The most powerful nations on Earth meet in G20 summit

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Narendra Modi

The G20 summit will witness the convergence of leaders from the world’s wealthiest and most influential nations, who will gather to discuss a wide array of global issues. This event marks a historic occasion as India, located in South Asia, hosts this powerful assembly of global leaders for the first time.

In 1999, the world’s 20 major economies formed an economic coalition in response to the Asian financial crisis. This initiative arose from the recognition that such crises could no longer be confined within national borders, necessitating enhanced international economic cooperation.

The G20 currently accounts for 80% of the global gross domestic product (GDP), 75% of international trade, and about two-thirds of the world’s population. After the global financial crisis in 2008, the leaders of member nations decided to convene annually for a leaders’ summit.

The G20 operates without a fixed headquarters, and its presidency rotates among its members. Indonesia hosted the 2022 summit, and India will hand over the presidency to Brazil on December 1. The G20 comprises the world’s 19 wealthiest countries, along with the European Union as a collective entity.

Additionally, for this year’s summit, India has extended invitations to Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates. Several international organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), have also been invited.

The theme for this year’s G20 is derived from the Sanskrit phrase “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (meaning “the world is a family”), emphasizes the interconnectedness of all life forms on Earth and in the wider universe, including humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms. The English rendition of the theme is “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” and the event will also spotlight LiFE (Mission Lifestyle for Environment), promoting environmentally sustainable and responsible choices.

Under India’s year-long presidency, the G20 has centred its discussions on topics such as increased loans to developing nations from multilateral institutions, reforming international debt structures, regulations concerning cryptocurrency, and the impact of geopolitical uncertainties on food and energy security. This year, the bloc has encountered challenges in issuing joint statements, primarily due to deep divisions over language related to the war in Ukraine. Western countries, including the United States, France, and Canada, have sought a strong condemnation of Russia as a prerequisite for a joint statement, which Moscow and Beijing vetoed.

Confirmed attendees at the summit include US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, have opted not to participate. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to make his first official visit to India as the head of government. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is likely to address Russia’s actions in Ukraine, given Japan’s current leadership of the G7.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s visit to India is part of a three-nation tour, including Indonesia and the Philippines. French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to attend and engage in bilateral discussions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol intends to call for international cooperation in addressing North Korea’s missile provocations and nuclear threats. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz views the G20 summit as important despite Russia and China’s absence. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will focus his discussions on climate change.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez, and Nigerian leader Bola Tinubu are also expected participants, while Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador may not attend.

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