Ahead of the G20 Summit, it is the perfect time to review the institution's history while considering its prospects for the future. To start, let us look at the G20 summit, taking place in Indonesia on the 15th and 16th of November, understand its objectives and slowly trace our steps back to the history of the institution.
With the motto and theme of “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”, Indonesia is set to host the upcoming seventeenth meeting of the Group of Twenty (G20) in November. Indonesia assumed the presidency of the G20 meetings on December 1, 2021, with the summit scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2022.
According to Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, the Summit was originally scheduled to take place in 2023. However, given that Indonesia would also serve as ASEAN Chairman in 2023, Indonesia traded the presidency with India. "India also has the same proposal to postpone the G20 Presidency to 2023… Indonesia will hold the G20 Presidency in 2022 while India will hold the Presidency a year after" Retno explained.
In light of the detrimental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of society and countries' inability to cope with the crisis, the Indonesian Presidency decided to focus on three main pillars for the summit:
- Global health architecture
- Sustainable energy transition
- Digital transformation
In order to maintain its leadership, Indonesia strives to provide equal access to COVID-19 vaccinations and engage micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises to promote inclusive and sustainable growth and develop the digital economy via these three pillars. For this purpose, the Ministry of Finance will work closely with the Central Bank of Indonesia, the Financial Service Authority (OJK), and the Cabinet, in order to overcome the challenges of the global economic recovery and build a stronger global economy, allowing them to overcome the challenges of global economic recovery.
Tracing the history of G20 and understanding the organisational structure
The Group of 20 (G20) is an international organisation created in 1999 in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis to provide a platform for finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 nations and the European Union to debate global economic and financial concerns.
In the middle of the global financial crisis in 2008, US President George W. Bush has asked G20 leaders to coordinate efforts to respond to the crisis, kicking off the official G20 Leader's Summit. Since 2011, the G20 Summit has been held yearly, with a rotating Presidency. The G20 primarily concentrated on broad macroeconomic policy, but it has subsequently broadened its scope to include climate change, trade, sustainable development, energy, anti-corruption, environment, and other issues.
Along with the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States make up the Group of 20 (G20). G20 members today make up more than 80% of the world's GDP, 75% of its commerce, and 60% of its population.
Having no permanent Secretariat, the host country is in charge of setting the Summit agenda each year. Aside from the G20 Summit, countries' finance ministers and central bank governors meet each year to develop Summit decisions and plan for future meetings. Sherpas, the G20 leaders' personal representatives, monitor negotiations throughout the year, debating summit agenda items and organising G20 activities. They oversee institutional stability and have a multi-year responsibility. Working groups are formed within the G20 in order to assist leaders in tackling G20 policy.
The Finance Track and the Sherpa Track are the two divisions of the G20's functioning. Within the two tracks, there are working groups that are thematically focused, in which representatives from the member nations' pertinent ministries as well as those from invited/guest countries and various international organisations take part. Throughout each Presidency's tenure, the working groups convene often. Current economic trends as well as the tasks and objectives decided upon in past years have an impact on the agenda. To preserve institutional stability, the G20 has a multiyear mandate.
International organisations and a few non-G20 member nations have historically been invited as guests. With the exception of Spain, which is a regular invitee, these nations fluctuate from year to year. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as the nations in charge of regional organisations like ASEAN, the African Union, and the development programme NEPAD, regularly participate in the G20 process.
What does the G20 hold for India and what does India Plan for 2023?
Indonesia will hand over the G20 presidency to India in December 2022. In doing so, we are privy to a momentous prospect that will allow the country to showcase its heft and power both symbolically and literally.
While India holds the presidency of the G20, the country's primary focus will be on innovations, solutions, and preparedness to face health emergencies. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya outlined India's strategy for its G20 chairmanship at a news conference on Friday. He made the following proposal on behalf of the nation:
● Preparation, reaction, and prevention for health emergencies.
● In the pharmaceutical industry, increase collaboration with an emphasis on access to and availability of safe, efficient, and inexpensive medical countermeasures.
● Improve healthcare service delivery and support universal health coverage via digital health innovation and solutions.
Mandaviya also added that with the aim of expanding access to medical countermeasures and medical value travel and holistic healthcare through evidence-based traditional medicine, a digital health workshop on collaborative research will be held on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. At the second G20 meeting in Bali, Mandaviya had advocated that for the achievement of universal health coverage and sustainable development goals, the use of technology must be promoted.
With the presidency of G20, India has a wonderful opportunity to shine as an emerging economic power, helping to build Multilateralism 2.0 for sensitivity to varied political and social frameworks, as well as an egalitarian economic agenda.