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Saurav Pandey asked: What is the significance of the G20 Summit of 2023 in India's foreign policy? What are the expectations that the world has from India?

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  • Rajeesh Kumar replies: The Group of Twenty (G20) is an informal grouping of the world's largest 20 economies. It accounts for nearly 80 per cent of the world GDP, 75 per cent of global trade, and 60 per cent of the world population and has become one of the most prominent multilateral groupings in contemporary global politics. India took over the G20 Presidency from Indonesia on 01 December 2022. 

    G20 presidency matters for India for various reasons. First, agenda-setting is a fundamental and primary tool for securing and extending power and influence in international politics, particularly in multilateral platforms. The year-long G20 presidency offers India a significant opportunity to set global agendas, articulate policies and build consensus over critical economic, development, socio-political and security issues. 

    Second, in global platforms, India always wanted to promote and endeavour to be the voice of the Global South. India can utilise its G20 leadership role to advance the interests of the Global South and New Delhi's own credentials as a voice of the Global South. 

    Third, reforming multilateral institutions to make them more inclusive and responsible is one of the foremost priorities of Indian foreign policy. Confronted with issues like climate change, economic recovery, pandemic and increasing geopolitical tensions, the global community is looking for effective and accountable multilateral institutions that could deliver better in the field. Therefore, India placed reformed multilateralism that is fit for addressing the 21st-century challenges as one of its presidential priorities. If G20, under India's leadership, facilitates progress on this long-pending issue, it will increase India's stature and status in global politics. 

    Finally, India's presidency comes at a time of escalating global tensions coinciding with a period of flux globally. The world faces multiple challenges, including post COVID-19 economic recovery, climate change, food and energy security crisis, supply chain disruptions and conflicts. The international community expect India to be instrumental in building a global consensus for addressing these issues and shaping the future agenda of global common goods. Similarly, the world is also expecting India to bridge the increasing divide between countries, not only the developing and developed world split but the rupture among the West as well, especially in the context of the Russia–Ukraine War.

    Posted on 29 December 2022

    Views expressed are of the expert and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Manohar Parrikar IDSA or the Government of India.