G20 Summit Anticipation
The G20 Summit will unfold in New Delhi this weekend. As India prepares to welcome this significant global event, vibrant murals, G20-themed billboards, and special arrangements in hotels and eateries now adorn the city. From September 8th to 10th, the world’s top 20 economy leaders will gather in the capital to delve into crucial global, economic, and geopolitical topics.
The G20, short for Group of Twenty, is an influential international forum that brings together the world’s major economies, comprising 19 countries and the European Union. Established in 1999, it was initially a gathering of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors but elevated to include national leaders in 2008 in response to the global financial crisis. Together, these members represent about 85% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and around 75% of international trade. While its primary focus is on global economic governance, the G20’s agenda has broadened over time to address issues such as climate change, health, and development. The annual G20 summit serves as a platform for member nations to discuss and collaborate on pressing international challenges.
India, as one of the world’s largest and most influential emerging economies, plays a significant role in the G20, an international forum of the planet’s major economies. Being a founding member, India has consistently used the platform to advocate for the interests and concerns of developing nations. With its rapidly growing economy, vast population, and increasing geopolitical influence, India’s participation in the G20 is crucial for both representing its domestic interests and contributing to shaping global economic and financial policies.
Within the G20 framework, India has emphasized the importance of sustainable development, infrastructure investment, and the need for reforms in global financial institutions. The country has also been vocal about issues like climate change, digitalization, and the challenges posed by the shifting nature of work in the 21st century. Hosting various G20 meetings and actively participating in its agenda-setting showcases India’s commitment to global economic cooperation and its role as a significant player in international affairs.
India’s international relations with other G20 nations are multifaceted, encompassing a wide range of economic, strategic, and cultural interactions. As one of the world’s largest economies and a key player in the global south, India has forged strong bilateral ties with G20 members, both developed and developing. Economic partnerships, trade agreements, and investment flows characterize its relations with countries like the USA, Japan, Germany, and Australia. With nations like China and Russia, India shares not only robust trade links but also engages in strategic dialogues and defense collaborations. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) grouping within the G20 exemplifies India’s commitment to fostering ties with emerging economies.
Culturally, India shares deep-rooted historical and civilizational ties with many G20 nations, which have been rejuvenated in the modern era through soft power initiatives, including yoga, cinema, and cuisine. Challenges do arise, such as border disputes with China or trade imbalances with the US, but these are often addressed through diplomatic channels and multilateral forums. Platforms like the G20 Summit provide India an opportunity to engage, negotiate, and collaborate with member nations on global issues, reinforcing its position as a significant global actor and strengthening its bilateral ties with these countries.
G20 Summit Participants
Comprising 19 countries and the European Union, the G20 will witness the presence of notable leaders. Under India’s leadership, attendees such as US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among others, will participate. Moreover, leaders from countries like Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and France have confirmed their attendance.
Furthermore, the summit will also host Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, African Union President Azali Assoumani, and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, to name a few.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have chosen not to attend. An ICC warrant for alleged war crimes in Ukraine puts Putin at risk of arrest. The reasons for Xi Jinping’s absence remain unclear. Meanwhile, Spanish President Pedro Sanchez has confirmed he will skip the event due to a recent positive Covid test.
The newly-constructed Bharat Mandapam in Pragati Maidan will serve as the summit’s venue. This location not only displays India’s rich culture but also provides a sweeping view of Delhi’s landmarks. Visitors can admire carpets from Kashmir and Bhadohi and artworks centered on the peacock, India’s national bird.
Delhi’s top hotels stand ready to host global leaders and delegates. Artisans, numbering around 200, have crafted special silverware for the occasion. Furthermore, the G20 Leaders’ Summit menu will feature a rich array of India’s culinary delights, from Mughlai to south Indian dishes.
Scheduled Bilateral Talks
On September 8, PM Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden have planned bilateral discussions. After the summit, a potential meeting between PM Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron is also on the cards.
Delhi has undergone a transformation to welcome its international guests. Citywide, banners highlight Delhi’s landmarks and India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission. The G20’s theme, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or ‘One Earth. One Family. One Future’, is also prominently displayed.
The New Delhi district has implemented strict security measures. Authorities will regulate vehicle movement during the summit and will suspend most online deliveries. A 50,000-strong security force, complemented by K9 units and mounted police, will ensure safety. Additionally, counter-drone systems are in place to deter potential drone attacks.
G20 Summit’s Agenda
The summit will primarily focus on climate change, sustainable development, and the economic fallout from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In a recent blog, PM Modi highlighted the importance of human-centric progress and the need to prioritize the aspirations of developing nations, particularly the Global South and Africa.