The G-20 summit that was held in New Delhi on 9th & 10th September 2023 was a pinnacle event after many conferences and dialogues held among the members of the participating countries in various cities and towns of India. The responsibility of onerous task on presidency for the year 2023 entrusted to India, has been discharged dutifully to the appreciation of world leaders. The dialogue between Japan which holds the presidency of G7 countries for the year 2023, and India has asserted, though not supremacy, but the status of equality between North-South partners. The Prime Ministers of England and of India who met on sidelines affirmed to expedite FTA, (Free Trade Agreement) negotiations which will be to the benefit of both businesses and workers. Generally, the summit has demonstrated “India’s vital global leadership and influence”.
The G-20 declaration has produced a statement on the Ukraine war that is acceptable to all parties along with other deliverables. The statement contains a strong Indian imprint and sets a new template of the democratisation of diplomacy. The declaration of Ukraine-Russian conflict was dealt with in seven paragraphs diplomatically than Bali’s declaration which contained only just two paragraphs but contentious. It was crucial for India, as it is in the middle between the G-7 grouping on one side and Russia and China on the other. The declaration by just referring UN texts, said that a war of territorial conquest is unacceptable, that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states must be respected and that a just and lasting peace must respect these principles”.
The declaration was not prepared on usual diplomatic stye. Instead, it starts with a preamble and “For the plant people, peace and prosperity”.
The chapters are numbered A to J, in 10 chapters, based on themes.
Progress for all; focus on education, health
The first chapter is titled “Strong, Sustainable, Balanced, and Inclusive Growth”, and talks about the global economic situation, advancing financial inclusion, and fighting corruption.
It vows to implement the Action Plan against Fugitive Economic Offenders that will help strengthen international cooperation and information sharing among law enforcement agencies to combat corruption.
The next chapter is on “Accelerating Progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” -which is about eliminating hunger and malnutrition, health collaboration and delivering quality education among others.
One of the important elements is on how future pandemics can impact the economy, which also brings out the gaps in the existing pandemic response mechanism, including institutional and funding arrangements.
On education, it talks about enhancing teachers’ capacity, improved curricula, content in local language, and access to digital resources, which will ensure that all children, including the most marginalised, are provided with the essential building blocks for all future learning.
Future is now: Sustainability, chips …
The chapter on “Green Development Pact for a Sustainable Future” stresses the need to implement clean, sustainable, just affordable, and inclusive energy transitions.
One important element is the mention of the need to build reliable, diverse, responsible, and sustainable value chains of critical minerals, semiconductors, and related technologies.
The chapter on “Multilateral Institutions for the 21st Century”, speaks of reforming international financial institutions. One of the most important elements is that reform of the UN Security Council was agreed to for the first time in the G20; and there was a strong push towards reforms for tetter, bigger, and more effective Multilateral Development Banks (MOBs).
… Digital infrastructure, and a safe, secure Internet
The chapter on “Technological Transformation & Digital Public Infrastructure”, contains elements of building digital public infrastructure, crypto-assets, and harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) responsibly for Good and for All.
The G20 leaders agreed on a G20 frame Work for digital public infrastructure and Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository (GDPIR).
The Declaration also talks about a comprehensive toolkit which is aimed at improving cyber education and cyber awareness for the protection and empowerment of children and youth, especially considering the growing digital footprint of children and youth, and the increasing risks associated with it.
Focus on gender equality, terror in G20 crosshairs
In the chapter on “Gender Equality and Empowering all Women and Girls” the Declaration promotes equal rights to economic resources, property ownership, financial services, and inheritance for women, while supporting women’s organisations and networks, and dosing gender gaps in agricultural access.
Under India’s G20 Presidency, a decision to create a full-fledged working group on women’s empowerment has been made. The group will prioritise gender equality, women’s empowerment and leadership, and bring convergence across sectors at all Levels.
The chapter “On Countering Terrorism and Money Laundering”, contains a strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and a positive message towards international peace and security.
Welcome aboard,Africa;a diverse, tolerant grouping
The last chapter on “Creating a More Inclusive World”, has two important elements.
One, India’s G20 Presidency has paved the way for the African Union’s permanent membership in the G20. This will make G20 more inclusive, deepen cooperation with Africa, and help realise its developmental aspirations.
Second is a commitment to promote respect for religious and cultural diversity, and deploring all acts of religious hatred, inducting against religious symbols and holy books.