The expectation is that India’s G20 presidency will become a big banner in Prime Minister Modi’s election campaign to showcase him as a great global statesman from a powerful country that can lead the G20 bloc to reach its goals by overcoming geopolitical rivalries and competitions and bringing consensus on a number of global issues and concerns, writes Nivedita Das Kundu.
From September 8-10, 2023, the forthcoming G20 Summit in New Delhi will host many significant world leaders. India is all set to host the G20 Summit and they are busy with massive preparations showcasing India’s art, culture and traditions. High on the agenda and high in optics, this is the most awaited international event of the year for India. India’s G20 presidency has been fraught with challenges. The 3D’s – Democracy, Diplomacy and Dialogue – resonated all throughout the G20 meetings in 2023, as the world navigated through the difficult period of conflict and pandemic, leading up to a food and energy crisis.
To bring consensus and to get everybody on board on various issues would depend on how New Delhi would navigate through every punctuation mark in the final document. This is a big task, but India is determined to achieve it.
The G20 or The Group of 20 is the premier forum for international cooperation. The G20 members represent around 85% of the global GDP, over 75% of global trade and about two-thirds of the world population. The Global 20 Presidency for India is an opportunity to showcase its diplomatic reach and leadership on global issues. The theme of India’s G20 Presidency is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam
, which means “One Earth, One Family, One Future”.
The G20, formed in the 1990s, is comprised of 19 different countries and the European Union, and represents around 85 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. Aside from its own members, the G20 has invited non-member countries, including Bangladesh, Singapore, Spain and Nigeria, as well as international organisations such as the United Nations, World Health Organisation, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to attend its meetings and summits. G20 includes the world’s largest developed and developing economies, powerful nations including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the European Union. G20 meetings and summits discuss issues such as trade and economic matters, climate change, health care issues and concerns, food and energy security, global supply chain issues and concerns, geo-political tensions, and how to increase the effectiveness of international cooperation, among other things.
India during its G20 presidency has positioned itself as the voice of the Global South and has tried to raise issues pertinent to the region. However, the deep global division over the Russia-Ukraine crisis has dominated the conversation at its meetings. Nonetheless, India has maintained a neutral stance on the crisis and has tried to play a vital role in bridging differences between the West and Russia.
India’s G20 presidency is also seen as an opportunity for India’s ruling political party to showcase its achievements and diplomatic reach ahead of India’s 2024 general election. The expectation is that India’s G20 presidency will become a big banner in Prime Minister Modi’s election campaign to showcase him as a great global statesman from a powerful country that can lead the G20 bloc to reach its goals by overcoming geopolitical rivalries and competitions and bringing consensus on a number of global issues and concerns.
The G20 presidency steers the G20 agenda for one year and hosts the summit. India has invited eight nations and three international organizations to this year’s G20 meeting. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also asked the African Union to be made a G20 member, while pitching for India as the solution to supply chain difficulties.