Prime Minister said that India looks forward to a Presidency of healing, harmony and hope.

Current Affairs





  • The G20 is an informal group:19 countries and the European Union, with representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  • The G20 Presidency rotates annually: according to a system that ensures a regional balance over time.
  • For the selection of the presidency: 19 countries are divided into 5 groups, each having no more than 4 countries.
    • The presidency rotates between each group.
  • Every year the G20 selects a country from another group to be president.
    • India is in Group 2 which also has Russia, South Africa, and Turkey.
  • The G20 does not have a permanent secretariat or Headquarters.


India’s position  for upcoming G20:

  • India said: Ukraine will not be the centerpiece of the G-20 this year.


Why is the G20 better alternative?

  • The world is looking for an alternative to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC): which has been paralysed by the veto.
  • Credibility of UNSC: COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UNSC’s credibility hit rock bottom.
  • The expansion of its permanent membership of UNSC: It will be strongly resisted by the permanent members and a large majority of the General Assembly.


Issues addressed by G20:

  • Major issues related to the global economy, such as:
    • International financial stability
    • Climate change mitigation
    • Sustainable development


Significance of G20:

  • Its composition is such that it looks like it is an expanded Security Council.
  • Balance: It is representative of all the significant countries of the 21st century and is balanced between developed and developing countries.
  • The present permanent members and declared aspirants have been included while Africa and Latin America have also been represented.


How can the Bali Declaration be used as a platform to turn G20 from economic to political body?

  • It constitutes the consensus in the group on the Russia-Ukraine war: If the G-20 emerges as a peacemaker in Europe, it will attain legitimacy as a group to promote international peace and security
    • It can gradually become an alternative to the UNSC.


How will G20 be different from UNSC?

  • Veto power: No one can prevent its meetings by use of the veto.
  • Russia will have to reason out its behavior rather than threaten the use of the veto to intimidate the international community.


India’s role in global stability:

  • Strong positions on decolonisation and rights of the developing countries to play a role as a leader of the non-aligned world.
  • India was the author of several landmark resolutions of the UNSC on the question of Palestine and administered the healing touch whenever confrontation developed in multilateral fora.
  • India prevented the expulsion of Egypt from the Non-Aligned Movement at the Havana summit when the Arabs turned against Egypt.


Way Forward

  • Considering that the Bali declaration which was virtually drafted by India, India has been recognised as a potential honest broker who may be able to end the devastating war.
  • A consensus decision of G-20: It should be universally acceptable.
  • The grave danger of a permanent member waging a war and vetoing every resolution against it is a reality that the UN should address.
  • India should Highlight the Bali Declaration and to present a road map during the preparatory process for the G-20 and persuade the sherpas to take it on its agenda.
  • Even Russia will accept India’s role as an honest broker in the process: This will enhance India’s capacity to deal with the crisis in a formal way within the G-20.
  • As the President of the G-20: the fund of goodwill that India has earned in the UN will be an asset at this critical moment.
  • The legitimisation of the G-20 as a global arbiter in international affairs: It will create a multilateral instrument where all members are equal.
  • UN an effective instrument: Though it may take a very long time for it to replace the UNSC, a beginning will have been made in making the UN an effective instrument in stopping wars and building cooperation.



Q. 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)


December 2022

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