Research Associate, CCGS
G-20 is a group of twenty powerful nations of the globe, which also includes European Union. In 1999 the group was founded with the aim to promote the international financial stability and a few other issues. Economic cooperation was the key agenda behind its establishment. Its consists of 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 is a permanent invitee.
Since then G20 leaders have met thirteen times at different global venues and the summit held in Osaka (Japan) on 28-29 June 2019 was the fourteenth one. The economists have raised the doubts of its achievements and its relevance too. The G20 leaders are divided on several issues and the global character of the G20 is severally hampered in new emerging situations globally. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), US=China Trade tussles, Japan-Korea cultural relations, US-Russia tensions and many other regional issues are more dominant over the global goals. In that case G20 summits just become a mere ceremonial meet without a concrete purpose.
Eight themes were put forth for discussion in Osaka. These were (i) Global Economy, (ii) Trade and Investment, (iii)Innovation, (iv) Environment and Energy, (v) Employment, (vi) Women’s empowerment, (vii) Development and (viii) Health. These were important issues before the global leaders to ensure the global sustainable development. Whereas the US has already moved out of Paris climate accord and has faced criticism, it was expected that there will be hardly any progress to control global warming. The worries expressed by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe through the press release is quite obvious, ‘The world economy still faces downside risks due to trade tensions. The G20 shared the determination to take further actions and lead strong economic growth while paying attention to such circumstances.’TheUS-China trade war is, as experts say, is not going to settle till Mr. Trump is in office. Chinese BRI project is boycotted by India, the most accelerating economy of the world. BREXIT has created a big trouble for European Union and Germany is passing through a phase of sluggish growth.
The preamble of the summit declaration suggests that there is a will to get united and make the world a prosperous, terror free, energy secured, gender justice and healthy place for every human individual. It says, 1. We, the Leaders of the G20, met in Osaka, Japan on 28-29 June 2019 to make united efforts to address major global economic challenges. We will work together to foster global economic growth, while harnessing the power of technological innovation, in particular digitalization, and its application for the benefit of all.
2. Building on work done by previous presidencies, we will strive to create a virtuous cycle of growth by addressing inequalities and realize a society where all individuals can make use of their full potential. We are resolved to build a society capable of seizing opportunities, and tackling economic, social and environmental challenges, presented today and in the future, including those of demographic change.
3. We will further lead efforts to foster development and address other global challenges to pave the way toward an inclusive and sustainable world, as envisioned in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.
One journalist said at the venue, Honesty is prime, rest will follow.
For us, Center for Culture & Global Studies, it is satisfactory that there is special mention of promoting tourism and strengthening cultural diplomacy. The Declaration states in its article ’24. Tourism accounts for a significant share of the world's GDP and is expected to continue to be an important driver of global economic growth. We will work to maximize the sector's contribution to the creation of quality jobs and entrepreneurship, especially for women and youth and in the creative industry; economic resilience and recovery; the preservation of natural resources through sustainable tourism planning and management; and the achievement of inclusive and sustainable development’.
We appreciate such endeavors of G20 leaders.