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Opportunity to Heal A Fractured World: G20 Presidency Will Enhance India's Global Stature, Say Experts

By: Shailendra Wangu

Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta

CNN-News18

Last Updated: November 17, 2022, 08:00 IST

New Delhi, India

Indonesian President Joko Widodo welcomes PM Modi for the G20 Summit in Bali. (Image: @MEAIndia)

Indonesian President Joko Widodo welcomes PM Modi for the G20 Summit in Bali. (Image: @MEAIndia)

India's focus will be on matters like inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth, global food security and other related issues

In two weeks from now, India will assume the G20 (Group of Twenty countries) presidency for the first time. New Delhi will host the 18th G20 summit in September next year, apart from over 200 meetings across various states. The presidency of the G20 was handed over to India at the closure ceremony of the 17th G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The G20 represents around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world’s population.

But what will India achieve by being the chair of the G20?

India will hold the presidency of G20 for one year. Earlier this month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the logo, theme, and website of India’s G20 presidency with much fanfare. The logo, which has the colours of the Indian national flag juxtaposes planet Earth with the lotus, India’s national flower. Former diplomat Ambassador Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty told News18, “India’s ability to deliver results, as G20 president, will enhance India’s global stature.”

But the worries of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, a world recovering from the Covid pandemic are unlikely to go away very soon. Former diplomat Anil Trigunayat said, “India takes on the G20 presidency amidst unprecedented global challenges…However, her principled policy with ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and adherence to the ideas of peace, development, dialogue, and diplomacy provide the requisite heft as G20 lead to prove to the alliance-ridden mindsets of the power blocs what and how a benign power like India can resolve the issues ailing the world. If India can be an active interlocutor to avert further escalation of the Russia-Ukraine War so much the better."

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Former ambassador and MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said, “India is assuming the presidency of G20 at a critical juncture when the global polity is fractured and a new Cold War-like situation prevails. As Prime Minister Modi stated in Bali, climate change, Covid pandemic, and the Ukraine conflict have triggered global chaos."

India’s focus will be on matters like inclusive, equitable, and sustainable growth, global food security, and other related issues. The first meeting will be the Sherpa meeting in Udaipur in the first week of December. G20 doesn’t have a secretariat but it’s the president of the grouping that decides the agenda.

Speaking to News18, former diplomat, foreign affairs commentator Rajiv Dogra said, “G20, along with G7, are two of the most prestigious groupings in the world today. United Nations used to be the most unifying and leading factor in the world, but over the years its leadership role has somewhat faded." He explained that the challenge and task for India in the coming year as president of G20 would be to take two important roles: one is to show a new way out of the problems that the world is facing and, two, to reintroduce globalisation, which had been gradually replaced by each country going its own way through nationalism.

India already has set up a G20 secretariat under the ministry of external affairs which has over 40 officials. The secretariat is headed by India’s Sherpa Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 chief coordinator Harsh Vardhan Shringla, and G20 special operations led by Muktesh Pardeshi.

India is currently part of the G20 troika consisting of current, previous, and incoming G20 presidencies—that is Indonesia, Italy, and India. The troika is part of a G20 governance structure. During the Indian presidency, India, Indonesia, and Brazil would form the troika. This would be the first time when the troika would consist of three developing countries and emerging economies.

After India took over the presidency at the Bali G20 Summit, PM Modi said, “India is taking charge of the G20 at a time when the world is simultaneously grappling with geopolitical tensions, economic slowdown, rising food and energy prices, and the long-term ill-effects of the pandemic. At such a time, the world is looking at the G20 with hope. Today, I want to assure that India’s G20 presidency will be inclusive, ambitious, decisive, and action-oriented.”

“It is a proud occasion for every Indian to assume the G20 presidency. We will organise G20 meetings in different cities and states of our country. Our guests will get a full experience of India’s amazing diversity, inclusive traditions, and cultural richness. We wish that all of you will participate in this unique celebration in India, the ‘Mother of Democracy’. Together, we will make the G20, a catalyst for global change,” he added.

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first published:November 17, 2022, 08:00 IST
last updated:November 17, 2022, 08:00 IST
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