Trigs on Track : Diplomacy Unwound-India’s G20 presidency towards Human centric Globalization

India’s G20 presidency towards Human centric Globalization

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By Ambassador Anil Trigunayat, Edited By Adam Rizvi, The India observer, TIO, NJ: On December 1, India assumed the presidency of the highly influential global grouping of major world economies- G20 from Indonesia for one year.  These are unprecedented times with unprecedented  challenges caused by the Covid pandemic and Russia Ukraine war whose continuing incidence may be a dampener as well as an opportunity for India to change  the global discourse. The Indonesian presidency was beset by these problems too  which was manifested in their theme of ‘Recover together, Recover stronger’ and the fact that eventually despite Russian and Chinese objections the ‘Bali Declaration’ was issued is a major achievement . India played a major role in bridging the divide which has been widely acknowledged’.

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During , 2023  India has chosen the theme of globalism and human centric globalization as Prime Minister Narendra Modi passionately articulated ‘ India’s G20 agenda will be inclusive , ambitious , action oriented and decisive . Let us shape a new paradigm of human centric globalization ‘. This is clearly imbibed in the logo and the theme of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’ reemphasizing on the oneness and harmony among the human kind with ‘One World, one Family and One Future’ which are so much needed at this time when the global order is under tremendous stress .

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India’s own track record during these prevailing geo political challenges has been exemplary with words and action being the same. During the pandemic , despite the need to subserve her own population comprising of 1/6th of the humanity , India went for the human centric approach with its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ and ‘medicine diplomacy’ to reach out with vaccines and essential supplies from USA to Uganda. No wonder the then President of Brazil ( and next host of the G20) called it as ‘Sanjeevani’ the lifesaving drugs. More importantly , India advocated the suspension or waiver of the IPR ( intellectual Property Rights) so that the vaccines could reach the needy in a timely and efficient manner. During her Presidency India wishes to be an effective voice for the ‘Global South’ as it has been doing all along .

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Likewise, India’s principled position on the Russia-Ukraine war and on the Afghanistan crisis , while it is in the UNSC as a non-permanent member , for peace, dialogue, diplomacy and respect for UN Charter , sovereignty and territorial integrity have remained consistent and value based while serving her own national interests .Despite the Galwan incident and border tensions with the hegemonistic China , New Delhi has preferred the route to diplomacy and dialogue to resolve the bilateral issues with China ,while urging and advocating  respect for rule of law and freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific and elsewhere.

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The G20 , representing 85% of global GDP, 2/3rd of world’s population and 75% of trade , has emerged as a major instrument of global decision making while regrettably UN ‘s role is becoming stunted and archaic . UN , without reforms , may become only a talk shop and anachronistic to meet global challenges of a newer as well as older kind. Lamenting about issues only is no response . Therefore ,for India , which has been a part of G7+ , for several years and also part of cross cutting important organizations like QUAD, BRICS, SCO and RIC , JIC etc., the G20 Presidency provides an opportunity to change the global narrative and to steer the vitriolic and selfish approaches of the majority towards a benign and welfare oriented inclusive international effort . No mean challenge that is since the powers are infested by the Zero sum mindset. Again as PM Modi wrote in his op-ed “ Can we catalyze a fundamental mindset shift to benefit humanity as a whole “.  

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It will be a task cut out as India will reassemble the G20 in totality despite the ongoing Eurasian conflict and Sino-US tensions let alone India’s own challenges in her neighborhood. And India appears well placed to do that .

Besides , in 2023 India will be hosting the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and India Africa Forum  Summits that will encompass the other diverse but important actors . One of the key achievements for India could be to include more African nations in the G20 orbit and more importantly if it is able to persuade others to include African Union ( AU) as a permanent member converting G20 into G21 in the 21st century . 

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As such India, as a host country,  has specially invited some of her key partners like Bangladesh, Egypt , Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and UAE . Besides the UN, World Bank , IMF, WHO, WTO ,ILO and some other regional organizational  heads i.e. ASEAN  , New Delhi will have Asian Development bank, international solar alliance , Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure among others which clearly reflect the commitment to mitigation focus on climate change while working on increased and equitable climate finance and transfer of green technologies so that ‘green apartheid ‘ could be addressed forthwith. India has taken exceptional lead in the fight against climate change through her commitments for renewable energy and other laudable initiatives like LIFE for Environment while ensuring a credible trusteeship and global ownership of nature.

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 In any case all such initiatives and over 250 planned interactions across India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari for thousands of delegates in various verticals will feel a flavor of India and her soft power through the year in the run up to the Summit.

Digital transformation and infrastructure as well as equitable digital infrastructure through ease of access of technologies and bridging the digital divide are being espoused especially for the developing world since for the AI driven Industrial Revolution 4.0 these are the common denominators and must be provided for . India , having become a knowledge economy and IT superpower has the requisite heft to make it a reality with the G20 partners , even though  it is an uphill task given the protectionist nature of the international discourse and unwillingness of the rich countries to go extra mile .India ‘s economic and democracy dividends and experiences in digital outreach and inclusion could help alleviate the situation and provide acceptable solutions.

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Finally , some mechanisms will have to be globally agreed at the G20 so that weaponization of global goods and commons can be averted in future . PM Modi again has hit the nail when he wrote ‘ For promoting harmony within the human family , we will seek to depoliticize the global supply of food , fertilizers and medical products so that geo political tensions do not lead to humanitarian crises… through healing, harmony and hope ”. As for Russia Ukraine war a solution will have to be found to end the conflict  since this is not an era war but wars are still being inflicted by the unabashed geopolitics and irresponsible behaviour of super powers. Every one knows this imperative and that without acting together and remaining in myopic confrontational silos we cannot fight these global challenges which are threatening our very existence .  How will it be achieved and enforced remains to be seen ?.

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Time to wake up since consensus is the key word in G20 parlance.

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Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai

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Anil Trigunayat

Anil Trigunayat

Anil Trigunayat (IFS Retd) ,Rotarian Former Ambassador of India to Jordan, Libya and Malta Independent Director , WAPCOS ( President, MIICCIA Chamber of Commerce ( Patron ,Indus International Research Foundation Chairman, Confederation of Educational Excellence Secretary , Association of Indian Diplomats ( Former Ambassadors) Chair Advisory Council, India-Italy Chamber of Commerce &Industry ( Distinguished Fellow Vivekananda International Foundation (, Leads West Asia Experts Group Member , JNU Committee for the Institute of Advanced Studies Governing Council Raisina House; Usanas Foundation ; and India-Japan Foundation Adviser(Int), National Cooperative Development Cooperation Adviser ,Asia Africa Chamber of Commerce / BRICS Chamber of Commerce &Industry Peace Ambassador @Unity Earth, Australia

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