2023 G20 Delhi Summit
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 19 Apr , 2023

As part of its G20 presidency, India had planned 200 meetings across fifty cities. One confidential G20 meeting held at Itanagar, capital of Arunachal Pradesh in March 2023 set China’s tail afire and it skipped the meeting as expected. India is hosting the third G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar between May 22 and 24, 2023. This also would likely give stomach ache to both Beijing and Islamabad; participation by China is therefore unlikely.

India has put forth following six agenda priorities for the G20 dialogue in 2023…

The main event to watch is the 18th G20 Summit scheduled to be held at the International Exhibition-Convention Centre, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on September 9-10. To be attended by Heads of States, it is the first ever G20 summit to be hosted in India and also in South Asia. The theme of the G20 Summit 2023 is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ which means ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. India has put forth following six agenda priorities for the G20 dialogue in 2023: one, green development, climate finance and LiFE (Lifestyle For Environment); two, accelerated, inclusive and resilient growth; three; accelerating progress on SDGs; four, technological transformation and digital public infrastructure; five, multilateral institutions for the 21st century, and; six, women-led development.

The leaders expected to participate are the presidents of Argentina, Brazil, China, France, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey, USA, European Commission, EU, prime ministers of Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, UK, and the German Chancellor.   The invited guests include the presidents of the African Union, Egypt, Nigeria, Rwanda and UAE, prime ministers of Bangladesh, Mauritius, Netherlands, Singapore and Spain, and the Sultan of Oman. In addition, guests invited from international organizations include.

President of the Asian Development Bank, DG of Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, Chairperson of Financial Stability Board, MD of IMF, DG of International Labour Organization, DG of International Solar Alliance, Secretary General of  Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Secretary General of United Nations. President World Bank, Director General WHO and Director General WTO. Indian participants include Chairman Tata Group, Chairman and MD Bajaj Finserv, Chairman RPSG Group and Founder of Dalit Chamber of Commerce and Industry are also invitees.

No country should be allowed to unilaterally impose sanctions on another country without the sanction of the United Nations…

The US and the EU apparently want to include participation by Ukraine in the 2023 G20 Summit at New Delhi and for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to address this forum. The recent visit to India by Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Emine Dzhaparova was in this context on obvious prompting by the US and EU. Zelensky has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But permitting this would not be appropriate since a forum like the G20 is meant to discuss policy coordination for economic stability in the world, promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent financial crisis – not to further the strategic interests of any country. Moreover, whether Russia invaded Ukraine of its own volition or was forced to do so are debatable issues.

The abovementioned six agenda priorities are well chosen and should lead to constructive policy decisions, framework and follow up action plans. However, at the same time there are global issues affecting the global financial system and supply chains that have become more prominent over the last few years especially with the ongoing war in Ukraine which run contrary to ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. Some of these are mentioned as under:

•   No country should be allowed to unilaterally impose sanctions on another country without the sanction of the United Nations, as the disruption in global supply chain creates energy and food shortages adversely affecting the world at large and hunger and strife in poorer nations.

•   Is it fair to arbitrarily freeze the money of individual countries in their respective Central Banks? The US handed over Afghanistan to the Taliban on a platter and then froze Afghan money in its Central Bank. Similarly, the US has frozen Russian and Iranian money in respective Central Banks. The institution and control of Central Banks needs to be re-examined to ensure fair play.

•   Similarly the arbitrary denial of the West-controlled SWIFT system is against the theme of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. The world must “adopt” alternatives to the SWIFT system speedily.

International financial institutions like the WEF, World Bank and IMF must be restructured to include fair representation and rotational heads from all regions of the world.

•   The US delinked the printing of dollars from its gold reserves in the Nixon era. However, it continues to significantly influence the global financial system and international trade despite having the largest external debt in excess of $31.5 trillion. This is not a fair system either. The world needs to rapidly de-dollarize,

•   Acts of international terrorism affecting the global supply chain should not be allowed to go unpunished – in the instant case deliberate sabotage of the Russian Nord Stream pipelines. According to Seymour Hersh, this was executed by the US from the American military base in Finland but an independent international inquiry is definitely warranted.

•   International financial institutions like the World Economic Forum (WEF), World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) must be restructured to include fair representation and rotational heads from all regions of the world.

With agenda priorities already outlined for the summit, it may not be possible to include the abovementioned issue at this stage. However, these could be introduced on the second day of the summit in order to place them on record and carried forward for discussion in subsequent G20 summits. Brazil will host the G20 in 2024, followed by South Africa in 2025. With the developments over the last few years affecting the global financial order and supply chains and more turbulence in store with new geopolitical realignments in the offing, it is about time that discussion on these issues be called for. This would be in the best interest of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Lt Gen Prakash Katoch

is Former Director General of Information Systems and A Special Forces Veteran, Indian Army.

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One thought on “2023 G20 Delhi Summit

  1. An outstanding article outlining practical issues that world is facing.
    In fact, these issues seem more appropriate for the Sep G-20 meet.
    If not these issues need to be introduced at least as talking points in
    the Summit. My compliments to the author.

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