At the conclusion of the 17th G20 Summit in Bali on November 16, 2022, Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially handed the G20 Presidency (the Group of 20 countries comprising 19 significant economies and the European Union) to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Indian government’s G20 presidency, according to PM Modi, will be “inclusive, ambitious, decisive, and action-oriented.” He declared that it will be India’s goal for the G20 to operate as a global central figure to encourage group action.
India has clearly signaled its development as a prominent participant on the international stage by assuming the G20 Presidency. While the majority of nations, both developed and developing, have found it challenging to effectively handle the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, India has been able to successfully navigate the headwinds it has faced over the last three years thanks to its bold and visionary leadership and prudent policies.
About the G20 Forum
The G20 is a global organization that brings together the largest economies in both developed and developing countries. Its primary goal is to address the key problems with the global economy, with growth, and with the financial system, including international financial stability, reducing global warming, sustainable development, etc.
Together, the G20 countries account for 85% of the global gross domestic product, 75% of global trade, 2/3 of the world’s population, 80% of the world’s R&D expenditures, and 60% of the planet’s land area.
Because the G-20 is a forum, its decisions or agreements are not legally enforceable, but they do have an impact on national policy and international collaboration. The G20 is big and inclusive enough to reflect the vast majority of global economic production while being small and cohesive enough to allow for practical in-person discussions to identify solutions to the new challenges on the international economic and financial agenda.
Bali G20 Summit: Set-Up
The Bali G20 Summit was noteworthy not just because India was given the official G20 Summit leadership, but also because it took place during a particularly challenging and unsettling period in world politics and economy.
Over the past three years and more, there has been a great deal of instability and volatility in the world. The Covid-19 epidemic harmed all 200 nations of the world in terms of social, political, and economic spheres. Global effects of the ongoing battle in Europe include high inflation, oil, food, and fertilizer shortages, unmanageable debts, supply chain disruptions, and more.
The global economy and community are also still being shaken by issues like terrorism, climate change, nuclear proliferation, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). India has been given the task of leading G20 activities over the upcoming year due to these circumstances.
Rise of Indian Leadership
India attained success in the Bali Summit as a leader, source of solutions, and consensus-builder. The discussions leading up to the Summit were heavily influenced by the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
In several of the G20 meetings that took place before the Summit, it was determined that it was not possible to come to a suitable, mutually acceptable language on the conflict. The majority of the opposing sides on the issue supported the western bloc’s position in criticizing Russia for its attack on Ukraine, while some others were hesitant to take a side in the conflict. India was able to serve as a bridge between these opposing sides.
A workable solution was reached in the closing hours of the summit that reaffirmed the statements made by Prime Minister Modi to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Samarkand on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit that “today is not an era of war” and that “dialogue and diplomacy” should be used to resolve the conflict rather than force.
The Bali Declaration further states that using or threatening to use nuclear weapons is not acceptable. The Declaration covers a wide range of other topics, including teaching women computer skills and fighting corruption in addition to combating climate change.
The Declaration admits that the G20 is not the appropriate forum for addressing security issues, but also that these matters can have a considerable impact on the world economy. The Declaration, a 19-page document with 52 paragraphs and two Annexes, discusses the main problems facing the world economy and financial system in great depth.
Commenting on Energy & Food Security
In his remarks during the first session on energy and food security, Prime Minister Modi was frank in saying that the UN has failed to address the global political and economic problems. The relevance and significance of the G20 have grown as a result of the multilateral institutions’ failure.
The fastest-growing major economy in the world, India, depends on the quick availability of energy, hence he urged against placing any limits on the transportation of energy. PM Modi urged the nations to create a new international order, as had been done during the Second World War.
He went on to say that to ensure world peace, harmony, and security, there must be a strong, united front. He expressed confidence that they would all agree to send a clear message of peace to the world when the G20 gathers the following year in the sacred territory of Gandhi and Buddha.
Introduction of Digital Transformation
When discussing the need for truly equitable digital connectivity, Prime Minister Modi argued that the digital revolution is the most notable shift of the time. The long-running global fight against poverty can be strengthened by the wise use of digital technologies. As demonstrated by remote working and paperless green offices during Covid, digital solutions can also be useful in the fight against climate change.
According to PM Modi, India’s recent experience has demonstrated that inclusive digital architecture may result in socioeconomic transformation. Scale and speed are advantages of digital use. Governance can benefit from transparency. India accounted for more than 40% of all real-time payment transactions last year.
India became a global pioneer in financial inclusion after opening 460 million new bank accounts based on digital identity. The largest vaccination program in human history was successful even during the epidemic because of India’s open-source CoWIN technology.
He urged the whole community to commit to bringing digital transformation into every person’s life during the following 10 years so that no one is denied the advantages of digital technology. He pledged that India would collaborate with other G-20 members to achieve this goal while it holds the Presidency of the G-20 the following year.
His Vision on Other Aspects
He said that the overarching theme of India’s Presidency, “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” will include the notion of “Data for development.” PM Modi argued that the “Lifestyle for Environment” (LiFE) initiative may significantly contribute to sustainable growth. He urged people everywhere to adopt sustainable lifestyles in large numbers.
India will strive to produce results in crucially important areas, such as fusing the development and climate agendas, advancing the SDG 2030 mandate, enhancing food security and nutrition, addressing global skill gaps, promoting the blue economy and coastal sustainability, digital health solutions, green hydrogen, and tech-enabled learning.
India has become the global South’s most powerful and resounding voice. India has extended “guest country” invitations to Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain, and the UAE for the G20 Summit the following year. Several small nations have expressed the uneasy belief that their concerns and voices do not receive the attention they merit. India will give these nations a stage on which to express their opinions, hopes, and aspirations.
Consistent Bilateral Meetings
PM Modi held routine, structured bilateral meetings with several world leaders, including the presidents of the host nation Indonesia and France, the Chancellor of Germany, the prime ministers of the UK, Singapore, Italy, Australia, and Spain, as well as a pull-aside with the president of the United States and a friendly greeting with the president of China.
At the Bali Summit, PM Modi’s friendliness and comradery with other world leaders were on full display. Although it occurs at a time when there are many fault lines and fissures among the major countries of the world, such close rapport not only helps to advance India’s bilateral relations with these nations but will also prove to be extremely helpful in ensuring a positive outcome of India’s G20 Presidency next year.
PM Modi and G20 Presidency
After earning the G20 presidency, PM Modi stated that India would host G-20 summits in several national capitals and states. India’s incredible diversity, inclusive traditions, and cultural richness are all fully accessible to visitors. He extended an invitation to all G20 participants and foreign organizations to ‘’participate in this unique celebration in India, the ‘‘Mother of Democracy’’’.
India will hold the presidency starting on December 1, 2022. At the conclusion of November 2023, India will turn the reins over to Brazil. Three significant developing and emerging economies will be represented in the troika of the current, past, and future G20 Presidency for the first time in the organization’s history.
India now has a rare chance to significantly contribute to global peace, security, stability, and prosperity with the help of Indonesia and Brazil. India is determined and confident as it prepares to hold the G20 presidency.