The year 2023 will be historic in multiple aspects from India’s viewpoint, however the year is most important from a foreign policy point of view as India would be conducting the G-20 meet in the year 2023. G-20 refers to the group of 20 most economically powerful nations who have a contribution of almost 70% to the world’s GDP. The G-20 presidency is also an opportunity for rising countries like India to place its viewpoints on important issues at a global level. The G-20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation. It plays an important role in shaping & strengthening global architecture & governance on major economic issues. India at present, holds the presidency which will last till November 2023.
G-20 is also an unique setup which comprises of strategically important countries which hold sway over multiple regions in the world, which makes G-20 the ideal forum to discuss issues affecting humanity and the world at large. Since, 20 most important countries of the world which hold sway will be there, it’s natural that every country will be having their own comparative advantages, which makes it as an ideal forum for multilateralism. The multilateralism in G-20 summit gives an opportunity to India, which makes India’s importance as the centripetal force in advancing multilateralism.
The G-20 presidency is an opportunity for India to present a vision for the inclusive development of the world’s economy, as was stated by the honourable PM of India, Shri. Narendra Modi in his remarks at the Global South Conference which pressed for actions on issues concerning the world at large. Its no doubt that in todays world which is globalizing at a quick pace along with fast paced economic growth inclusive development cannot be possible in a bilateral or unilateral system, it requires the efforts of many nation states so that the ultimate goal is reached in a way which is of fulfilling the sustainable development goals among a host of goals which will help make the world a better place.
An in depth study in the history of multilateralism which became more prominent after 1990’s shows us that economic liberalization in trade policies led to multilateralism which has led to a changed inclusive development which has seen the world’s GDP grow by leaps & bounds, along with greater cooperation between countries not ideologically inclined to each other. One of the best examples can be the MDGs where polar opposite ideological nations of China & USA, declared their unanimous support along with taking steps to actually resolve those issues. These were later formulated into SDG’s, not only development goals but with evolution of multilateralism over the years. There has been more economic democracy where the economy moves towards a demand side economy implying the common consumer has got more power to decide which products he/she wants to buy. This economic democracy is also an equally important objective of G-20 which would be discussed if not resolved in the G-20 summit to be conducted in India.
The view of multilateralism from an inclusive development lens is important because it allows multiple counterbalances if any one country tries to bully the rest of the group for fulfilling their own demands. Along with having multiple counterbalances, it gives rise to a healthy democratic environment in the world, where the countries will come on a common table to negotiate best according to their national interest which will by & large ensure that the voices of downtrodden also reach them. This is what is precisely expected from the upcoming G-20 summit in India, which since the days of Nehruvian foreign policy to Narendra Modi’s foreign policy has always emphasized on being the voice of those countries who have been not been taken seriously in the foreign policy discourse.
Given, India is a major economic superpower now with many natural as well as policy factors working in favour of India, the G-20 summit in India is an ideal platform for India to showcase its strength of economic democracy, civilizational values, cultural ethos to the world which will pave way for multilateralism in the world leading to inclusive development.
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