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Mains Answer Writing

2-April-2024

Q1) G20 needs to transform its role from being a premium forum for international economic cooperation into a global platform for development cooperation to overcome the impediments in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Discuss.

(250 Words/15 Marks)

ANS

G20 is a premier forum for international economic cooperation with membership of 19 countries and the European Union (EU). It accounts for 85% global GDP, 75% international trade and 67% global population. The group came into prominence during the global financial crisis (2008-09) assuming crucial role in assisting global economic recovery.

Over the years, the G20 has acquired the following mandate:

  1. Achieve strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth.
  2. Accelerate and consolidate post-crisis recovery.
  3. Support the emergence of new sources of growth.
  4. Act on key global social and environmental challenges.
  5. Contribute towards the provision of global public goods.
  6. Integration of low-income and developing countries into a sustainable global economy.

While the G20’s agenda has been expanding, it remains primarily a premium forum for international economic cooperation, acting through monetary, fiscal, and structural policy tools.

 There is need for greater development cooperation through G-20 due to the following reasons:

  1. Global Poly-crisis: Simultaneous occurrence of multiple crises such as Covid-19, Russia- Ukraine war, supply chain disruptions, global food- and fuel-shortages have reversed global gains towards the 2030 agenda for SDGs.

E.g., As per Oxfam, 250 million more people are at risk of extreme poverty.

  1. Norths-south divide: Least-developed countries (LDCs) and several developing countries lack the fiscal capacity for economic recovery and welfare actions to support the vulnerable populations.

E.g., Sri-Lanka’s economic crises.

  1. G20’s membership, while being wider than G7, is still exclusionary.

E.g., currently, south Africa is the only African country in G20.

  1. Anti-globalism: Shrinking development gains from globalization have created antiglobalization movements and protectionism due to issues such as unemployment, jobless growth, global recession etc.
  2. Climate Inaction: G20 countries account for 75% global carbon emissions. There is lack of transfer of technology and climate finance. It is estimated that between 2015-2021, the members gave $3.3 trillion in fossil fuel subsidies.

Following suggestions can strengthen G20 as a global platform for development cooperation:

  1. Expand development agenda on the lines of SDGs to include cooperation and capacity building efforts in healthcare, digital technology, renewable energy etc.
  2. Facilitate investment support towards loss-and-damage fund for climate adaptation in global south. As per the Global Commission on Adaptation, climate adaptation measures have high social return on investment (SROI).
  3. Establish development finance institution (DFI) for filling the SDG financing gaps, protecting against issues such as debt-trap diplomacy, and driving global economic recovery.
  4. Establish a permanent secretariat for institutional support. Incorporate civil society organizations in the development partnership on Agenda 2030.

G20 needs to leveraging its economic influence for fostering development partnerships in the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the theme of India’s G-20 presidency) for shared prosperity

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