The G20 is an international forum that is held annually under the leadership of a rotating presidency and fosters economic cooperation. G20 is the premier grouping of the world's largest economies that cooperate to create international standard guidelines to deal with the most critical issues.
Illustration by Geostrata
This summit formulates international standards for establishing and strengthening global architecture, fostering economic global cooperation, providing aid to vulnerable economies, and committing to the principles of strong, sustainable, and balanced inclusive growth.
India is hosting the G20 Presidency Summit 2023 for the first time. This event is venued at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on 9-10 September 2023, under the theme “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. This allows India to embark on a moment in history when our decisions will determine the future of our people and our planet.
This philosophy of living in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem that we commit to concrete actions to address global challenges. G20 cooperation is significant in determining the course of action the world takes.
At the heart of this summit was the New Delhi Consensus, a declaration document that garnered significant attention. The G20 member states on Saturday adopted a consensus to the New Delhi Leaders' Summit Declaration.
The consensus came due to the stand taken by Indonesia, India, Brazil, and South Africa, consecutive hosts of G20. Japan, as a member of the EU bloc, played a significant role in bridging the differences. This Declaration is a human-centric approach that focuses on promoting strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth.
This document addresses the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict which resulted in food and energy insecurity. The New Delhi Declaration’s consensus carried significant implications on multiple fronts.
India’s declaration could be seen as a diplomatic victory for Russia. Despite sharp criticism from the G7 nations, explicit mention of Russia’s aggression was avoided in the final declaration. Moreover, It states peaceful resolution of disputes.
However, this consensus has implications beyond the diplomatic sphere. The New Delhi Declaration carried the potential revival of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Initially, this initiative was brokered by the United Nations and Turkiye in July 2022, for ensuring the resilient transportation of grain and foodstuff from Ukrainian ports.
However, this agreement was disrupted due to increasing tensions between the two parties which triggered a global food crisis, leading to higher food prices. The revival of this initiative could alleviate food shortages reducing price volatility in international markets and easing global trade.
Another area where this declaration focused was on increasing women's participation in leading climate change mitigation and its adaptation and decision-making in disaster risk reduction strategies and supporting gender-responsiveness.
The G20 Declaration tabled much awaited, Global Biofuels Alliance, a quest for clean energy Under this alliance, Our Honourable PM Modi urged the G20 countries to consider 20% ethanol blending with petrol globally. This alliance has the potential to generate $500bn in the coming years. Here PM Modi also announced the launching of the G20 Satellite Mission For the Environment and Climate Observation.
The importance of data-free flow with trust and cross-border data flows while respecting applicable legal frameworks has been recognized. Along with that, the G20 Framework for Systems of Digital Public Infrastructure, a voluntary and suggested framework for the development, deployment, and governance of DPI has also been recognized.
Furthermore, India’s plan has been welcomed by the Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository (GDPR), a virtual repository of DPI, voluntarily shared by G20 members and beyond. The Indian Presidency has proposed the One Future Alliance (OFA), a voluntary initiative aimed at building capacity and providing technical assistance and adequate funding support for implementing DPI in LMICs.
The technological transformation and digital public infrastructure commitments will result in creating trust among countries. The data free flow and cross-border data flow have strong implications, such as global data versatility. The recommendation of One Future Alliance (OFA), which is aimed to build capacity will further be of great help in international cooperation.
G20 also emphasised the importance of AI, it is a key player in the exponential growth of the global digital economy. G20 AI Principles (2019) have been resolutely reaffirmed along with using responsible AI for achieving SDGs. In The New Delhi Consensus, another important topic that was highlighted was the empowerment of farmers which will result in an increase in innovation in the agricultural sector through digital inclusion.
The commitments by the G20 to Gender Equality and Empowering All Women and Girls will have accelerated positive implications for women. The Brisbane Goal which is to reduce the gender gap in the labour market has been reaffirmed by the G20.
The ongoing work on achieving digital gender gap by 2030 is a massive initiative that will lead to a safe online and offline environment for everyone. Moreover, by strengthening women’s access to economic resources through digital finance and microfinance, the G20 aims to promote women’s inclusion in the formal financial system.
There’s also a mission to End gender-based violence and promote safe working places that will serve as a catalyst to more women in the workforce by enabling inclusive access to employment opportunities while actively focusing on closing the gender pay gap.
One notable achievement of India’s G20 Presidency is the inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20. This is a huge achievement for the Global South as a whole. The AU is the 2nd regional group to be included in G20 after the European Union (EU). PM Modi announced that this was in the spirit of ‘Sabka Saath’.
The inclusion of the African Union aligns with the theme‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. In this shifting global tableau, the AU membership holds vital importance to show that the focus of India on the Global South was not palaver.
In conclusion, The New Delhi Consensus has proved to be a huge success and has been termed as ‘historic’ and ‘path breaking’ by the G20 Sherpa, Amitabh Kant by achieving 100% consensus on the 83 paragraphs and unanimous support on all developmental and geo-political issues. PM Modi’s greater drive to give voice to the Global South has been successful. India is leading the way for a global restructure and representation of the Global South.
It has been termed as the ‘success of the Indian Diplomacy’ that our nation has achieved consensus which resulted in Russia signing the agreement that mentioned the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. New Delhi has successfully started conversations on the emerging world order and the rise of the Global South.
This New Delhi Consensus will leave a huge footprint of India on G20. The rising stature of Bharat stands as a colossus to the whole world and as a node to emerging multipolarity.
SAKSHI NARANG AND NANDITA LATA