The G-20 summit – India’s moment
India’s successful hosting of the G-20 Leaders’ Summit, which led to the unanimous adoption of the New Delhi Declaration is noteworthy because of the complex geopolitical dynamics involving the G-7-EU, Russia, and China. The article highlights India’s role in achieving consensus on critical issues and its efforts to make the G-20 more relevant and accessible to a wider global audience.
GS-02 (Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s Interests)
African Union, Financial Inclusion Document, World Bank, India – Middle East – Europe Economic Corridor, India-Mercosur preferential trade agreement, G20
How did India manage to foster consensus and facilitate meaningful dialogue among diverse global stakeholders during its G-20 presidency, and what are the implications of this achievement? (150 words)
Dimensions of the Article:
- Overcoming Geopolitical Divides
- India’s Pragmatic Approach
- The Strength of India’s “Middle Path”
- Inclusive Measures
- Expanding the G-20 Horizons
- Enhancing Global Relevance
Overcoming Geopolitical Divides:
- India’s recent G-20 presidency, marked by the Leaders’ Summit, stands as a remarkable success story. One of the most notable accomplishments was the unanimous adoption of the New Delhi Declaration.
- This outcome was particularly noteworthy due to the deep-seated divides between the “western” G-7-EU alliance and the Russia-China combine regarding the Ukraine war. Previous attempts at consensus, such as in the UN Security Council, had resulted in deadlock due to mutual vetoes by these opposing sides. This scenario had cast doubt on India’s ability to bridge these divides successfully.
India’s Pragmatic Approach:
- In contrast to previous unsuccessful attempts, India’s negotiating team took a pragmatic approach. They first sought consensus on other important issues before addressing the contentious paragraphs related to Ukraine.
- A significant breakthrough occurred when the G-7 members compromised on their insistence on language critical of Russia, opting for more neutral phrasing. This achievement was nothing short of miraculous in today’s global landscape marked by polarization.
The Strength of India’s “Middle Path”:
- India’s foreign policy, characterized by its “middle path” approach, proved to be a substantial asset. This policy, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal engagement with numerous G-20 leaders throughout the year, contributed significantly to achieving consensus.
- India’s unique initiative of involving the “Global South,” including many G-20 members, further bolstered its position. These nations, reluctant to take sides in the geopolitical struggle, aimed to shift priorities towards global development concerns.
Key Initiatives and Progress:
- The New Delhi Declaration, spanning 83 paragraphs, made notable progress in regulating cryptocurrencies and defined the need for nearly $10 trillion to address climate change adaptation and mitigation projects in the Global South.
- However, consensus on specific deadlines for fossil fuel “phase-out” was elusive.
- India’s G-20 presidency also witnessed several other inclusive initiatives. The admission of the 55-member African Union rectified an imbalance, as previously only the EU was recognized as a regional grouping within the G-20.
- The formation of the Global Biofuel Alliance marked a significant step towards advancing research and adoption of alternative energy sources in a world still heavily reliant on fossil fuels.
- Additionally, the proposal for an India-Middle East-Europe Corridor, with potential U.S. investment, presents exciting opportunities, although details regarding funding and execution require further elaboration.
Expanding the G-20 Horizons:
- India took the G-20 beyond the conventional single-venue format by organizing over 200 meetings in more than 60 cities, attracting over 1,00,000 official visitors from 125 countries.
- This innovative approach, though incurring additional costs, challenges the traditional perception of the G-20 as a static, high-table event focused on arcane subjects. It remains to be seen if future G-20 hosts will adopt this model.
Enhancing Global Relevance:
- India’s G-20 presidency sought to make the organization more accessible and relevant to a broader global audience. Historically viewed as a staid and esoteric gathering of world leaders, the G-20, under India’s leadership, aimed to create tangible change in the lives of people worldwide.
- Prime Minister Modi’s decision to hold a virtual “review” meeting in November, before India’s presidency concludes, presents an opportunity to ensure the implementation and scrutiny of the decisions made during this historic G-20 summit, thus cementing what has been termed “India’s G-20 moment.”
- India’s G-20 presidency achieved remarkable success by fostering consensus on critical global issues and transcending geopolitical divides.
- The unanimous adoption of the New Delhi Declaration signifies a significant diplomatic achievement.
- India’s pragmatic approach, “middle path” foreign policy, and engagement with the Global South were instrumental in this success.
- Inclusivity, innovative initiatives, and an expanded format made the G-20 more accessible and relevant.
- The upcoming virtual review meeting in November will be an essential step to ensure the implementation of decisions taken during this transformative G-20 summit.
- India’s G-20 presidency leaves a lasting imprint as it endeavours to popularize an organization that was once seen as distant and inaccessible, ultimately aiming to bring tangible change to the lives of people across the globe.