New Delhi has said that while its G20 presidency is driven by the vision of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world is one family), its presidency of the United Nations Security Council seeks to prioritise countering terrorism and reformed multilateralism.
Both these positions are rotating, that is, they come to all members of the bodies by turn.
Some of the significant roles of the UNSC broadly include maintaining “international peace in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations,”and “to determine the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and to recommend what action should be taken.”
The Council President, according to the UNSC handbook, exercises a vast range of powers such as holding meetings of the Security Council, approving provisional agendas, signing records of the meetings, besides other crucial decisions.
“On the first working day of the presidency, the Council president holds an informal breakfast to discuss the draft programme,” which is “attended by the permanent representatives of all Council members.” The programme of work (PoW) — which in simpler terms, is a calendar of priorities which the President nation would work towards during its tenure — is adopted soon after the breakfast.
The official website of the UNSC highlights that each of its 15 member states assume its presidency for a duration of one month, following the English alphabetical order.
India had also been in the presidential position in August 2021.
This month, India’s PoW includes briefings, consultations and reports on global developments in Syria, Libya, Middle East, Colombia, South Sudan, and Congo among others.
An open debate on the “maintenance of international peace and security” through “new orientation for reformed multilateralism” and a briefing on “threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts” which would involve discussions on principles and way forward through a “global counter-terrorism approach” remain key to the Council. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be traveling to New York on December 14 and December 15 to attend these signature events.
The country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj will preside over the Council for this month.
The G20 or Group of 20 functions as an intergovernmental meeting, where states participate in discussions on different aspects of the global economy. It was formed during the 1990s when Southeast Asian economies were witnessing a financial crisis. It had a tremendous impact in the year 2008, when it helped reduce global panic caused by a restrained economy and restore economic growth.
The meeting includes the European Union, and some of the world’s largest economies among other nations. Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, UK and USA comprise the G20. These countries, at present, “account for more than 80% of world GDP, 75% of global trade, and 60% of the global population,” according to a document by MEA India.
The main objectives of G20, according to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), includes policy discussion and coordination on economic and financial issues around the globe. However, over the years, the meeting has extended its aims to cover global terrorism, health and sustainable development.
The leadership of G20 rotates annually among nations, where the President nation determines the agenda of the summit held every year. Non-members, namely, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organization (WTO), among others participate regularly in the G20 proceedings.
The planning is done by the Troika, which comprises the past, present, and future presidents — this year, Indonesia, India, and Brazil.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially handed over the G20 presidency to India on November 16 this year at the summit in Bali. The year-long presidency assumed by India comes at a time when the world is struck with uncertainties about recovery from a pandemic-hit economy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a series of tweets, highlighted the country’s commitment towards resolving challenges of “climate change, terrorism and pandemic” through international cooperation.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, further on Thursday, said that New Delhi will work to “depoliticise” the global supply of food, fertilisers and medical products, according to a report in tThe Indian Express. Hailing its position as the “voice of the Global South,” Jaishankar added that the country will “take the lead in pushing for collective action” on climate change, climate justice and sustainable development, which are often “side-tracked due to more dominant issues.”
India has also invited guest nations, namely, UAE, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Egypt, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, the Netherlands and Spain.
Over 2023, India will organise more than 200 meetings across 50 cities which would involve officials, the civil society, culminating in a marquee meeting in New Delhi in September next year. Thirty heads of states and government from the G20 nations, and those invited, are expected to participate in the summit.