This year’s G-20 summit is being held at a time of grave global distress. Multiple fault-lines are threatening to derail the global order and there is no leadership around the world that seems capable of rising up to the challenges of our times. Donald Trump is busy being Trump, threatening to rip up global frameworks without offering any real alternative. The European Union is coming to terms with own dysfunctionalities at a time when it is being challenged from within and without. The United Kingdom is so mired in a political mess of its own making that it is unclear if it can even think of anything beyond the next leadership contests for the post of prime minster. China is facing an economic crisis which even with all the centralisation of power in Xi Jinping is finding it difficult to manage. And Russia has no larger interest than challenging the US and the West at every possible platform. In more ways than one, India is well-positioned to make its presence felt.
The G20 Summit is formally known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”. After the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-1998, it was acknowledged that the participation of major emerging market countries is needed on discussions on the international financial system, and G7 finance ministers agreed to establish the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in 1999.
They can also choose to invite non-member countries along as guests. The first G20 meeting took place in Berlin in 1999, after a financial crisis in East Asia affected many countries around the world.
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.
Theme 1: Global Economy: Even though the G20 was originally established in response to the global financial crisis, its core mission today is to establish economic fundamentals for realising sustainable and inclusive growth of the global economy. It discusses concrete actions for strengthening growth potential. It also discusses the areas of international taxation and finance. The summit takes up issues of how to respond to economic and social structural changes bought by globalization and digitalisation.
Theme 2: Trade and Investment: The second theme for the summit is trade and investment, within which the summit discusses the importance of growth, productivity, innovation, jobs creation and development. The G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy held in Tsukuba city on June 8 and 9 focuses on the following issues:
Theme 3: Innovation: Under the framework of the third theme, which is Innovation, the summit will take up the following application:
With this, the presidency also suggested discussing the importance of social application of emerging technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things), robotics, and big data, which contribute to fully harnessing the opportunities brought about by digitalization, as well as to achieving a “Society 5.0″ and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Theme 4: Environment and Energy: The fourth theme for the summit is Environment and Energy, which will include the following points:
Theme 5: Employment: The fifth theme will revolve around ‘Employment’ and will include the following points:
Theme 6: Women’s Empowerment: Women’s empowerment has been a hot topic in not only the G20 summit but in every other summit happening all over the globe. This year, the G20 summit will highlight the following aspects under women’s empowerment:
Theme 7: Development: The 7th theme of this year’s summit is ‘Development’ which will include some major points, which includes:
Theme 8: Health: The last and final theme is ‘Health’. Global health is an important topic for basic sustainable growth of the global economy. This year WHO is invited to the Osaka Summit. The three important elements include:
India has gone into the G-20 summit with an expansive agenda in mind to focus on “discussing the major challenges and opportunities faced by our world today with other global leaders” as “women empowerment, issues related to digitalisation and artificial intelligence, and progress in achieving SDGs and in our common efforts to address major global challenges such as terrorism and climate change form the rich agenda of the Summit.
India is also viewing this G-20 summit as an important stepping stone for India to host the G20 summit in 2022, on the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. So clearly, India has great expectations from the G-20. Whether the G-20 in Osaka will be able to deliver still remains an open question.