The Group of Twenty (G20) is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States and the European Union.
The G20 members represent around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.
The G20 was founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis as a forum for the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to discuss global economic and financial issues. It was upgraded to the level of Heads of State/Government in the wake of the global economic and financial crisis of 2007, and, in 2009, was designated the “premier forum for international economic cooperation”.
What is the G20 Summit?
The G20 Summit is held annually, under the leadership of a rotating Presidency.
How does the G20 work?
The G20 Presidency steers the G20 agenda for one year and hosts the Summit. The G20 consists of two parallel tracks: the Finance Track and the Sherpa Track. Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors lead the Finance Track, while Sherpas lead the Sherpa Track.
The Finance Track is led by Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the member countries. Within the two tracks, there are thematically oriented working groups in which representatives from the relevant ministries of the members as well as from invited/guest countries and various international organisations participate.
The G20 process from the Sherpa Track is coordinated by the Sherpas of member countries, who are personal emissaries of the Leaders. The Sherpa Track oversees inputs from 13 Working Groups, 2 Initiatives – Research Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG) and G20 Empower, and various Engagement Groups, all of whom meet throughout the year and develop their Issue Notes and Outcome Documents in parallel. These substantive discussions then feed consensus-based recommendations to the Sherpa Meetings. The outcome document of the Sherpa-level meetings eventually forms the basis of the Leaders’ Declaration, which will be debated and signed (after and if consensus is reached) at the final New Delhi Summit in September next year by the Leaders of all G20 member countries.
In addition, there are Engagement Groups which bring together civil societies, parliamentarians, think tanks, women, youth, labour, businesses and researchers of the G20 countries. The Startup20 Engagement Group will be established under India’s G20 Presidency for the first time, recognising the role of startups in driving innovation that responds to a rapidly changing global scenario. Active consultation with the Engagement Groups forms an integral part of India’s “inclusive ambitious, decisive, and action-oriented”, G20 approach, as outlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Bali Summit this year.
India’s G -20 Presidency
India holds the Presidency of the G20 from December 1, 2022 to November 30, 2023. The 43 Heads of Delegations- the largest ever in G20-will be participating in the final New Delhi Summit in September next year.
The G20 Logo draws inspiration from the vibrant colours of India’s national flag – saffron, white and green, and blue. It juxtaposes planet Earth with the lotus, India’s national flower that reflects growth amid challenges. The Earth reflects India’s pro-planet approach to life, one in perfect harmony with nature. Below the G20 logo is “Bharat”, written in the Devanagari script.
The theme of India’s G20 Presidency – “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth · One Family · One Future” – is drawn from the ancient Sanskrit text of the Maha Upanishad. Essentially, the theme affirms the value of all life – human, animal, plant, and microorganisms – and their interconnectedness on the planet Earth and in the wider universe. The theme also spotlights LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), with its associated, environmentally sustainable and responsible choices, both at the level of individual lifestyles as well as national development, leading to globally transformative actions resulting in a cleaner, greener and bluer future.
For India, the G20 Presidency also marks the beginning of “Amritkaal”, the 25-year period beginning from the 75th anniversary of its independence on 15 August 2022, leading up to the centenary of its independence, towards a futuristic, prosperous, inclusive and developed society, distinguished by a human-centric approach at its core.
A new working group on Disaster Risk Reduction will be established under India’s Presidency to encourage collective work by the G20, undertake multi-disciplinary research and exchange best practices on disaster risk reduction.
India’s special invitee guest countries are Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and UAE.
G-20’s invited international organisations are UN, IMF, World Bank, WHO, WTO, ILO, FSB, OECD, AU Chair, NEPAD Chair, ASEAN Chair, ADB, ISA and CDRI.
G20 meetings will not be limited only to New Delhi or other metropolises. Drawing inspiration from its G20 Presidency theme of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’-“One Earth One Family One Future, as well as the Prime Minister’s vision of an ‘all of government” approach, India will host over 200 meetings in over 50 cities across 32 different workstreams, and would have the opportunity to offer G20 delegates and guests a glimpse of India’s rich cultural heritage and provide them with a unique Indian experience.
What are India’s G20 Priorities?
Here are some of the specific initiatives that India is undertaking under its G20 presidency:
Green Development, Climate Finance & LiFE
The opportunity to lead G20 comes at a time of compounding existential threat, with the COVID-19 pandemic having exposed the fragilities of our systems under the cascading impacts of climate change. In this regard, climate change is a key priority for India’s presidential Presidency, with a particular focus towards not only climate finance and technology, but also ensuring just energy transitions for developing nations across the world.
Understanding that the issue of climate change cuts across industry, society, and sectors, India offers the world LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) -a behaviour-based movement that draws from our nation’s rich, ancient sustainable traditions to nudge consumers, and in-turn markets, to adopt environmentally-conscious practices. This ties closely with India’s G20 theme: ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or ‘One Earth. One Family. One Future.
Accelerated, Inclusive & Resilient Growth
An accelerated, resilient and inclusive growth is a cornerstone for sustainable development. During its G20 Presidency, India aims to focus on areas that have the potential to bring structural transformation. This includes an ambition to accelerate integration of MSMEs in global trade, bring in the spirit of trade for growth, promote labour rights and secure labour welfare, address global skills gap, and build inclusive agricultural value chains and food systems etc.
Accelerating progress on SDGs
India’s G20 Presidency collides with the crucial midpoint of the 2030 Agenda. As such, India acknowledges the detrimental impact of COVID-19, which changed the current decade of action into a decade of recovery. In line with this perspective, India wants to focus on recommitting G20’s efforts to achieving the targets laid out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Technological Transformation & Digital Public Infrastructure
As G20 Presidency, India can foreground its belief in a human-centric approach to technology, and facilitate greater knowledge-sharing in priority areas like digital public infrastructure, financial inclusion, and tech-enabled development in sectors ranging from agriculture to education
Multilateral Institutions for the 21st century
India’s G20 priority will be to continue pressing for reformed multilateralism that creates more accountable, inclusive just, equitable and representative multipolar international system that is fit for addressing the challenges in the 21st century.
India hopes to use the G20 forum to highlight inclusive growth and development, with women empowerment and representation being at the core of India’s G20 deliberations. This includes a focus on bringing women to the fore, and in leading positions, in order to boost socio-economic development and achievement of SDGs.