Group of Twenty (G20) Part II

The G20 (or Group of Twenty) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union (EU). 

In our previous blog, we discussed G20’s origin, its role & purpose, member countries, institutional mechanism, issues addressed by the organization & its achievement & challenges. In this blog, we will look at why G20 meetings are a site for protests, its relation with India, India’s relation with Japan & USA, the China issue and more. 

G-20 Protests  

  • G-20 meetings usually are the site of protests against the G-20 agenda. They claim the group focuses too much on financial interests and globalization. Protesters want the G 20 leaders to focus on one or more other issues: 
  • Poverty: In 2010, protesters were against the G-20's focus on fiscal responsibility and austerity at the cost of social programs. They also were opposed to the $1 billion costs of the meeting itself, which was borne by Canadian taxpayers. 
  • Climate Change: Protesters wanted the G-20 to refocus on global warming as a priority. 
  • Gender Equality: Protesters argue G-20 countries need to pay more attention to rights for the  LGBT community. They ask for more funding for family planning, including abortions. 
  • Immigration: Protesters seek more open borders for immigrants fleeing humanitarian crises in their home nations. 

Who will be the next G20 president after Japan? 

  • Saudi Arabia will chair the G20 in 2020. 
  • Italy will chair the G20 in 2021. 
  • India will chair the G20 in 2022. 

G20 AND INDIA

India's Priorities in G20 Summits 

  • Checking tax evasion to fight corruption 
  • Choking terror funds 
  • Cutting the cost of remittances 
  • Market access for key drugs 
  • Reforms in the World Trade Organisation to improve its functioning 

“Full implementation” of the Paris Agreement 

Takeaways for India at 13th G20 Summit 

JAI 

  • It was the first meeting among the three leaders of Japan, India and the USA. Currently,  India’s relation with Japan and America are the best that they have ever been. All the three countries are democracies, therefore, in terms of values; they are on the same page
  • What really brings them together at the moment is the convergence of interests such as ensuring stability, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific region. Greater importance was also given to India in terms of economic, political and security architecture by both countries. 
  • Free, open, inclusive and rules-based order is essential for regional peace and prosperity. The Prime Minister also offered some ideas on how JAI countries should take forward on the concept of Indo-Pacific and how the three countries can work together to promote this concept. 
  • These meetings were useful and they should continue on the margins of subsequent G 20 meetings. 
  • Japan, India, and the USA are also engaged in Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (initiated in 2007 and reestablished in 2017) in parallel with joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale, called Exercise Malabar. Such dialogues are important in providing a counterbalance to tensions created in South China by especially China.


China Issue 

  • In the last few years, China has expanded its influence and assertiveness in the region particularly in the South China Sea. 
  • It continues to create and occupy more islands and militarize them in the South China  Sea despite opposition from the neighbouring countries like the Philippines and ASEAN as well. 
  • This has also brought India, US and Japan together. 

Action on Economic Offenders 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented a nine-point programme on ways to take action against fugitive economic offenders. India managed to push through a clause in the final communiqué which calls for a universal law which allows the assets of economic offenders in other nations to be frozen, and their repatriation expedited. 
  • This is significant given that some defaulters have fled the country after transferring assets abroad. 

RIC 

  • Leaders of India, China and Russia called for reforming multilateral institutions,  including the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), as they understood the benefits of a multilateral trading system and an open world economy for global growth. 
  • They also agreed to have regular consultations to jointly promote international and regional peace and stability, to strengthen cooperation through BRICS (Brazil, Russia,  India, China and South Africa), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) and the  East Asia Summit (EAS) mechanisms, to address global challenges such as terrorism and climate change.

Way Forward 

  • The G20 cannot be a panacea for the world’s problems. But over the past 10 years, the  G20 has been an important forum for international cooperation. 
  • Effective global governance, like the G20, is essential as rising powers seek opportunities to influence and contribute to the global order. 
  • The G20 is capable of delivering practical outcomes if countries use it strategically. 
  • It is only when their leaders sit down together that there is a real chance of finding collective solutions to globally pressing issues. 

This blog pertains to UPSC papers on GS 2, International Organisation, Political Science optional paper 2 and Essay Type Question. Also, do check our previous blogs on various topics. Subscribe today so that you don’t miss out on any important topics.

Blog Post written by:
Anurag Trivedi
UPSC Mentor