PM Modi called for the need for purpose and unity of action under India's G20 Presidency theme of 'One Earth, One Family, One Future' (File image courtesy: PIB)
As India’s G20 presidency draws to a close, the South Asian nations will closely monitor the final outcome of the mega summit. Decisions on climate change, sustainable energy and debt relief will have far reaching implications for the region as these would require greater integration among the countries. Gender empowerment, inclusive economic growth and the digital public infrastructure development are also on the agenda.
South Asia is home to a quarter of the world’s population.
India’s G20 presidency is somewhat a representation of South Asia as a whole. It showcases the collective strengths and challenges of these nations, an analyst said. Notably, this is the first time G20 presidency has come to South Asia.
Kathmandu Post earlier said that with climate induced disasters becoming more pronounced in the region driven heavy floods and droughts, South Asia would need to battle the rising challenges as a united force.
According to the newspaper, India’s G20 presidency provides “immense opportunities” for South Asia to address economic challenges, foster regional cooperation in climate and energy, and lead innovation based on favourable demographics. “However, to better capture the economic opportunities that this occurrence propels, it is in the interest of India and countries in South Asia to accelerate cooperation and move toward regional integrity,” it added.
Earlier President of Sri Lanka India Society, Kishore Reddy said that the Indian Presidency of G20 is a great opportunity for the countries not represented in the forum.
The Covid 19 pandemic and its challenges have particularly underlined the need for greater synergy and cooperation across countries with a thrust on regional integration.
The multiple meetings held during the course of the year on various issues starting from economy to gender will impact policymaking in the region.
Andalib Elias, Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata in an interview to ANI last month said, “We are an invited country but we have been actively participating in G20. This year, we have seen that India has taken G20 to a newer and higher level. As the President, India has achieved new goals and targets.”
Elias noted that the decisions taken at the summit will have an impact the world over.
“When one of our closest friends becomes the President of that organisation, that definitely helps us in multiple ways,” he added.
India’s presidency has already amplified New Delhi’s role in the Global South.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a virtual meeting ahead of the summit said that the world is in a state of crisis. “Most of the global challenges have not been created by the Global South. But they affect us more.”
“Our effort will be that there should not be any First World or Third World …but only one world,” Modi said at the unveiling of the 2023 G20 Summit logo and theme last year. India’s G20 theme — Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, or “One Earth, One Family, One Future” has special significance in the post Covid era.
US based ABC News noted that as the split over Ukraine casts a shadow over the G20, India has focused on issues affecting developing countries, like food and fuel insecurity, rising inflation, debt and reforms of multilateral development banks.