Assessing outcomes of G-20 summit
The 18th G-20 Summit recently concluded in New Delhi, resulting in the issuance of the ‘New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration.’ This summit’s outcome was a subject of concern in the days leading up to it, with doubts about whether it would culminate in a consensus-based, comprehensive declaration or a ‘Chair’s summary,’ highlighting divisions among member nations. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of complete consensus on the declaration’s contents on the first day of the summit dispelled these concerns. Moreover, the inclusion of the African Union (AU) as a G-20 member was another cause for celebration.
GS-02 (Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s Interests)
African Union, Global Biofuels Alliance, Financial Inclusion Document, World Bank, India – Middle East – Europe Economic Corridor , GE F-414 Jet Engine, India-Mercosur preferential trade agreement, G20
What are the key elements of the ‘New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration’ from the 18th G-20 Summit, and how do they reflect the priorities and aspirations of the G-20 nations in the current global context? 15 marks
Dimensions of the Article:
- Driving Philosophy
- Commitment to Goals
- Geopolitical Issues
- Inclusive Expansion
- Wide-Ranging Agenda
- Reinvigorating Multilateralism
- The ‘Preamble’ and the concluding paragraph of the ‘Conclusion’ in the declaration underscore the fundamental goals and driving motivations of the G-20 leaders. They emphasize unity, a shared destiny, and the philosophy of harmonious coexistence with the ecosystem.
- This philosophy recognizes the imperative to balance development with environmental preservation, rejecting the notion that countries must choose between poverty alleviation and environmental protection.
Commitment to Goals:
- Paragraph 5 of the declaration outlines 12 significant goals to which all G-20 members are fully committed. These goals encompass various aspects, including inclusive growth, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, debt vulnerability, reform of Multilateral Development Banks, and incorporating the perspectives of the Global South into the G-20’s future agenda.
- The commitment to these goals reflects the collective intent to address pressing global challenges comprehensively.
- A substantial portion of the declaration, spanning eight paragraphs, addresses what previous ministerial meetings referred to as “geopolitical issues.” The negotiators achieved a delicate balance between Russia’s concerns and the G7’s insistence on upholding principles such as territorial integrity and sovereignty.
- This middle-ground approach, crafted through collaborative efforts by Indian diplomats and their counterparts, salvaged the summit from potential failure. The declaration calls for a “comprehensive, just, and durable peace in Ukraine.” However, the effectiveness of this call in influencing the conflict’s stakeholders remains uncertain.
- One of the most notable developments at the 18th G-20 Summit was the expansion of G-20 membership. The declaration characterizes the African Union (AU) as “a permanent member,” although the G-20 does not distinguish between permanent and non-permanent members but comprises members and guests.
- This inclusive step was taken with the aim of creating a more inclusive world. The leaders also expressed their commitment to strengthen ties with and support the African Union in realizing the aspirations outlined in Agenda 2063. Facilitating AU participation in G-20 activities at the government level and within various Engagement Groups will require substantial support.
- The G-20’s central agenda encompasses a broad spectrum of issues, including economic and financial sectors, climate action, energy transitions, the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), technological transformation through Digital Public Infrastructure, reform of international financial institutions, trade, taxation, and the empowerment of “all” women and girls.
- While ambitious and aspirational, the feasibility of achieving these goals, especially regarding financial resources, remains a subject of scrutiny. The declaration’s effectiveness will depend on concrete actions and resource mobilization. Experts have pointed out the need for significant new financial resources to support various initiatives.
- Paragraph 47 emphasizes the indispensability of reinvigorated multilateralism, reforms, and international cooperation in addressing 21st-century global challenges. The declaration advocates for more responsive UN institutions that cater to the entire membership and seeks to make global governance more representative, effective, transparent, and accountable.
- While these proposals have garnered support from the entire G-20 leadership, the path to their implementation remains complex and uncertain.
- The success of the 18th G-20 Summit, indicates that the declaration enjoys unanimous backing and introduces novel concepts, goals, and objectives compared to previous declarations. However, the ultimate gauge of success will be the extent to which the summit’s decisions are implemented. This assessment will take time and necessitates vigilance.