India makes preps for G20 presidency, but what is this group?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi G20

India has established a G20 Secretariat and approved other related structures to implement policy decisions and be responsible for India’s forthcoming presidency of the group in 2023.

India will hold the presidency of the G20 from December 1, 2022, to November 30, 2023, culminating with the group's summit in India next year, Hindustan Times reported.

The decision on setting up the secretariat and other structures was made at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The G20 Secretariat will handle work related to knowledge, content, technical, media, security and logistical aspects of India’s presidency of the inter-governmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union (EU).

What is the G20?

The G20 or Group of Twenty is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union (EU).

It works to address major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development.

The Group of Twenty is composed of most of the world's largest economies, including both industrialized and developing nations.

The group accounts for around 90% of gross world product (GWP), 75–80% of international trade, two-thirds of the global population, and roughly half the world's land area.

As of 2021 there are 20 members of the group: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Spain, the United Nations, the World Bank, the African Union, and other organisations are permanent guest invitees.

Meanwhile, returning to India, the newly established secretariat will be manned by officers and staff from the external affairs and finance ministries, and other relevant line ministries and departments and domain knowledge experts.

It will be functional until February 2024.

The secretariat will be guided by an apex committee that will be headed by the prime minister and will include the finance minister, home minister, external affairs minister, and the G20 Sherpa, who is commerce minister Piyush Goyal.

A coordination committee will also be set up to oversee all preparations and report to the apex committee.

The G20 Secretariat will enable long-term capacity building, including knowledge and expertise, for India’s leadership on global issues at multilateral forums, the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

The Group of Twenty includes the world’s 20 largest economies and is the premier forum for international economic cooperation that plays an important role in global economic governance.

India was originally expected to be president of the group in 2022, coinciding with the 75th year of the country’s independence.

It had arranged a swap with Italy, which was to be the chair in 2022 but agreed to take on the presidency in 2021.

During the G20 Summit in November 2020, India made another swap with Indonesia, which took on the presidency for 2022.

Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi said at the time that her country discussed the exchange with India because a G20 presidency in 2023 would have overlapped with Indonesia’s presidency of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

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