“Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – these two words sum up a deep philosophy. It means “The world is one family”. This is an all-encompassing perspective that encourages us to move forward as one universal family, transcending borders, languages and ideologies. During India’s G20 presidency, it became a call for people-centred progress. As One Earth, we come together to advance our planet. As a family, we support each other in our quest for growth. And we are moving together towards a common future – one future – which is an indisputable truth in these connected times.
The post-pandemic world order is very different from the world before it. There are three important changes, among others. First, there is a growing recognition that a shift from a GDP-centric view of the world to a people-centric view is required. Second, the world is recognizing the importance of resilience and reliability in global supply chains. Third, there is a collective call for strengthening multilateralism through reforming global institutions.
Our G20 presidency has played the role of a catalyst in these changes.
In December 2022, when we took over the presidency from Indonesia, I wrote that the G20 had to initiate a change in mentality. This was particularly necessary in the context of mainstreaming the marginalized aspirations of developing countries, the Global South and Africa.
The Voice of Global South Summit, attended by 125 countries, was one of the most significant initiatives under our presidency. Gathering inputs and ideas from the Global South was an important exercise. Furthermore, our presidency not only saw the largest participation of African countries ever, but also pushed for the African Union to become a permanent member of the G20.
A connected world means that our cross-cutting challenges are interconnected. This is halfway through the 2030 Agenda and many are noting with great concern that progress on the SDGs is off track. The G20 Action Plan 2023 to Accelerate Progress on the SDGs will set the future direction of the G20 in implementing the SDGs.
In India, living in harmony with nature has been the norm since ancient times and we are also doing our part to protect the climate in modern times.
Many countries of the Global South are in different stages of development and climate action must be a complementary measure. Climate protection ambitions must go hand in hand with measures for climate finance and technology transfer. We believe there is a need to move from a purely restrictive stance on what should not be done to a more constructive stance focused on what can be done to tackle climate change.
The Chennai HLPs for a Sustainable and Resilient Blue Economy focus on keeping our oceans healthy.
Under our presidency, a global clean and green hydrogen ecosystem and green hydrogen innovation hub will emerge.
In 2015 we launched the International Solar Alliance. Now, through the Global Biofuels Alliance, we will support the world to enable energy transition in line with the benefits of a circular economy.
Democratizing climate action is the best way to energize the movement. Just as individuals make their day-to-day decisions based on their long-term health, so they can make their lifestyle choices based on the impact on the long-term health of the planet. Just as yoga became a global mass movement for wellness, we’ve kickstarted the world with Lifestyles for Sustainable Environment (LiFE).
Due to the effects of climate change, ensuring food and nutrition security will be crucial. Millets, or Shree Anna, can help with this while promoting climate-friendly agriculture. In the International Year of Millet, we brought millet to the global palate. The Deccan High Level Principles on Food Safety and Nutrition are also helpful in this direction.
Technology is transformative, but it also needs to be made inclusive. In the past, not all sections of society have reaped the same benefits from technological advances. India has shown in recent years how technology can be used to reduce inequality rather than increase it.
For example, the billions of people around the world who are unbanked or lack a digital identity can be financially engaged through digital public infrastructure (DPI). The solutions that we have developed with our DPI are now recognized worldwide. Now, as part of the G20, we will help developing countries adapt, build and scale DPI to unleash the power of inclusive growth.
It is no coincidence that India is the fastest growing major economy. Our simple, scalable and sustainable solutions have enabled the vulnerable and marginalized to drive our development story. From space to sports, from business to entrepreneurship, Indian women have taken the lead in various sectors. They shifted the narrative from women’s development to women-led development. Our G20 Presidency is working to bridge the digital gender divide, narrow the gap in labor force participation and empower women to play a greater role in leadership and decision-making.
For India, the G20 presidency is not just a high-level diplomatic endeavour. As the mother of democracy and a role model for diversity, we have opened the doors of this experience to the world.
Movement driven by people
Nowadays, achieving things on a large scale is a quality associated with India. The G20 presidency is no exception. It has become a people-driven movement. By the end of our term, over 200 meetings will be organized in 60 Indian cities across the country and will receive nearly 100,000 delegates from 125 countries. No presidency has ever spanned such a vast and diverse geographic area.
It’s one thing to hear about India’s demographics, democracy, diversity and development from someone else. It’s something else entirely to experience them first hand. I’m sure our G20 delegates would vouch for that.
Our G20 presidency seeks to bridge rifts, break down barriers and sow seeds of cooperation that will nourish a world where unity triumphs over discord and where common destiny eclipses isolation. As G20 President, we pledged to enlarge the global table and ensure that every voice is heard and every country contributes. I am confident that we have delivered action and results in line with our promise.
https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/g20-should-leave-none-behind/article67278060.ece The G20 should leave no one behind