G20 - UPSC International Relations

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 2021 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 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
2020 Saudi Arabia
2021 Italy
2023 India

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

Related Links:

UPSC 2022

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.

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