India’s G-20 Presidency:the Role and the Agenda

India’s G-20 Presidency:the Role and the Agenda

After the conclusion of the G20 Summit held in 2022 in Bali, India assumed the presidency from Indonesia for the next term starting from December 1st, 2022. To give a brief introduction, G20 or Group of Twenty is an intergovernmental forum comprising of 19 countries and the European Union. It serves 20 major economies of the world with an addition of 9 guest countries and 14 multilateral organisations such as the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Labor Organization (ILO), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), African Union, International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), among others.

The main purpose of G20 is to recognize the importance of collective action and inclusive collaboration among major developed countries and emerging economies around the world. It provides a multilateral framework addressing various global issues barring geopolitics.

 

INDIA’S ROLE

At the closing ceremony of the G20 summit in Indonesia, the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, addressed the forum and set the theme for the G20 summit as “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” which is a Sanskrit word for “The World Is One Family”. Prime Minister Modi stressed the importance of “One Earth, One Family, One Future” representing a holistic approach of growth with sustainability in consideration of all life forms in the development process linking it with the protection of the planet. Further emphasis was laid on the Indian Presidency to be “inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive” in the direction of making it a ‘People’s G20’ for a post-pandemic world.

In the speech, India identified six shared priorities in areas including public digital goods and digital infrastructure; climate action, climate finance and technology collaborations; the clean, sustainable and inclusive energy transition; accelerated progress on sustainable development goals; women-led development; and multilateral reforms.

Prime Minister Modi also suggested that “data for development” shall be an integral part of India’s presidency. The digital transformation shall not be confined to a small part of humanity, and its greater benefits will be realized only when digital access becomes truly inclusive. India’s own experience in the past few years has shown that if digital architecture is made widely accessible, it can bring about socioeconomic transformation.

Another concept promoted under the G20 is the “Lifestyle for Environment” (LiFE), introduced at COP26 in 2021. Currently, the focus of climate change discussions revolves around nations, with the behaviour at the individual level taking a back seat.

 

THE AGENDA

Under its presidency, India will host over 200 meetings covering more than 30 workstreams in 50 cities leading up to a final summit in September, 2023.

The G20’s agenda is structured within two parallel tracks: the Finance Track and the Sherpa Track. Within the two tracks, representatives from the relevant ministries, invited/guest countries and international organisations participate in deliberations to contribute to the global agenda on pressing international issues.

The Finance Track is led by Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, who along with their deputies discuss global macroeconomic issues. The key issues addressed by the Finance Track concerns the global economic outlook and the management of global economic risk. Other issues such as financial sector reforms which includes international taxation, the modes to finance, as well as quality infrastructure all fall within its purview. Catalyzing climate financing with its G20 presidency, India is inducing dynamism in the global south.

To facilitate global economic discourse and mark the beginning of the G20 Finance Track under the Indian presidency, the first G20 Finance and Central Bank Deputies (FCBD) meeting was held in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The two-day FCBD meeting witnessed enthusiastic participation from 160 delegates and deliberations on restoring global macro stability, improving financial inclusion, reforming multilaterals and building resilient, inclusive and sustainable cities of tomorrow.

The emissaries of global leaders & the Sherpas will coordinate the G20 processes along the Sherpa Track, with Mr. Amitabh Kant presently the Indian G20 Sherpa. The First Sherpa Meeting of India’s G20 Presidency was held in Udaipur, with the four-day gathering setting the stage for important conversations on some of the most pressing issues of our time, including technological transformation, green development and LiFE, spotlighting women-led development, accelerating implementation of the SDGs, facilitating inclusive and resilient growth, and multilateral reforms.

The Sherpa Track oversees inputs from 13 Working Groups, 2 Initiatives–Research Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG) and G20 Empower, and various engagement groups. The Working Groups are composed of experts and officials from relevant ministries who provide sector-specific in-depth analysis and align the international agenda with their respective areas of focus. Additionally, engagement groups that comprise of diverse independent collectives ensure multi stakeholder dialogue. These deliberate upon their mandate and present recommendations to aid the G20 decision-making process.

 

CONCLUSION

Thus, under its presidency, India will have to navigate a delicate balance, overcoming partisan pressures from both sides to bridge the East-West conflict. It will have to do so while carefully wading through issues central to its own strategic self-interests as well as those of the global community, creating an archetype for substantive talks, implementation and outcomes for the G20 next year, culminating with a leader’s summit to be held in New Delhi in September 2023.

Bosky Tanmay Gokani Bosky Tanmay Gokani

Bosky Tanmay Gokani

Legal Advisor
Bosky Gokani, a qualified Indian lawyer, is currently based in Shanghai.
Veronica Gianola Veronica Gianola

Veronica Gianola

Senior Associate
Veronica Gianola, an accomplished Italian lawyer, is a member of the Milan Bar Association.

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