India has showcased to the world a new cooperative, inclusive and solution-oriented model of diplomacy that balances the aspirations of developed and developing countries. The G20 Communique encompasses complex economic, social and geopolitical issues, demonstrating the herculean task achieved by the Indian Presidency through over 200 meetings across the country, multiple bilateral meetings and negotiations.
The comprehensive Communique outlines ambitious commitments spanning financial inclusion, green development towards a sustainable future, reinvigoration of multilateral institutions, women-led development and many other global issues.
Inclusion of the African Union (AU) — paving the way for future growth
The inclusion of the AU as a permanent member of G20 exhibits India’s ability to showcase the Global South at leading international forums. The permanent membership of the AU, with its 1.4 billion people and USD 3 trillion GDP, might prove crucial as the African continent is central to global issues such as food security, migration and climate change.
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Multilateral development bank (MDB) reforms — a nudge to align with changing developmental needs
To guarantee infrastructural and inclusive growth, it is imperative for developing countries to have access to developmental capital that is both easy and affordable.
MDBs, which are instrumental in funding development projects worth billions of dollars, play a crucial role in this process. The G20 members have endorsed a roadmap for the Capital Adequacy Framework (CAF) of MDBs, which calls for its ‘ambitious implementation’ and regular assessments of the progress made. It has the potential to generate additional funding headroom of USD 200 billion in the next decade.
However, a detailed implementation framework needs to be worked out to maximise the benefits of the proposed roadmap.
Energy transition – accelerating the shift towards a sustainable energy mix
In a bid to continue the momentum toward a clean, sustainable and affordable energy transition, the G20 members have committed to pursuing the tripling of renewable energy capacity globally by 2030 to build a sustainable and equitable global hydrogen ecosystem while accepting the need to phase down coal power. The establishment of the Green Hydrogen Innovation Centre and the creation of the Global Biofuels Alliance acknowledge the significance of sustainable biofuels in zero and low-emission development strategies.
Financing the future engines of growth
During its G20 Presidency, India has significantly emphasised developing urban infrastructure. One of the priorities of the Presidency is financing the cities of tomorrow in a sustainable, inclusive and resilient manner. To ensure the success of this endeavour, guiding principles for financing such cities have been developed.
Additionally, a capacity-building framework that can be customised has been designed to help local governments assess and improve their institutional capabilities.
One Health — approach to achieve universal health coverage
The G20 Communique emphasises the importance of strengthening the global health architecture by prioritising the reinforcement of primary healthcare, building more resilient health systems, and supporting the development of climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems. In order to achieve universal health coverage, it is crucial to implement the One Health approach, improve pandemic preparedness and enhance existing infectious disease surveillance systems.
India–Middle East–Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) route — potential to change the face of global trade
On the sidelines of the G20, the Governments of India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, and the United States of America signed an MoU to work together to establish IMEC. IMEC aims to foster transformative integration of Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The aim is to enable efficient and cost-effective trade of goods and services from and between India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Europe. If implemented systematically, the corridor has the potential to provide a reliable and cost-effective cross-border ship-to-rail transit network.
Considering the current geopolitical split and the developmental inequities between the Global North and South, delivering a Leaders’ Declaration which covered diverse topics and fostering a resolute consensus amidst such challenges is an accomplishment. The sheer number of actionable outcomes makes India’ Presidency unique. However, the implementation of these ambitious outcomes will decide whether it will go down as one of the most inclusive, decisive and action-oriented declarations in G20 history.