G20 - UPSC International Relations

The Indonesian G20 presidency recently hosted the 17th annual G-20 conference in Bali with the motto “Recover Together, Recover Stronger.” The 18th G20 summit will be held in India in 2023 as India has now assumed the presidency of the group.

In order to achieve a robust global economic growth, the countries which represent and contribute more than 80% of the global GDP came at the Premier forum for International economic cooperation, which was agreed by leaders at the Pittsburgh Summit in September 2009. These countries co-operated to discuss and were known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy” which is now the G20 Summit.

Recently G20 summits started focusing not only on macroeconomy and trade; but also on a wide range of global issues which have an immense impact on the global economy since globalization started progressing and various issues became more intricately intertwined. Those issues included overall development, climate change and energy, health, counter-terrorism, as well as migration and refugees.

The G20 has sought to realize an inclusive and sustainable world through its contributions towards resolving these global issues.

This is an important topic for the UPSC 2023 exam.

G20 countries
Argentina Australia
Brazil Canada
China France
Germany India
Indonesia Italy
Japan Mexico
Republic of Korea Republic of South Africa
Russia Saudi Arabia
Turkey United Kingdom
United States of America European Union (EU)

G20 Summit 2022- Indonesian Presidency

The G20 summit, the group’s first post-pandemic summit, recently took place in Bali, Indonesia, in the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and a missile attack on Poland. The article gives a brief overview of the G20, highlights of the Bali summit and the significance of India’s G20 presidency.

Key Takeaways From G20 Summit 2022

  • Health:
    • Leaders also reaffirmed their ongoing commitment to fostering a robust and long-lasting recovery that advances and maintains universal health care.
    • They hailed the World Bank’s creation of the “Pandemic Fund,” a new financial intermediary fund for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.
    • The World Health Organization (WHO), with assistance from other international organisations, has reaffirmed the commitment of world leaders to strengthen global health governance.
  • Digital Transformation & Digital Literacy
    • Leaders have acknowledged the significance of digital transformation in achieving sustainable development goals.
    • They pushed for further global cooperation to boost digital literacy and skills in order to maximise the benefits of the digital transformation, particularly for women, girls and those who are vulnerable.
  • Climate Change: G20 leaders decided to continue their efforts to keep the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius, reaffirming their commitment to the temperature goal in Paris 2015 agreement on climate change.
  • Food Security: The leaders praised the Black Sea grains project and pledged to take coordinated action to solve problems concerning food security.
  • Focus on the Global Economy: In a departure from last year’s focus on healing the wounds left by the Covid-19 outbreak, the G20 economies agreed in their declaration to pace interest rate rises cautiously to avoid spillovers and warned of “increasing volatility” in currency fluctuations.
  • Condemning Russian Aggression: 
    • Member nations issued a statement condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine “in the strongest terms” and calling for an immediate and complete withdrawal. 
    • They also acknowledged that although the majority of members had expressed their opposition to the war in Ukraine, “there were different opinions and differing assessments of the situation and sanctions.”
  • India Takes Over Presidency of the G20:
    • A summit of this size will be held for the first time in the nation in New Delhi on September 9 and 10, 2023.
    • According to the Indian Prime Minister, India’s G20 chairmanship theme of “One Earth, One Family, One Future” will be reflected in its inclusive, ambitious, definite, and action-oriented presidency.

Challenges For G20 Countries

  • Rising Geopolitical Rifts: The global economy is having trouble coping with rising geopolitical rifts like the conflict between the world’s two largest economies, the US and China, or the drop in trade between the UK and the euro area following the Brexit vote.
  • Slow Down Of Major Economies: China, one of the main drivers of global economy, is currently experiencing a severe slowdown as a result of its ongoing real estate crisis.
  • Expected Recession: While some of the world’s largest economies, including the US and the UK, are expected to experience a recession, others, like countries in the euro area, are more likely to experience a slowdown or even a standstill.
  • Persistent High Inflation: Consistently rising inflation, which is reaching historic highs in a number of countries, has reduced purchasing power globally, slowing down economic growth.
  • Impact of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: In addition to greatly increasing geopolitical ambiguity, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also significantly increased worldwide inflation. The associated Western sanctions have made the situation worse. Read in detail about the Russia-Ukraine Conflict in the linked article.
  • Impact of Rising Inflation: Central banks around the world have hiked interest rates in response to the high inflation, which has further slowed down economic activity.

Indian Presidency in 2023

The G20 Presidency for 2023 will pass to India. India will take over the G20 Presidency on December 1st, 2022. 

  • India will host nearly 200 meetings in 32 different sectors at various places all over the nation while it holds the G20 presidency. 
  • G20 Theme: “Vasudhaiva Kutumba-Kam,” or “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” is the focus of India’s G20 Presidency.
  • India will work to ensure that there is “just one world,” not a “first world or third world.”
  • The G20 Theme embodies India’s efforts to realise its vision of uniting the entire world in pursuit of a common goal and a better future.

The importance of India holding the 2023 Summit is given below:

  • India’s G20 Presidency is a special opportunity for India to contribute to the global agenda on urgent issues of global significance.
  • The first step toward a new world order for the post-Covid age was to build an international agreement on reforming multilateral organisations like the UN.
  • It is an opportunity to take on the role of Global South leader.
  • The increasing importance of G20 in a world where issues like global warming, the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine are pressing issues.

Conclusion

The purpose of establishing G20 is to create an atmosphere that supports equitable global growth and development. They bring together the most powerful economies in the world, both developed and emerging, to talk about global financial and economic stability. However, the way forward to tackle the present situation is:

  • Governments must find measures to assist the vulnerable without necessarily increasing debt levels. The need to closely monitor external risks would be a major issue in this regard.
  • The G20 leaders must advocate for “more open, stable, and transparent rules-based commerce” in order to alleviate the world’s supply shortages.
  • Increasing the global value chains’ resilience would assist safeguard against upcoming shocks.
  • Keeping the blazing inflation under control is the G-20’s top priority.
  • A strong, sustained, balanced, and inclusive recovery necessitates G-20 cooperation, and this cooperation necessitates not only maintaining peace in Ukraine but also “helping prevent future division”.

The topic has a very high chance of being asked as a UPSC Prelims International Relations Question or as a Current Affairs Question as it has been in the news recently.

Daily News

G20 Summit 2021 – Italian Presidency

The Italian Presidency – Italy holds the Presidency of the G20 Summit 2021 since December 1st 2020. The Summit will be held in Rome on October 30th and 31st 2021. 

The last G20 Summit was held on 21 and 22 November 2020 virtually (due to COVID -19 pandemic) under the presidency of Saudi Arabia. India in the g20 summit called for a ‘New Global Index’ that will be based on the following our pillars; Technology, Talent, Transparency, and Trusteeship towards the planet.

The agenda of the Italian Presidency (G20 Summit 2021) rests upon three main pillars: People, Planet, Prosperity. 

  • People – The unprecedented health, economic and social crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic is severely affecting people all over the world, threatening their lives, jobs, and social relationships. The G20 must lead the change towards a better and brighter future for the entire global society. To achieve this ambitious goal, our policy actions must be centered around-
    • Eradicating poverty, as mandated by the first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of the United Nations. Read more on Sustainable Development Goals on the linked page.
    • Tackling inequality, which has been rising over the past decades and even more during COVID times.
    • Building a more inclusive global society that means protecting the most vulnerable such as young people, precarious workers, small and medium enterprises; promoting women’s empowerment; ensuring universal access to education; redistributing opportunities within countries, and decreasing disparities between regions.

Aspirants can go through the following links for detailed information –

  • Planet – As humanity expands the urgency of ensuring the sustainability of the presence of humanity on the planet is rapidly increasing.
    • A firm commitment to address key issues such as climate change, land degradation, biodiversity loss and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals enshrined in Agenda 2030.
    • A transition towards renewable energies and a green recovery, with a focus on modern, “smart” cities, is essential and is among the main priorities promoted by the Italian Presidency.
    • The G20 will also pave the way towards the 26th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP26), a key milestone in the global fight against climate change, which will be co-hosted by Italy and the United Kingdom. Read in detail on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC on the linked page.

Check out the following links for further details –

  • Prosperity –  The planet is facing the worst economic crisis of the last century. The need of the hour is to reignite growth and foster a renewed prosperity. The digital revolution represents a fundamental tool to achieve prosperity however, digitalization has also been a driver of precariousness and inequality. Therefore, G20 needs to make digitalization an opportunity for all.
    • reducing the digital divide, promoting infrastructural developments able to guarantee universal internet access, and achieving adequate and widespread digital literacy. Read about the Digital Divide in India on the linked page.
    • exploiting the full potential of the technological revolution to concretely improve the living conditions of citizens all over the world
    • making health services more effective; facilitate data sharing to strengthen global pandemic preparedness and response, enhance the reach of educational activities, agile and flexible working models, a better work-life balance for both men and women; improve the efficiency of energy distribution networks, etc.

Read the information provided on the following links to prepare even better –

History of G20

When the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-1998 ended, it was acknowledged that the participation of major emerging market countries was necessary for a discussion on the international financial system. Hence, the G7 Finance ministers agree to establish the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in 1999.

The meeting of G20 Finance ministers and the Central Bank Governors was centred on major economic and monetary policy issues amongst major countries in the global financial system. Their aim was to promote cooperation towards achieving stable and sustainable global economic growth for the benefit of all countries.

They upgraded to the head of the state level, as a forum for leaders from major developed and emerging market countries. In September 2009, the third summit was held in Pittsburgh where the leaders designated the G20 as the “premier forum for international economic cooperation.” The summit meetings were, henceforth held semiannually until 2010 and annually from 2011 onwards.

What is G20+?

The G20 developing nations, also called G21/G23/G20+ is a bloc of developing nations which was established on August 20, 2003. It is distinct from the G20 major economies.

  • The G20+ originated in September 2003 at the 5th ministerial conference of the WTO held at Cancun, Mexico.
  • Its origins can be traced to the Brasilia Declaration signed by the foreign ministers of India, Brazil and South Africa on 6th June 2003.
  • The declaration stated that the major economies were still practising protectionist policies especially in sectors they were less competitive in and that it was important to see to it that the trade negotiations that took place provided for the reversal of those policies.
  • The G20+ is responsible for 60% of the world population, 26% of the world’s agricultural exports and 70% of its farmers.

What did India do in the G20 2019 Summit?

Type India’s discussion with Topic of Discussion
Bilateral Meetings Japanese PM Shinzo Abe Defence, digital economy, infrastructure, space, and startups.

Click here to know more about Indo- Japan relations.

American President Donald Trump The situation with Iran, trade tariffs, defence, and 5G communication network & data storage.

Click here to know more about Indo- American relations

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia Ways to deepen India-Indonesia cooperation in a host of sectors
Brazilian President Jair M. Bolsonaro Means to improve business linkages and overcome climate change.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey Building a strong development partnership between the two nations.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Ways to expand cooperation in a range of sectors.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia To strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations and discussing energy security.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in to enhance trade, economic, and people-to-people relations.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel means to diversify and deepen Indo-German ties in areas like cybersecurity and AI.
Pull aside meetings The World Bank, UNSG, Thailand, Vietnam, France, Italy, Singapore, and Chile.
Trilateral talks Japan – America – India (JAI) Issues related to Indo-Pacific region, connectivity and infrastructure development, peace & security.
Russia – India – China (RIC) Promotion of counter-terrorism, reformed multilateralism, climate change, and international hot-spot issues.
Multilateral talk BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China, & South Africa A series of global issues and concerns.
Community event PM Modi interacted with the Indians living in Japan.

Upcoming G20 summits

Year Country Hosting the Summit
2021 Italy
2022 Indonesia
2023 India

Also, Read| India relations with France and its significance for UPSC Exam

Related Links:

UPSC 2023

FAQ about G20

What is the purpose of G20?

The purpose of the G20 are: a) Policy coordination between its members in order to achieve global economic stability, sustainable growth; b) To promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises; and c) To create a new international financial architecture.

What are G20 countries?

G-20 is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 of the world’s largest economies along with the European Union.

What distinguishes the G7 from the G20?

The G7 has been meeting for many years and is a smaller, more uniform group. The goals of the two organisations are similar, but the G7 is more concerned with issues of politics and security while the G20 is more focused on international economic and financial regulation.

Where did the 17th G20 Summit take place?

On November 15 and 16, 2022, Bali, Indonesia, hosted the 17th G20 Summit.

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