Host India Seeks Consensus as War Overshadows G20 Summit

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September 8, 2023

The G20, a gathering of the world's top-producing countries, is on in Delhi, India this weekend.

The presidency of the G20 rotates annually. In the year leading up to the summit, India has played host to 200 meetings in 60 cities. Officials of varying levels have attended those meetings and agreed on certain things, but it is the leaders summit that garners the most attention.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the host and chairman. Joining him will be the leaders or other high-ranking officials from the other 19 member nations and entities:

    G-20 logo
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States.
In addition, the European Union has member status.

Narendra Modi

Modi has expressed a wish for representatives of all 20 nations to pledge to an agreement on international issues. Top of mind for most officials will be the ongoing war in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin, facing an arrest warrant on charges of international terrorism, will not be attending; Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will represent his country at the leaders summit. As well, Chinese leader Xi Jinping will not attend, giving way to his premier, Li Qiang. (It is the first time since the G20's inception in 2008 that the head of China will not attend.) The heads of state of the other 17 member nations will attend; representing the European Union will be Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Charles Michel, President of the European Council.

The G20 meetings are a gathering of most of the world's economic might, with the member nations' comprising 85 percent of world economic output and 75 percent of world trade. Indeed, the G20 is nominally a body designed to discuss economic concerns. These meetings have taken place since 1999, when the G20 was formed in response to a large financial crisis in Asia.

Another key issue to be pushed by Modi is expected to be debt refinancing, an area of special concern to developing nations. The G20 members agreed in 2020 to a Common Framework for debt restructuring, but that hasn't translated into quick action. Attending the summit will be representatives of the Asian Development Bank and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

As well, climate change will be on the table for many discussions during the summit weekend. Representatives of the International Solar Alliance will attend.

In addition to the Big 20, India has also invited other countries to the summit; those include Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and the United Arab Emirates. Attending as well, at India's invitation, will members of the International Labor Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization.

Of interest in the United Kingdom is that entity's prime minister, Rushi Sunak, will become the first Indian-born U.K. leader to attend a G20 summit. Sunak, who has been prime minister of the U.K. since 2022, hopes to broker a free trade agreement with India.

The summit will take place at Bharat Mandapam, newly built exhibition center near the historic India Gate monument, in heart of New Delhi. India has designated as the theme for the summit Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, a Sanskrit phrase that translates into English as "The world is a family."

India's time in the presidency ends on December 1; on that day, Brazil will take the reins.

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Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2023
David White

Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2023
David White