Arnav Jha , India’s neutrality and its presidency of the G20 may provide New Delhi a new opportunity to mediate for a peaceful end to this war.
India on December 1 Presidency of the G-20 Took it over G-20 i.e. group of 20 countries of the world are connected on a single platform for discussion and participation on international economic and financial agenda. G-20 summit will be held in New Delhi in September next year. During this, there will be more than 200 meetings across the country. The theme of the Indian chairmanship of G-20 is ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. The logo for this, a lotus flower and a globe, depicts India’s global approach to life.
The G-20 includes countries like America, Britain, China, Russia along with India, with whom India’s relations matter a lot. In such a situation, India, which has taken over the presidency, will face many challenges for the 2023 summit. Come, let’s try to understand this whole issue.
First understand G20
Established in 1999, the G-20 is a grouping of the world’s twenty largest economies that have come together to discuss the international economic and financial agenda with the goal of maintaining stability.
G20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, UK and USA. Technically Spain is also part of this group, it participates as a ‘permanent guest’. The group represents 90 percent of global GDP, 80 percent of global trade, and two-thirds of the world’s population.
As far as the organizational structure is concerned, the G20 operates without a permanent secretariat and is instead chaired by a new country for one year in rotation. The current presidency is part of a three-member management group consisting of past and future presidents known as the troika.
The G20 began as an informal group to discuss macroeconomic policy. The issue of economic and financial coordination is important in every summit, but apart from this, other points of cooperation can also include topics like terrorism and global health.
Arguably, the other events that take place during the summit are as important as the summit itself. For the past several years, this summit has provided an opportunity to stressed nations to fix mutual relations.
The US-China trade war has been at the center during its summits in recent years. In such a situation, the G20 has provided opportunities for Washington to hold discussions with Beijing.
During recent years the G20 has faced increasing criticism for its inability to prevent geopolitical tensions from interfering with the group’s agenda. The US-China trade war is seen as a prime example of the group’s failure to maintain economic cooperation.
Other controversial issues in the G20 have included debt relief for developing and underdeveloped countries and climate change. In recent years there has also been controversy over Russia’s inclusion in the group.
What are the declared objectives of India?
The theme of India’s chairmanship of G20 is ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. It expresses India’s intention to focus on a number of common issues in addition to merely discussing macroeconomic policy.
Key areas of focus for India include building public digital infrastructure, collective disaster risk reduction and resilience, work on stabilizing global supply chains and food security, collective action against terrorism, energy security, women empowerment, global development and Financial literacy, tourism and culture, development cooperation, pandemic prevention and preparedness, collective action against financial crimes, etc.
One of the big agendas India intends to focus on is climate financing. This is a contentious issue on which no agreement has been reached despite several attempts. Climate financing, as defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, means “local, national or international financing. Its sources can be public, private or through other alternative means. Its purpose is to work towards climate change.
In 2008, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the developed countries of the world pledged $100 billion by 2020 for developing and underdeveloped countries to adopt new technologies to reduce the effects of climate change.
More than a decade later, this target remains out of reach and climate financing remains a contentious issue. Developed nations seem reluctant to shoulder the burden. On the other hand, where financing has been done, it is in the form of loan and not in the form of grant. Underdeveloped countries have faced difficulties due to this.
Given the actual need for climate financing, $100 billion is a paltry amount. While there are various claims of actual figures on this, the figure set by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to avoid global warming beyond the 1.5°C limit ranges from 1.6–3.8 trillion per year. .
Over the years, India has sought clarity on what exactly is the definition of climate financing in order to prevent developed countries from giving loans in the name of climate change aid. At the same time, India has put pressure on developed countries to fulfill their promises of providing adequate climate finance.
Bringing clarity on the contentious issue of climate financing will be a major part of India’s agenda as the current chair of the G20.
What are the main challenges before India?
India’s relationship with China remains a significant challenge. However, a diplomatic reset between the two Asian giants could complete the G20’s trade and finance agenda. India is firm on its claim that any settlement with China is subject to peace in the border areas. But this has not happened so far.
On its part, China has said that it is in the interest of both countries and the world that India and China work together to face the global economic crisis and other major challenges. Through its mouthpiece Global Times, China has reiterated that India should take a more positive attitude towards working with China, especially noting that India wishes its presidency to be ‘inclusive, ambitious and decisive’.
Another challenge before India is the Ukraine-Russia war. Due to its wide economic consequences, it will inevitably be discussed at the G20 summit next year. The group of America and its western allies has demanded to isolate Russia in the Ukraine case. Although India has talked about ending this war, but it is maintaining a neutral stand on it.
India’s neutrality and its presidency of the G20 may provide New Delhi a new opportunity to mediate for a peaceful end to this war. To make the G20 summit a success, India will have to adjust to the rapidly changing global order in the midst of geopolitical conflict.