India’s G20 Presidency & Challenges & opportunities

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    • As India hosts the G20 summit this year, Delhi looks to shape conversations on issues confronting the world.

    Challenges to Indian Presidency

    • China’s aggression:
      • Indo-Pacific:
        • Closer home, India is facing that aggression on its border, with a skirmish in Arunachal Pradesh after the 2020 Galwan clashes that killed 20 Indian soldiers.
      • South China Sea:
        • Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, where it has been observed to carry out construction on an island.
    • COVID return:
      • With a highly infectious COVID-19 variant spreading across China, a level of uncertainty has again gripped the world. And an economic downturn looms large on the horizon.
    • Russian invasion of Ukraine & outcomes:
      • The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has upended the global order in place since World War II, impacted the world’s food and energy security, and is pushing the global economy towards a recession
      • The nuclear rhetoric from Russian leaders has also caused anxiety to the world.
      • The strategic embrace of Russia and China is another worry.
    • Stressful ties with West:
      • India’s ties with the West are going through a stress test as India refrains to vote against Russia in UNSC.
      • India in this context is seen as following its interests and not being guided by “shared values”.
      • European partners, which import more energy than India, have scoffed at India’s buying of cheap oil from sanctions-hit Russia.
    • Taliban engagement:
      • Less than a year after Taliban’s recapturing of Afghanistan, India reopened its operations in the Indian embassy in Kabul.
      • While India has also made its red lines clear on the menace of extremism and rights of minorities and women.
    • Sri Lankan Crisis:
      • The Sri Lankan economic and political crisis was a major challenge in the neighbourhood. 
      • India opened its purse strings and gave humanitarian aid, fuel, medicines, more than any other country in such a short period of time. 
      • India is also helping the island country negotiate an economic debt relief package from the International Monetary Fund.

    Know about G20

    • Origin:
      • The G20 was formed in 1999 in the backdrop of the financial crisis of the late 1990s that hit East Asia and Southeast Asia in particular. 
      • Its aim was to secure global financial stability by involving middle-income countries. 
      • As stated by the official G20 Website: 
        • “On the advice of the G7 Finance Ministers, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors began holding meetings to discuss the response to the global financial crisis that occurred,” 
    • Objectives:
      • Policy coordination between its members in order to achieve global economic stability, sustainable growth;
      • To promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises; and
      • To create a new international financial architecture.
    • Members & guests: 
      • Members: 
        • Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. 
        • Spain is also invited as a permanent guest.
      • Others: 
        • Each year, the Presidency invites guest countries, which take full part in the G20 exercise. Several international and regional organizations also participate, granting the forum an even broader representation. 

    • Together, the G20 countries include: 
      • 60 percent of the world’s population, 
      • 80 percent of global GDP, and 
      • 75 percent of global trade.
    • Presidency of G20 & Troika:
      • The presidency of the G20 rotates every year among members.
      • The country holding the presidency, together with the previous and next presidency-holder, forms the ‘Troika’ to ensure continuity of the G20 agenda. 

    Opportunities & way ahead

    • G20 as a global stage:
      • The hosting of the G20 summit will be one of the biggest portrayals of India’s rise at the global stage months ahead of the General Elections in 2024.
    • India as the voice of the Global South:
      • India has already positioned itself as the “voice of the Global South” — a reference to the developing and the less-developed countries — and will seek to put its priorities on the global forum.
    • Russian and Western interlocutors:
      • India should also seek to bring Russian and Western interlocutors and leaders together and end the conflict in Europe, so that all the leaders, including Putin, Biden, and Xi attend the September summit in Delhi. If it manages to do so, it will claim a diplomatic win.
    • Dealing with China:
      • As China sees itself as a superpower and whose time has come, more clashes and competing interests with India are likely, which will have to be resolved through negotiations.
      • Importance of China: 
        • The border standoff with China has shown Russia’s importance in India’s strategic calculus.
    • Limited focus areas:
      • India should seek collaboration on limited focus areas around science and technology, building on resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and other multilateral bodies.
    • Employment and environment:
      • G20 can act as a forum to exchange experiences on societal benefits and growth as complementary goals would lead to fresh thinking on employment and environment.
      • India has its own initiatives like “LiFE Movement” & “The One Sun One World One Grid” to offer to the world.

    Source: TH