Baba’s Explainer – Significance of the Bali G-20 summit

  • IASbaba
  • November 15, 2022
  • 0
International Relations
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  • GS-2: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Context: Leaders of the G-20 nations will gather at Bali, Indonesia for the 17th summit of the world’s most advanced economies.

  • While the focus will be on post-pandemic recovery and dealing with energy and food security impacted by the Russian war in Ukraine, much interest will be around which leaders choose to hold bilateral summits on the sidelines.
What is G20?
  • The G20 or Group of Twenty is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union (EU).
  • Created in 1999 as an acceptable medium between the more “elitist” G-7 (then the G-8 due to Russia), and the more unwieldy 38-member Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the G-20 was conceived in a more unified, post-Soviet era, when western economies made the rules
  • It works to address major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development
  • The G20 is composed of most of the world’s largest economies, including both industrialized and developing nations.
  • The members of the G20 are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.
  • G20 accounts for around 80% of gross world product (GWP), 75% of international trade, two-thirds of the global population, and 60% of the world’s land area.
  • The G20 was founded in 1999 in response to several world economic crises, more particularly the currency crisis that hit East Asia and Southeast Asia. Its primary aim was to secure global financial stability by involving middle-income countries.
  • Since 2008, it has convened at least once a year, with summits involving each member’s head of government or state, finance minister, or foreign minister, and other high-ranking officials.
  • Over the past two decades, the global economic balance has shifted, and the G-20 has been seen as a more representative and egalitarian grouping of global leadership, and was particularly useful in steering the global economy after the global financing crisis and banking collapse of 2008.
  • At its 2009 summit, the G20 declared itself the primary venue for international economic and financial cooperation. The group’s stature has risen during the subsequent decade, and it is recognized by analysts as exercising considerable global influence.
How does the G20 work?
  • The G20 has no permanent secretariat.
  • The agenda and work are coordinated by representatives of the G20 countries, known as ‘Sherpas’, who work together with the finance ministers and governors of the central banks.
  • The first G20 Summit took place in 2008 in Washington DC, US.
  • In addition to Summits, the Sherpa meetings (that help in negotiations and building consensus), and other events are also organised throughout the year. Each year, the presidency invites guest countries.

G20 Presidency

  • India will assume the presidency of the powerful G20 grouping from the current chair, Indonesia, on December 1, and hold the post for a year.
  • The G20 Leaders’ Summit at the level of Heads of State/Government is scheduled to be held on September 2023.
  • The presidency of the G20 rotates every year among members, and the country holding the presidency, together with the previous and next presidency-holder, forms the ‘Troika’ to ensure continuity of the G20 agenda.
  • During India’s presidency, India, Indonesia and Brazil will form the troika.
  • This would be the first time when the troika would consist of three developing countries and emerging economies.
  • During the course of its G20 Presidency, India will be holding about 200 meetings in 32 different sectors in multiple locations across India.
What is the agenda of this year’s summit?
  • The motto for this G-20 is Recover Together, Recover Stronger.
    • Indonesian President Jokowi has made recovering from the pandemic a major focus despite geopolitical tensions overshadowing the summit.
  • The leaders will engage in discussions over three sessions:
    • Food and Energy security
    • Health Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment
    • Digital Transformation.
  • In addition, to highlight the concerns over climate change issues, Mr. Jokowi will lead his guests to the Indonesian mangroves of Taman Hutan Raya, which have been restored over a 30-year project covering nearly 700 acres.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also set to spell out his agenda for the year ahead under India’s G-20 presidency, with special focus on the Global South and the problems it is facing due to geopolitical tensions, food and fuel shortages.
What makes this G-20 different from others?
  • For the world, this is the first G-20 since Russia began the war in Ukraine and the west imposed sanctions on Russia.
  • Efforts will be made to build global consensus over issues that have clearly divided the world.
  • For India, the importance of the summit of the world’s most advanced economies is that it is India’s turn to host the summit next. Mr. Modi will receive a handover from the Indonesian President Joko Widodo after which India will assume the presidency on December 1.
  • Additionally, this is only the second time Chinese President Xi Jinping has travelled abroad since the COVID pandemic, and the first time since he was re-elected at China’s Party Congress.
What do we know about the bilateral meetings?
  • All eyes will also be on the bilateral summits happening by the sidelines — including the Biden-Xi summit, held at a time when U.S.-China tensions are at a high.
  • While neither Delhi nor Beijing have confirmed a Modi-Xi meeting, any interaction between the two leaders will be the first since the military stand-off at the Line of Actual Control which began in April 2020.
  • Modi is expected to meet many of the G-20 leaders and others, and will invite them to next year’s summit in India.
  • Among the leaders who are attending for the first time as heads of their countries are U.K. PM Rishi Sunak, Italian P.M. Georgia Meloni, Australian P.M. Anthony Albanese, UAE President Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MbZ), Saudi P.M. and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS).
  • The Indonesian President has also invited the Ukrainian President to address the summit virtually, while Russian President Putin, and leaders of Mexico and Brazil (which is in a leadership transition), will not attend the summit.
  • In addition, heads of several international agencies like the UN, the IMF, ASEAN, the African Union will attend the 2022 G-20.

Main Practice Question: Why was the G20 created? What makes 17th summit of G-20 in 2022 different from others?

Note: Write answer his question in the comment section.

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