By: Prashant Singh Parihar, Research Analyst, GSDN
December 01, 2022 will be remembered as milestone day for India as it was on this day that India took over the G20 presidency from Indonesia at the 17th G20 summit held in Bali. The Group of Twenty (G20) comprises 19 countries — Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States and the European Union. G20 members represent around 85 percent of the global GDP, over 75 percent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population. G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation, and it plays an important role in shaping and strengthening global architecture and governance on all major international economic issues
India’s presidency assumed importance on the context that it took over when the world was facing geopolitical tumult and uncertainty over post-pandemic economic recovery. India through year-long events and summit have tried its way to give the world positive way forward on various issues ranging from support to multilateralism, one earth one family concept, voice to global south cooperation and a direction on strengthening of global architecture and governance. India has not left any stone unturned to showcase its leadership skill on global platform and in this article, we will analyze the year-long events and the outcome of the summit.
Elevating the Voice of the Global South
Throughout its presidency, India has emerged as a steadfast champion of the Global South, propounding innovative development concepts and addressing the distinct challenges faced by these nations. The Global South, a term encompassing regions frequently categorized as developing, less developed, or underdeveloped, spans across the continents of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In January, Prime Minister Modi assumed the pivotal role of the main articulator, hosting a groundbreaking virtual “Voice of the Global South Summit,” which saw active participation from an impressive 125 countries. Furthermore, the guest list at the G20 was notably dominated by countries from the global south like Bangladesh, Mauritius, Oman, Egypt etc… marking a significant shift in global diplomatic dynamics.
Making transformative change in G20 membership for the very first time, India boldly lead the integration of the African Union as a new permanent member within this influential grouping. This momentous initiative not only underscored India’s commitment to amplifying the voices of the Global South but also represented a remarkable diplomatic accomplishment during its presidency. By placing the Global South at the forefront global discussions and addressing their pressing needs, India has achieved a diplomatic milestone of immense significance.
Mitigating climate risk
India has consistently made effort at global platform for the cause of sustainable human centric growth and has been torch bearer for initiative to mitigate climate risk. Some of these initiatives include the International Day of Yoga, the International Solar Alliance, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, Infrastructure for Resilient Island States, and One Sun One World One Grid. Continuing this commitment, on November 8, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the G20 logo and revealed India’s G20 Presidency theme: “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” which translates to “One Earth, One Family, and One Future.” The G20 logo embodies India’s pro-planet stance and its vision of cooperation and unity amid global challenges.
During its presidency, India spearheaded the establishment of the Global Biofuel Alliance, aiming to boost global ethanol blending with petrol to 20%. At the ‘One Earth Session’ of the G20, Prime Minister Modi proposed the launch of the G20 satellite mission for environmental and climate monitoring and called for action on the green credit initiative. India also introduced the ‘Gandhinagar Implementation Roadmap’ and ‘Gandhinagar Implementation Framework’ to reinforce the G20 Global Land Initiative. Another noteworthy achievement was the launch of the industry-led Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Industry Coalition (RECEIC) under India’s G20 Presidency.
“India, as the G20 host, fervently displayed its technological capabilities to fellow member nations, emphasizing the importance of digital collaboration. The esteemed ministerial meeting unanimously embraced the G20 Framework for Systems of Digital Public Infrastructure, a tool for enhancing financial inclusivity. India’s proposal to establish the Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository (GDPIR), a virtual depository of voluntarily shared Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) by G20 nations, received resounding support. Additionally, the summit oversaw the creation of the G20 Toolkit on Cyber Education and Youth Cyber Awareness and the G20 Roadmap for Cross-Country Comparison of Digital Skills, further strengthening global digital cooperation.”
Women centric presidency
Promoting Gender equality and outlining solutions tailored for women across education, entrepreneurship, technology, finance have been a focus area for India under its presidency India calibrated efforts toward education with a focus on STEM and one of the critical contributions of its presidency included ‘Tech Equity’, a Digital Inclusion Platform through which girls and women can skill, upskill and reskill themselves in digital literacy, financial literacy and other technical subjects. For the first time, the KPI Dashboard for G20 EMPOWER would look at the role of women in Small and Medium Enterprises. India’s Presidency has added substantially to G20 EMPOWER advocates (comprising CEOs, association heads and other leaders) promoting women’s advancement.
With assuming presidency India has consistently focused on the need for revitalized multilateralism to adequately address contemporary global challenges of the 21st Century and to make global governance more representative, effective, transparent and accountable. It has led member nations to agree on Reforming Multilateral Development banks (MDBs) so as to make them more effective, credible, accountable and legitimate institution. G20 members also emphasised on the importance of addressing debt vulnerabilities in low- and middle-income countries in an effective, comprehensive and systematic manner with collaborating We encourage the efforts of the Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable (GSDR) framework.
Countries also agreed on regulation on cryptocurrencies given the threat they pose to the stability to financial system by endorsing the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB’s) for the regulation, supervision and oversight of crypto-assets activities and markets and of global stable coin arrangements. India -West Asia -Europe connectivity initiative launched on sidelines of September meet boosted the greater connectivity among members.
Janbhagidari – People’s Presidency
Janbhagidari marked a distinctive era in India’s presidency, moving from Delhi-centric diplomacy to active citizen engagement across states and Union Territories. With 220 meetings in 60 cities, involving nearly 30,000 delegates in G20 meetings and over 100,000 participants in side events, G20 connected with people from all corners of the nation. Activities like G20 University Connect, Model G20 meetings, festivals, quizzes, selfies, and #G20India stories gave Indian youth a chance to understand how significant role they can play in progress of country and prepare themselves to leadership they will assume in decade ahead This summit also offered common citizens a deeper understanding of the country’s foreign policy and learning to future such event.
Successful New Delhi Declaration
The New Delhi Declaration is a main document floated among the member countries of the G20 Summit which touches on issues as mentioned above like digital public Infrastructure, gender equality and inclusion sustainable development goal, International taxation counterterrorism and money laundering, green development Technological transformation etc.
India’s G20 Presidency faced a unique challenge as Western nations like the USA, France, the EU, and the UK called for strong language condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine, while China and Russia advocated for a milder stance. India, with its neutral position on the conflict, skillfully navigated this divide as the G20 chair. in this context, the successful crafting of the Delhi Declaration, which garnered consensus in a world marked by fractures, showcased Indian diplomacy at its best.
This achievement marked a stark departure from the previous G20 summit in Bali in 2022, which had been marred by sharp divisions among member nations regarding the Ukraine war this time G20 leaders’ declaration avoided mentioning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and made a general call to all states to follow the principle of respecting each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. India’ success also becomes meaningful when it has overcome all sabotage plans made by its rival member China from creating issue over Sanskrit Quote to skipping the meet by its President