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OpinionsVasudhaiva Kutumbakam: THE CELESTIAL ENSEMBLE

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: THE CELESTIAL ENSEMBLE


Dr. Parveen Kumar

Termed as 's Diplomatic ‘Coming of Age'; the celestial ensemble of heads and representatives of leading economies and global organizations in the two days summit reflects the rising stature of the country at global stage. Last year when India i. e ‘Bharat' took over the reins of G20 from Indonesia during the seventeenth meeting of G20 on Nov. 15-16 at Bali; Hon'ble Prime Minister of the country Sh. Narendra Modi unveiled the logo, theme and website of India's G20 presidency with clear intentions that India will strengthen the G20 with the theme ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future'. The theme is based on the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, a philosophy that affirms the value of all life-human, animal, plant and micro-organisims and their interconnectedness on the planet Earth and in the wider Universe. It essential means that the whole is one (my) family.



A post World War II initiative aimed at ensuring international financial stability and coordination and to address a host of other issues with global dimensions, G20 accounts for around two-thirds of the world population,75% of the international trade, 80% of Gross World Product (GWP) and 60% of the world's land area; G20 is presently one of the largest and biggest intergovernmental forum comprising of 19 countries and the European Union (EU). G20 composed of most of the world's largest economies, including both developed and developing nations works to address major issues related to the global economy like international financial stability, climate change mitigation and sustainable development.  The 19 countries in the G20 bloc include India, United Kingdom, United States of America, Brazil, China, Australia, Argentina, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, South Africa, Russia and Turkey (African Union now also has been included in the G20 meet being held at New Delhi). Formed in the year 1999 in response to the severe economic crisis that shocked the economies all across the globe, the group has been meeting at least once a year since 2008. The annual summit witnesses the participation of heads of government of member countries or their finance minister or foreign minister and other high-ranking officials. Other countries, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations are also invited to attend the summits.



The foot prints of G20 first emerged at Cologne summit of the G7 in June 1999 and it was formally established at the G7 Finance Ministers' meeting on 26 September 1999 with an inaugural meeting on 15–16 December 1999 in Berlin. Canadian Finance minister Paul Martin was chosen as the first chairman and German Finance minister Hans Eichel hosted the inaugural meeting. Paul Martin the then Finance Minister of Canada has been described as the crucial architect of the formation of the G-20 at finance minister level and as the one who later proposed that the G-20 countries move to leaders level summits. It was conceived in response to the series of massive debt crises that had spread across emerging markets in the late 1990s, beginning with the Mexican peso crisis followed by the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the 1998 Russian financial crisis and eventually impacting the United States most prominently in the form of the collapse of the prominent hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management in the autumn of 1998. It illustrated to them that in a rapidly globalizing world, the G7, G8, and the Bretton Woods system would be unable to provide financial stability and they conceived of a new broader permanent group of major world economies that would give a voice and new responsibilities in providing it. Since its formation, the G20's primary focus has been governance of the global economy and summit themes have varied from year to year.



Soon after taking over the reins of the group, Hon'ble Primeminister took it as an opportunity to showcase country's developmental strides aimed at furthering global good. India also invited Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and the UAE as guest countries for the present summit in New Delhi. The challenges included inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth, women's empowerment, digital public infrastructure and tech-enabled development, climate financing, energy security, food security and others. Regarding the financial instability and the recession in the global economy more so after the COVID-19 pandemic, the priority of India is also to come up with a roadmap for financial recovery and inclusiveness by collaborating with international bodies like World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Financial Stability Board (FSB).



Representation to the Unrepresented: The African Union (AU) represents one fifth of the global humanity. Such a number cannot be left unrepresented in the global group. Finally AU has been inducted as the new member of G20. The president of African Union Azali Assoumani was invited by summit host Sh. Narendra Modi to take seat as permanent member of G20. It is here also pertinent to mention that the AU at full strength has 55 members, but six military-ruled nations are currently suspended. It has a collective GDP of $3 trillion with some 1.4 billion people. It also marked the first expansion of the influential bloc since its inception in 1999.

India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC): The IMEC corridor represents an unprecedented collaboration encompassing India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the EU, Italy, France, Germany and the United States. It promises not only geopolitical significance but also economic opportunities for India. If the initiative goes ahead, it would establish railways, ports, electricity and data networks and hydrogen pipelines across the Middle East potentially speeding trade between India and Europe by up to 40 percent.

Global Bio-fuel Alliance: Global Bio-fuel Alliance has been created by the member countries. India, Brazil and United States are the founding members of this global alliance. This will not only lead to increased use of bio-fuels leading to a cleaner ; but will also force nations for cultivation and production of such crops which are a potential source of bio-fuels. Consequently degraded land can be rehabilitated by the cultivation of these crops which can be used as bio-fuels. India asked the member countries to take ethanol blending with petrol globally to 20 percent.

Tripling Global Renewable Energy: The member countries of the group backed a target of tripling global renewable energy capacity and referenced the need for emissions to peak before 2025. The group also acknowledged that limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) will require slashing greenhouse gases 43 percent by 2030 from 2019 levels. The 83 page New Delhi declaration also calls for the phasing out and rationalization of fossil fuel subsidies and commits to reducing ‘unabated coal power' while boosting clean energy generation. However there was no consensus on a phase-out of fossil fuels despite a United Nations report a day earlier deeming the drawdown ‘indispensable' to achieving net-zero emissions. G20 nations account for about 80 percent of global emissions and an inability to agree on the phase-out is a cloud over a key round of climate discussions to begin in November in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.

Host India along with Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa, played a key role in avoiding a fracturing of the G20 over many controversial issues reflecting the growing power of the Global South developing nations in the group. Through G20 Presidency, the country has become the voice of the developing world. We have set the agenda for the entire world. It is for the world to react to that agenda. Calling the New Delhi declaration as ‘historical and path breaking,' G20 Sherpa of India, Mr. Amitabh Kant said that India got the ‘100 per cent' consensus on all developmental and geo-political issues focusing on strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth accelerating progress on sustainable development goals. India has always remained vocal for bringing in much needed reforms in the global organizations, walked the talk by setting an example at the G20 forum. This summit is a strong reflection of India's rising stature on the global stage. The host of this year's summit and Indian Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi has made all its citizens to feel the event as India's diplomatic coming of age and Indian presidency as an opportunity to give a voice to the needs of global south emerging as a tallest leader in the global spectrum.


The author is a faculty at
SKUAST-K; can be reached at




The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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