The Indian city of Gandhinagar is hosting meetings of G20 finance ministers and central back governors


  • India took over the G20 presidency from Indonesia last year and navigated through a volatile geopolitical climate
  • New Delhi has used its G20 presidency to underscore issues faced by developing nations
  • Experts say representation and inclusivity have been the main highlights of the presidency

The G20 presidency, which India took over from Indonesia last year and will pass on to Brazil this year, is normally seen as an ordinary passing of the bloc's stewardship from one country to another. But India's leveraging of the rotating presidency has been branded as one of the most inclusive presidencies and has helped New Delhi position itself as the champion for the developing world.

The Global South, which is largely underrepresented in major world forums, gained significant attention under India's presidency over the last year, experts say.

"India chose to amplify the voice of the global south through its G20 presidency. The Global South, which has growing clout, with two-thirds of the world's population and a substantial share of global GDP, has been under-represented in such forums," Sunaina Kumar, the executive director of Think20 India (T20) Secretariat under India's G20 presidency, told International Business Times.

"The inclusiveness, championed by India, will outlast its presidency," added Urvi Tembey, Think20 India (T20) taskforce coordinator.

With its G20 slogan "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" ('One Earth, One Family, One Future), India saw a banner year in global governance by bringing issues of developing nations to the world's center stage. Moreover, it has also been lauded for taking the summit across the length and breadth of the nation. Cities across the country have been buzzing with G20 talks as India hosted diplomats and dignitaries in over 220 high-level meetings in 60 different locations.

India's G20 presidency will see its climax as it hosts world leaders on Sept. 9-10.

U.S. President Joe Biden, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are a few of the global leaders expected to attend the summit this weekend.

Experts believe India managed to navigate through a turbulent geopolitical climate throughout its presidency and succeeded in brokering more inclusive agreements between the member nations.

"India's G20 presidency has been one of the most inclusive presidencies, during which India has succeeded in bringing forth the voices from the Global South to collectively solve global challenges. India's inclusive approach to problem-solving has been at the core of its presidency," Tembey told IBT.

In the many meetings that took place over the past year, officials hammered out a number of agreements in different areas, and New Delhi used the opportunity to strengthen India's voice on the global front.

"Some of India's priorities for the presidency include promoting the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) through lifestyle for the environment (LiFE), focusing on women-led development, promoting digital public infrastructures (DPIs), as well as identifying pathways for inclusive growth and fostering resilient supply chains," Tembey said.

She explained how New Delhi has been able to promote these priorities in working group meetings and also included them in outcome documents agreed upon by ministers.

"For example, the development ministers unanimously adopted the outcome document 'G20 High-Level Principles on Lifestyles for Sustainable Development,' which embodies the spirit of 'One Earth, One Family, One Future,'" she said. "The outcome document of the digital economy ministers meeting highlights the importance of DPIs for digital inclusion and innovation, which can benefit underserved groups and people in vulnerable situations. Similarly, the outcome document agreed to by the tade and investment ministers focuses on making global value chains more resilient by identifying vulnerabilities and adopting a more inclusive approach to international trade."

India also backed the inclusion of the African Union as a full member of the Group of 20, which is also seen as a means of promoting the Global South's voice in global decision-making. By highlighting concerns that resonate among most developing nations, India has reiterated its commitment to "the Global South agenda," Kumar said.

"The South has also been short-changed by a multilateral system which has been monopolized by rich countries," she said. "By inviting six guest countries from the Global South to the G20, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Egypt, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Mauritius, by advocating for the full membership of the African Union, and by prioritizing the concerns of developing countries in the forum, like climate change, energy security, rising debt, inflation and global health systems, India demonstrated its commitment to the Global South agenda of demanding equality in global decision-making."