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India confident G20 will agree on declaration, but wording on Ukraine unresolved

A man walks near flags ahead of G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, September 8, 2023. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

What is G20 and how does it work?

The G20, comprising 20 major economies, serves as a vital platform for global economic cooperation. Established in 1999, it coordinates economic policies, promotes financial stability.

Established in 1999, it coordinates economic policies, promotes financial stability. piyush Published On September 8th, 2023. The Group of Twenty, commonly referred to as the G20, is an international forum of major economies that plays a crucial role in addressing global economic challenges.

The Group of Twenty, commonly referred to as the G20, is an international forum of major economies that plays a crucial role in addressing global economic challenges. In this article, we will delve into what the G20 is, how it operates, and the key functions it serves in the global landscape.

The G20 is a group of twenty major economies, both developed and developing, that come together to discuss and coordinate international economic policy. It was established in 1999 in the wake of the Asian financial crisis to foster dialogue and cooperation among its member states. The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

Key Functions of the G20:

Economic Policy Coordination:

  • The G20 serves as a platform for member countries to discuss and coordinate economic policies. This coordination helps prevent currency wars, trade protectionism, and other actions that could destabilize the global economy.
  • During the 2008 financial crisis, the G20 played a pivotal role in coordinating stimulus packages and financial sector reforms to stabilize the global economy.

Financial Stability:

  • The G20 promotes financial stability by addressing issues such as banking regulations, cross-border financial flows, and the supervision of financial institutions.
  • It established the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to monitor and make recommendations on the global financial system’s stability.

Trade and Investment:

  • Trade and investment are central to the G20’s agenda. Member countries work towards promoting free and fair trade, reducing trade barriers, and facilitating investments.
  • G20 summits often provide an opportunity for leaders to address trade disputes and promote multilateral trade negotiations.

Development and Inclusivity:

  • The G20 recognizes the importance of development and inclusivity in its agenda. It addresses issues like poverty reduction, sustainable development, and access to education and healthcare.
  • Initiatives such as the Compact with Africa aim to improve the investment climate and foster economic development in African nations.

How Does the G20 Work?

What is G20 and how does it work?_70.1
What is G20 and how does it work?

The G20 operates through a series of meetings, including annual summits, finance ministers’ meetings, and working group discussions. Here’s how it functions:

Leaders’ Summit:

  • The most high-profile event is the annual G20 Leaders’ Summit, where heads of state and government gather to discuss and make decisions on major global issues.
  • Leaders engage in formal and informal discussions, issue joint communiqués, and set the agenda for the G20’s work.

Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors:

  • Finance ministers and central bank governors meet periodically to discuss economic and financial matters. They prepare policy recommendations for the leaders’ summit.
  • These meetings address topics such as fiscal policy, monetary policy, and international financial stability.

Working Groups:

  • The G20 operates through various working groups that focus on specific issues, such as agriculture, energy, and climate change.
  • Experts and officials from member countries collaborate within these groups to develop policies and recommendations.

G20 Summit 2023

India expressed confidence on Friday that the Group of 20 major economies will finalise a declaration at this weekend’s summit in New Delhi, with sources saying only the wording about the war in Ukraine had yet to be resolved.

Negotiators have been struggling for days to agree on the language because of differences over the war, hoping to get Russia and China on board to produce a communique that will also address pressing global problems like debt and climate change.

India’s G20 sherpa, or negotiator, Amitabh Kant said the summit’s concluding statement, the Leaders’ Declaration, would be a “voice” of the global south and developing countries.

“New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration is almost ready, I would not like to dwell on it,” Kant told a news conference. “This declaration will be recommended to the leaders.”

Four Indian government sources said language on the war in Ukraine was the only issue left and a second meeting of sherpas to seek consensus was likely to last into the night.

One source told Reuters a joint declaration may or may not come to a unanimous agreement. It could have different paragraphs stating the views of different countries, or it could record agreement and dissent in one paragraph.

“We may paper over the differences and make a general statement saying we should have peace and harmony across the world so that everybody agrees,” a second source said.

An EU diplomat said India was doing an “excellent” job as host in looking for compromises. “But so far Russia is blocking a compromise that is acceptable otherwise for everyone else”.

The streets of the usually bustling capital New Delhi were deserted on Friday ahead of the summit with businesses, offices and schools closed as part of security measures to ensure the smooth running of the most high-powered meeting to be hosted by the country.

Slums have been demolished and monkeys and stray dogs have been removed from the streets.

XI, PUTIN MISSING

The summit is expected to be dominated by the West and its allies. Chinese President Xi Jinping is skipping the meeting and sending Premier Li Qiang instead, while Russia’s Vladimir Putin will also be absent.

U.S. President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Bin Salman and Japan’s Fumio Kishida, among others, will attend.

The hardened stance on the war has prevented agreement on even a single communique at the ministerial meetings during India’s G20 presidency so far this year, leaving it to the leaders to find a way around, if possible.

China said on Friday it is willing to work with all parties and push for a positive outcome at the summit.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning made the remarks after a media report said Sunak blamed China for delaying an agreement on various issues, including Ukraine.

In New Delhi, Sunak said that it was not his place to tell India what stand it should take on the war in Ukraine.

“It’s not for me to tell India what positions to take on international issues, but I know India rightly cares about the international rule of law, the UN Charter and respect for territorial integrity,” Sunak told Indian news agency ANI.

India has avoided blaming Moscow for the war and has called for a solution through dialogue and diplomacy. The Financial Times reported on Thursday that Sunak would urge his Indian counterpart to “call out” Russia for its February 2022 invasion.

SHOWCASING INDIA

Modi’s government is projecting India’s presidency of the group and the summit as a showcase for the country’s fast-growing economy and its rising position in the geo-political pecking order.

New Delhi has been decked up for the gathering with a brand new summit venue, fountains, flowerpots and illumination along major thoroughfares, alongside thousands of armed security personnel standing guard.

More than 100 Tibetan refugees staged a protest away from the city centre on Friday, demanding that the “occupation” of their country by China be discussed during the summit.

Analysts say deeper divisions over the war in Ukraine risk derailing progress on issues such as food security, debt distress and global cooperation on climate change.

The most important thing that can be done to support global economic growth is for Russia to end its brutal war in Ukraine, Yellen said.

Western countries want a strong condemnation of the invasion as a condition for agreeing to a Delhi declaration. India has suggested that the G20, while condemning the suffering caused by Russia’s invasion, also reflect Moscow’s and Beijing’s view that the forum is not the place for geopolitics.

In addition, there is disagreement on climate change cooperation, Indian government sources added.

The group has been divided on commitments to phasing down fossil-fuel use, increasing renewable energy targets and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said G20 leaders had the power to reset a climate crisis that is “spinning out of control”.

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By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com.

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