Ahead of the meeting of foreign ministers of G20 countries, India’s Sherpa Amitabh Kant has called for accelerating reform of global governance institutions in tune with aspirations of the Global South to address challenges such as global debt, poverty, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The world needs new institutions to drive climate action and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are not designed to address these challenges,” said Mr Kant. “India’s G20 presidency is committed to accelerating the progress of the SDGs,” he said at a conference entitled, “India’s G20 Presidency – Forging Actionable Agenda for Global South.” As the world’s fourth-largest economy and second-most populous nation, India has the opportunity to lead by example and provide much-needed leadership on the issue of climate change, he said.
Mr Kant underlined that despite all challenges in the world, India is best positioned to advance the cause of G20. “The priorities of India’s G20 presidency include working together to focus on economic growth and how the world can collectively drive inclusive, resilient, and sustainable growth, because without this it will become very difficult to lift people above the poverty line,” said Mr Kant.
The conference was organised by Vivekanada International Foundation, India Writes Network and Centre for Global India Insights (CGII), a think tank focused on global affairs. Besides Mr Kant, eminent panelists who spoke at the conference included Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF; Sujan R. Chinoy, T20 Chair and DG, MPIDSA; Muktesh Pardeshi, Special Secretary, G20-Operations; V. Srinivas, author of The Roadmap to India’s Presidency; and Manish Chand, CEO & Director, Centre for Global India Insights.
Issues relating to climate finance, SDG, reform of global governance institutions and digital public infrastructure will feature prominently in discussions between foreign ministers of G20 countries on March 1-2 in New Delhi.
With India’s G20 presidency attracting global attention, a special edition of “India and the World” journal entitled “India’s G20 Moment: Hope, Harmony and Healing,” was launched at the event. The journal, which comprises essays and commentaries on different aspects of India’s presidency, has been edited by Manish Chand.
“The decision of PM Modi to place the global South on the G20 agenda marks a turning point in the history of the grouping. The G20 will no longer be the same,” said Mr Chand, Director, CGII. “The priorities and interests of the Global South will be pivotal to shaping effective multilateralism and accelerating the reform of the global governance architecture,” he said.
Underlining the growing importance of the global South, Mr Chinoy, T20 Chair, said: “India’s rise is unstoppable. India will emerge as one of the strongest economies and leave this world into a better future”.
Mr Chenoy highlighted the importance of accelerating green transition through innovative initiatives such as PM Modi-led “Lifestyle for Environment.” India has already committed to the National Green Hydrogen Mission and net zero by 2070. Developed world must pay for equitable financing for a greener future if they want the developing world to bring about the changes being demanded of them.”
Highlighting relentless efforts made by the Indian government to enlist people in G20 events and processes, Mr Pardeshi spoke about how “India has employed the Whole-of-Government Approach,” which has enormously expanded the scope of G20. He stressed that India’s G20 presidency is based on “Jan Bhagidari” approach of partnership with the people in G20-related events.
Mr Gupta underscored the growing importance of the Global South in India’s G20 agenda. “Prime Minister Modi has taken upon himself to amplify the voice of the global south at the G20.” “Using the G20 Presidency, India could make a unique contribution by including Ayurveda and holistic health in the agenda of G20 leaders.”
The conference also highlighted India’s focus on digital transformation in its G20 agenda. “India’s G20 presidency is focused on promoting digital transformation, with the goal of making technology more accessible and affordable for people across the world. The G20 has adopted several initiatives in this regard, including the G20 Digital Economy Task Force and the G20 Digital Collaboration Platform,” said Mr Kant. These initiatives focus on increasing the availability of digital infrastructure, expanding the digital capabilities of citizens and businesses, and fostering greater collaboration between G20 members on digital policies. To this end, the G20 has launched initiatives such as the G20 Digital Economy Roadmap, the G20 Digital Transformation Framework, and the G20 Data for Digitalisation Framework.
(Tanya Kala, Anushka Ghosh and Megha Gupta contributed inputs for this article)
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