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A New G20 Global Vision

Context

  • India will take over the presidency from Indonesia and host the G20 Leaders Summit for the first time in 2023.
  • While India has a clear understanding of the G20’s role, there is concern that the agenda, themes, and focus areas that India will set for 2023 lack vision.

Relevance

GS Paper 2: Important International Institutions.

Mains Question

Do you believe the G20 summits have lost their significance? Analyze critically. (150 Words)


Background

  • India should concentrate on using the G20 2023 summit as a forum to discuss issues such as aggressive trade barriers/sanctions, inter-country conflicts, and advocating for global peace and cooperation.
  • However, it has announced plans to increase international support in a variety of social and economic sectors, including energy, agriculture, trade, digital economy, health, and the environment, as well as employment, tourism, anti-corruption, and women’s empowerment.
  • Experts believe that India has squandered an opportunity to nudge the G20 and regional organisations toward its specific focus areas.

About G20:

  • Following the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-1998, it was recognised that participation of major emerging market countries in discussions about the international financial system was required, and G7 finance ministers agreed to establish the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in 1999.
  • Because the group has no permanent staff, the presidency is rotated every year in December by a G20 country from a different region.
  • That country is then in charge of organising the next summit, as well as smaller meetings throughout the year.
  • They can also invite non-member countries to attend as guests.
  • The first G20 meeting was held in Berlin in 1999, following a financial crisis in East Asia that affected many countries
  • worldwide.Global share: The G20 accounts for 95% of global patents, 85% of global GDP, 75% of global trade, and 65% of global population.

G20 Collaboration Difficulties

  • Faltering commitments/(losing strength): The massive multilateral commitments on aid and trade in recent years have necessitated institutional innovation in governance.
    • For example, the role of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization in ensuring cooperation between donor and recipient country groups is losing importance.
  • Rethinking the G20’s Vision: The global impact of the Ukraine war, rival finance, the growing influence of trade and value chains dominated by the United States and China, and developing countries’ reluctance to take sides in the strategic competition necessitate new thinking on the nature and form of collaboration from the G20.
  • Emerging alternatives: There are now three socioeconomic systems that will jointly set the global agenda: the G7, China-Russia-India, and others. The G20’s primary role must be reoriented to avoid a clash of ideas that harms the global good.

Addressing common issues

  • Limited focus areas: India should seek collaboration in limited focus areas related to science and technology, building on UNGA and other multilateral bodies’ resolutions.
  • New conceptual frame: As recognised in the case of climate change, presumed equality must be extended to other areas with a global impact, redefining common concerns.
  • Involving developing countries: Emerging economies are no longer to be viewed as the source of problems that require external solutions, but rather as the source of solutions to shared problems.
  • BRICS Model: The BRICS provide an appropriate model for 21st-century governance institutions in which a small group of states dominated by a single power will not shape the agenda.
  • Human rights: The 1993 Vienna Declaration on Human Rights, which reaffirmed the indivisibility of all human rights, needs to be strengthened.
  • Emphasis on quality of life: Principles of shared but differentiated responsibilities for improving the quality of life in all households can serve as a guide for discussions in other forums.
    • International cooperation should be guided by ensuring adequate food, housing, education, health, water, and sanitation, as well as work for all.
  • Avoiding strategic competition: Countries could support expanding on the 1971 United Nations General Assembly Declaration designating the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace and non-extension into the region of rivalries and conflicts that are foreign to it for all time.
  • Environment: The G20 should reconsider imposing a Global Financial Transaction Tax to fund a Green Technology Fund for Least Developed Countries, as proposed in 2011. (LDCs).
  • Leveraging the digital IT revolution: It is necessary to rethink digital access as a “universal service” that extends beyond physical connectivity. Open source software should be made available for more cost-effective service delivery, good governance, and long-term development.
  • Geospatial information: To find solutions to natural resource management problems ranging from climate change-related natural disasters to agricultural innovation and urban and infrastructure planning, regional and international collaboration will be required through existing centres with massive computing capacities, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

The Way Forward

  • The G20 must strengthen its partnership with international organisations such as the IMF, OECD, WHO, World Bank, and WTO, and delegate the task of progress monitoring to them.
  • For the benefit of all member countries, global cooperation, dialogue, and diplomacy should take precedence over individual interests.

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September 2022
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