What are the G20 ‘Workstreams’?

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What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • What is G-20? 
  • What is the Significance of G20?
  • India’s G20 Presidency and India’s aim of global leadership
  • How is the G20 structured?

 

Why in news?

  • The 18th annual G20 Heads of State and Government Summit is less than a week away.
  • It will take place at Bharat Mandapam, Pragati Maidan, in New Delhi on September 9 and 10.

 

G-20

  • G-20, started as a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 individual countries and European Union. It was established in 1999.
  • G20 was elevated to a forum of Heads of State/Government in 2008 to effectively respond to the global financial crisis of 2008.
  • G-20 is a forum, not a legislative body. Its agreements and decisions have no legal impact, but they do influence countries' policies and global cooperation.

 

Significance of G20

  • Carries significant weight
    • G20 members represent around 85% of global GDP, over 75% of global trade, and two-thirds of the world’s population.
    • G20 members contribute 79% of the world carbon emissions and hence this platform assumes significance in shaping the discussion on climate change.
  • Promotes Multilateralism
    • Since 2011, the G20 summit has been held annually, under a rotating presidency.
    • The practice of rotating the chair gives all the members a chance to shape the global agenda.
  • A number of overarching themes
    • Initially, the G20 focused on broad macroeconomic policy, but has since expanded its ambit to include trade, sustainable development, energy, environment, climate change, anti-corruption etc.
      • E.g., 2021 summit decided to stop funding coal-fired power plants in poor countries by the end of 2021.
      • It also committed to seek carbon neutrality “by or around mid-century”.
      • 2021 summit endorsed the Two-Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalisation of the Economy.
  • United Fight against COVID-19 Pandemic
    • In March 2020, G20 leaders pledged to inject $5 trillion into the global economy to reduce the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
    • In addition to this, they also agreed to contribute to WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund on voluntary basis.

 

India’s G20 Presidency and India’s aim of global leadership

  • The theme India selected for its G20 presidency is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world is one family).
  • India's G20 leadership has sought to make the Global South the Centre point of global conversations.
  • During its year-long presidency, New Delhi, through different initiatives, has made an intense effort to showcase India's claim to global leadership.
  • A visible dimension of this exercise is reflected in its participatory nature.
    • While inaugurating the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Diyas Convention in Indore in January 2023, PM Modi noted that India has to make the G20 not just a diplomatic event but a historical event of the people's participation.
    • India has envisaged janbhagidari (people's participation) in the G20 through various civic engagements and its hosting of more than 200 meetings, ranging across 50 cities and 32 working streams.
  • Another significant aspect of this participatory diplomacy is the prioritisation of provinces and regions and the showcasing of cultures that weren't given due attention earlier.
  • As a nation that wants to be a 'leading player' in the global order, India is keen to address the world's pressing issues through its leadership, including climate change, food security, health care, and technology.
  • As part of this, New Delhi has highlighted issues that matter for emerging economies: digital public infrastructure, entrepreneurship and innovation, climate justice, and affordable access to health care.

 

Structuring of G20

  • The G20 works in three major tracks — two of them are official and one is unofficial.
  • The official tracks are the Finance Track and the Sherpa Track. The unofficial track includes engagement groups or civil society groups.
  • Finance Track
    • The Finance Track is headed by the finance ministers and central bank governors, who usually meet four times a year.
      • Two meetings are usually held on the sidelines of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings.
    • It mainly focuses on fiscal and monetary policy issues such as the global economy, infrastructure, financial regulation, financial inclusion, international financial architecture, and international taxation.
    • Today, it has eight working groups.
  • Sherpa Track
    • The Sherpa Track was established after the forum became a leaders’ summit in 2008.
    • It consists of representatives of heads of state.
      • Each representative is known as a Sherpa — it is the metaphor from the mountaineering domain, where the Sherpa is supposed to do the heavy lifting or assist the mountaineer.
    • It focuses on socio-economic issues such as agriculture, anti-corruption, climate, digital economy, education, employment, energy, environment, health, tourism, trade, and investment.
    • There are 13 working groups within the Sherpa Track.
  • Engagement Groups
    • The unofficial track comprises engagement or civil groups.
    • These groups often draft recommendations to the G20 Leaders that contribute to the policy-making process.
    • The engagement groups are as follows: Business20, Civil20, Labour20, Parliament20, Science20, SAI20, Startup20, Think20, Urban20, Women20, and Youth20.

 


Q1) What is Sherpa Track? 

The Sherpa Track was established after the forum became a leaders’ summit in 2008. It consists of representatives of heads of state. Each representative is known as a Sherpa — it is the metaphor from the mountaineering domain, where the Sherpa is supposed to do the heavy lifting or assist the mountaineer.

 

Q2) What is the theme of G20 2023?

The theme for the G20 Summit 2023 is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” which translates to “One Earth, One Family, One Future.”

 


Source: Sherpa Track, Finance Track, and Engagement Groups: What are the G20 ‘workstreams’?