Knowing all about G20 Workstreams and India’s Presidency kick-starting
The G20 or Group of Twenty is a unique intergovernmental forum comprising key global stakeholders—world’s leading developed nations and emerging economies—aimed at achieving economic transformations through creative synergies and socio-institutional innovation. The Summit is held annually under the leadership of a rotating presidency. Early in December 2022, India was instituted at the helm of the affairs of the G20 for the year 2022-23. The agenda is set to convene over 200 meetings of ministers, government officials and civil society members across 32 different workstreams in 50 cities, leading up to a final summit in September 2023.
The G20’s processes are structured within two parallel tracks: the Finance Track and the Sherpa Track. Within the two tracks, representatives from the relevant ministries, invited/guest countries and international organisations participate in deliberations to contribute to the global agenda on pressing international issues. These deliberations happen in thematically oriented working groups that meet regularly throughout each president’s term. A multi-year mandate in accordance with the Troika ensures institutional and agenda continuity.
The Finance Track is led by Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, who along with their deputies discuss global macroeconomic issues. The key issues addressed by the Finance Track concern the global economic outlook and the management of global economic risk. Financial sector reforms including international taxation and the modes to finance quality infrastructure fall within its purview, as well. Catalysing climate financing with its G20 presidency, India is inducing a dynamism in the Global South. With the shadow of the pandemic looming, financing for future health emergencies and investments in pandemic prevention, preparedness and response are crucial concerns.
The Finance track’s robust solutions in the face of crises prove its viability. The Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) was instituted to support low-income countries in the face of the pandemic. Expanding the scope of the DSSI, the Common Framework for Debt Treatment (CF) was launched and is the only multilateral mechanism devoted to debt treatments. The financial intermediary fund (FIF) for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPR) was developed with broad support from members of the G20. Merging finance and environmental commitments, the G20 Sustainable Finance Roadmap was instituted to integrate nature-relevant economic activities.
To facilitate global economic discourse and mark the beginning of the G20 Finance Track under the Indian Presidency, the first G20 Finance and Central Bank Deputies (FCBD) Meeting was held in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The two-day FCBD meeting witnessed enthusiastic participation from 160 delegates and deliberations on restoring global macro stability, improving financial inclusion, reforming the multilaterals and building resilient, inclusive and sustainable cities of tomorrow.
The emissaries of global leaders, the Sherpas, coordinate the G20 processes along the Sherpa Track. Mr. Amitabh Kant is presently the Indian G20 Sherpa. The representatives engage in productive discussions on an action-oriented decisive agenda. The First Sherpa Meeting of India’s G20 Presidency was held in Udaipur. The four-day gathering set the stage for important conversations on some of the most pressing issues of our time, including technological transformation, green development and LiFE, spotlighting women-led development, accelerating implementation of the SDGs, facilitating inclusive and resilient growth, and multilateral reforms.
The Sherpa Track oversees inputs from 13 Working Groups, 2 Initiatives–Research Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG) and G20 Empower, and various Engagement Groups. The Working Groups are composed of experts and officials from relevant ministries who provide sector-specific in-depth analysis and align the international agenda with their respective areas of focus. Additionally, Engagement Groups that comprise diverse independent collectives ensure multi stakeholder dialogue. These deliberate upon their mandate and present recommendations to aid the G20 decision-making process.
The Indian presidency has taken remarkable initiative in establishing two new projects—a new working group on Disaster Risk Reduction to enable global preparedness against disaster and the Startup-20 Engagement Group to effectively engage key ecosystem stakeholders.
With the theme of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (One Earth, One Family, One Future), India’s Presidency of the G20 offers a stellar hope of delivering innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.