Beyond Boundaries: VASUDHAIVA KUTUMBAKAM

BRIGADIER RAJIV MAHANA

The G20 comprising Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, U.K., US, and European Union, collectively represent, more than 80% of the world’s GDP, 75% of international trade and 60% of the world’s population. And on 01 December 2022, India has assumed the Presidency of this group for one year.

Initial concerns of this group, which was formed in1999, revolved around the global economy and finance; and since these macro-economic functions are closely interwoven with multiple other domains, peaceful growth and sustainable development emerged as dominant contours of the G20 agenda. Over a period G20, has evolved as a forum where global North and South meet for discussing and developing consensus about almost every contemporary issue and challenge.

Functioning of G20 which does not have a permanent secretariat revolves around the interactions of 20 Working Groups divided in two, Sherpa and Finance Tracks. 10 Engagement Groups, which bring together the civil societies, think tanks and other key stakeholders of the member countries also participate in relevant deliberations.

Currently, the Finance Track includes eight work streams – Global Macroeconomic Policies, Infrastructure Financing, International Financial Architecture, Sustainable Finance, Financial Inclusion, Health Finance, International Taxation and, Financial Sector Reforms.

Sherpa Track follows 12 work streams – Anti-corruption, Agriculture, Culture, Development, Digital Economy, Employment, Environment and Climate, Education, Energy Transition, Health, Trade and Investment, Tourism).

For the sake of maintaining continuity, conceptually and functionally, G20 Presidency follows the concept of Troika, which includes previous, current, and next country nominated for the presidency. During India’s Presidency, Indonesia, and Brazil along with India would form the Troika. This would be the first time when the Troika would consist of three developing countries.

‘Recover Together, Recover Stronger’ was the theme picked by Indonesia when it took charge last year. Obviously, it was a vision aligned with the need of rejuvenation of the world economy in post pandemic period. But realizing this vision became very challenging due to Ukraine conflict. Supply chains which were already strained due to pandemic, stand tattered because of this continuing conflict, resulting in food and energy crises. Rates of interest have increased and loan repayment by developing and underdeveloped nations has become more difficult.

 

Indian Prime Minister described the plight of these countries in most apt manner during Bali G20 summit, when he said, “Due to the double whammy, they(developing and underdeveloped countries) lack the financial capacity to handle it. We should also not hesitate to acknowledge that multilateral institutions such as the UN have been unsuccessful on these issues”.

Appropriately, India has conveyed that G20 priorities, during its Presidency would be inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth, women’s empowerment, digital public infrastructure, tech-enabled development, climate financing, global food and energy security.

The theme India has selected for its Presidency is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” a Sanskrit phrase that means “The world is one family.” India does have soft power and diplomatic capital to pursue this theme.

G20 is a unique global institution, where developed and developing countries rub shoulders with each other as equals. It offers India an opportunity to champion the causes of developing and least developed countries.

India has been frequently expressing the concerns of global South in the current geopolitical situation, which to say the least is in flux. United Nations and its Security Council as well as the Breton Woods institutions and the G7 reflect the world order which prevailed immediately after the World War II. These institutions and organizations which emerged due to power balance in favour of the victors of the war are not adequately equipped to meet the aspirations of developing countries and address the current challenges being faced by the world.

The G 20 which reflects an emerging order is a potent platform for reforming the existing and if need be, creating new institutions and arrangements. India during its Presidency can be the initiator of such actions, with consensus of all the members.

Signing off for the week, by quoting Curtis Bean Dall, “The UN is but a long-range, international banking apparatus clearly set up for financial and economic profit by a small group of powerful One-World revolutionaries, hungry for profit and power.”

Brigadier Rajiv Mahna YSM, SM, VSM is an Indian Army Veteran who has chosen to remain a student for the lifetime.

                                                                      ….. see next page for We Said It

                                                           

“We Said It”

  • US has recently reconsidered its policy regarding Venezuela oil export.

 

  • Indian opinion about oil related unilateral sanctions was discussed in the article titled; ‘India and Iranian Quandary’ published in ‘Beyond Boundaries’ column on 11th May 2022.