G20 and Bharat
It was 1983 and India was the host of the Non-Aligned Movement summit where the iconic Castro Gandhi bear hug happened. A unique Jamboree of sorts The NAM summit was the pinnacle of India’s diplomacy. Fast forward to 2023, where India is all slated to host the first-ever G20 summit in the country. In tandem with the philosophy of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam, the G20 logo, is a shining lotus with the theme of One Earth, One Family, One future.
With celebrations spanning over a year, this indeed is a defining moment for both India as a nation and G 20 as an organization. As an organization G20 traces its existence to the Asian financial crisis when in 1999, major economies needed to come together to address the recrudescence of economic chaos due to weak market dynamics in many nations.
This was soon made a summit-level dialogue in 2008 when the first summit happened in Washington where the leaders of twenty economies, the greatest by GDP met for the first time. As an idea G20 today however stands at a crossroads. With few notable achievements like spending around 4 trillion dollars to revive economies post the global financial crisis of 2008, playing an important role in addressing Iranian nuclear ambition and also mediating a ceasefire in Syria
Off late it has earned the title of being a big talking shop with no utility whatsoever, to its fiercest critics G20 resembles a family vacation for the top leaders of the world to sit and chat rather do something substantial. Not only this, the world as we knew is much different from just merely a year ago, the Russian war which was supposed to be over’ in days’ is wearing into one year. The coming back of COVID-19 ‘the phoenix virus’ is threatening economic stability again, the Taliban government in Afghanistan had started showing its true colours to its handlers in Beijing and in Islamabad and the new challenges of AI cyber security coupled with digital vulnerability and integration is also affecting and changing the paradigms of the world as we know it. The organization of G20 has to necessarily address all of it or risk irrelevance just as The United Nations Security Council which continues to reflect the realities of the Second World War.
This is where India comes in, popularly dubbed as ‘Voice of Reason’ in the Global South. India assumes the presidency of this organisation in a crucial time. It can play the role of a mediator between Russia and Ukraine, with the goodwill it enjoys with both the West and The East, India’s strategic autonomous or The India way posture can aid the addressing and probably ending of the crisis. With Russia losing India’s voice, it can be cajoled and coaxed to the table.
India’s stellar progress and development can also be a role model for developing countries of the South. India’s attempt to do the same such as organising the Voice Of Global Summit in January Is a good step in that direction, to tackle numerous other challenges India can play a facilitator in spearheading collaboration between industry and the government, the technology transfer and the need of know-how can flow from west to east via India. For that India had already set up working groups in close coordination with industry, academia and various governments.
In toto, India can therefore steer g 20 towards relevance and in the process also push its due political ambitions. With the world heading towards multilateralism it will surely be a movement of shine for us. it will be a fruitful year for Indian diplomacy and as India enters Amritkal, G20 will not be just a feather in its cap but also would aid in its own redemption of the niche role it always wanted to play.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team