- The 15th G20 Leaders’ Summit is being held currently under the presidency of Saudi Arabia.
- The theme of the Summit is “Realizing Opportunities of 21st Century for All.”
- The agenda of the summit is focused on overcoming the pandemic, economic recovery and restoring jobs, and building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future.
India’s address at the summit:
- Addressing the summit, PM Modi described Covid-19 as the biggest challenge the world was facing since World War II and an important turning point in the history of humanity.
- PM Modi called for a new Global Index for the post-corona world which would include a strong emphasis on respecting nature, and dealing with “Mother Earth”, with a spirit of trusteeship.
- He also said that dealing with environment and nature as trustees rather than owners will inspire everyone towards a holistic and healthy lifestyle.A trustee is a person or firm that administers a property or assets for the benefit of a third party.
- The three other key elements of the index outlined by the PM are creation of a vast talent pool; ensuring technology reaches all segments of society; and transparency in governance systems.
- Modi highlighted that in the past few decades, there was an emphasis on capital and finance but now it is important to focus on multi-skilling and re-skilling.
- This will enhance the dignity of people and make them more resilient (ability to recover) to face crises.
- He added any assessment of new technology should be based on its impact on ease of living and quality of life.
Other proposals by India:
- PM Modi offered India’s IT expertise to further develop digital facilities for efficient functioning of the G20.
- Noting that “Work from Anywhere” is the new normal in the post-Covid world, he also suggested the creation of a G-20 virtual secretariat as a follow-up and documentation repository (storehouse).
- The leaders at the Summit, appreciated the progress made in developing vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics tools for Covid-19.
- Going forward, the world must work to create the conditions for affordable and equitable access to these tools for everyone. At the same time, the world must prepare for any future pandemic.
- The leaders also shared that countries must continue to support the global economy and reopen their economies and borders to facilitate the mobility of trade and people.
- The Group of Twenty, or the G20, is the premier forum for international economic cooperation. It brings together the leaders of both developed and developing countries from every continent.
- Originated in 1999 at the level of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, the G20 gathered for high-level discussions on macro-financial issues.
- Due to the 2008 global financial crisis, the G20 was elevated to include the leaders of member countries.
- The first G20 Leaders’ Summit took place in Washington D.C. in 2008. Consequently, the G20 agenda expanded beyond macro-financial issues, to include socio-economic and development issues.
- The G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union (EU).
- The presidency of the G20 rotates between member countries every year. The presidency plays a leading role in setting the agenda and organizing the Leaders’ Summit, which is attended by the G20 Heads of State or Government.
- At the Summit, the leaders issue a declaration, based on policy discussions at meetings held throughout the year.
- At the government level, the G20 work is organized around the Finance and Sherpa Tracks, while civil society assembles through Engagement Groups.
The Finance Track:
- It includes the meetings of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, as well as their Deputies.
- It focuses on fiscal and monetary policy issues such as the global economy, infrastructure, financial regulation, financial inclusion, international financial architecture and international taxation.
The Sherpa Track:
- It includes the meetings of Ministers and relevant senior officials.
- It focuses on socioeconomic issues such as agriculture, anti-corruption, climate, digital economy, education, employment, energy, environment, health, tourism, trade and investment.
- The engagement groups represent the civil society and develop recommendations that are submitted to G20 Leaders for their consideration.
- Engagement Groups include the Business 20, Youth 20, Labour 20, Think 20, Civil 20, Women 20, Science 20, and Urban 20.