India’s G20 Presidency: With India assuming the G20 presidency for a year-long period from today, the country is presented with a unique opportunity to influence the collective discourse of the biggest economic powerhouses in the world.
The 18th G20 Summit will be held from September 9-10 next year in New Delhi. Together, the member nations of the G20 comprise over than 80% of global GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the world’s population.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday highlighted a sea change in geopolitics and said that India’s G20 presidency comes at “a very challenging time in world politics and at an inflexion point.”
Speaking at the G20 University Connect – Engaging Young Minds event held at Sushma Swaraj Bhawan in New Delhi, he said, “This is not a development that should be regarded as just one more diplomatic happening, on the contrary, it is the crucial responsibility that is being assumed by India at a very challenging time in world politics and at an inflexion point in India’s own history and we are going to do the G20 very differently and today’s event itself is proof of that.”
He highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict that has added to the miseries of the world population.
“Our G20 presidency is taking place at a very critical moment in international affairs. Over the last three years, we have seen the economic and social devastations caused by the Covid pandemic, quite apart from its human toll. It has aggravated the financial position of developing countries, undermined the pursuit of sustainable development goals and created a health divide between developed and developing countries. To this were added the knock-on effects of the Ukraine conflict, especially, the difficulties in the availability and affordability of fuel, food and fertilizers,” said Jaishankar.
The EAM also emphasized climate crisis, terrorism and black money while interacting with the youths of India.
“There were longer-term trends like extreme climate whose events are now unfolding with greater frequency and more impact, and, don’t forget the perennial challenges that we have faced – whether it is terrorism or black money,” said Jaishankar.
He said that the G20 is the primary grouping that is devoted to addressing the financial, economic and development challenges in the interest of the world. And, in these difficult times, it is particularly important that world leaders focus on the right issues – that especially affect the more vulnerable sections of the world.
Addressing the youths, he said, “It is a very great pleasure to join you all today at University Connect where we engage young minds on important issues. Today’s event is focussed on the assumption of the G20 presidency by India.”
Notably, G20 brings together all 20 major economies of the world who represent 85 per cent of the global GDP, 75 per cent of international trade and 2/3rd of the world’s population. In addition, participants in the group include major international organizations like the UN, the WTO, WHO, World Bank, IMF, ILO, ASEAN, the African Union, the International Solar Alliance, CDRI, etc.
“As the host, it is also India’s prerogative to invite guest nations and we have exercised that right in respect of the UAE, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Egypt, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, the Netherlands and Spain. This is actually a gathering of extraordinary importance and one that in many ways is unparalleled in our history,” said the EAM. Jaishankar also said that around 200 meetings across India will be held in 50 cities of India during India’s G20 presidency.
“But, it is not just the collective weight of the participants that you should take note of, the very process of holding G20 itself is uniquely impactful. There will, of course, be the G20 Summit in September 2023 in New Delhi, but, in addition, there are almost 200 meetings at various other levels – from ministers and officials to domain experts, civil society and of course, the youth,” said Jaishankar. “Given its significance, we would like G20 not to be a Delhi-centric set of events, but one that is hosted and celebrated across the width and breadth of our country. By doing so, the world will get to know the fullness of India’s extraordinary diversity and rich heritage. Similarly, our own citizens will develop a sharper appreciation of the world, its challenges and its opportunities,” he added.
Jaishankar further urged them to approach the G20 delegates in the true spirit of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ and understand that as a result of G20, it will in a sense make the world more India-ready and make India more world-ready.
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