The Group of 20 is the premier forum for the world to create inclusive growth and India’s presidency this year has helped give voice to the Global South and create a truly unusual G20, the Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami has said.
In an interview to mark India’s 77th Independence Day at India House in London on Tuesday, the senior diplomat who has just returned from a visit to India reflected upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to showcase every part of India for each of the G20 meetings, to culminate in the Heads of State and Government Summit in New Delhi early next month. The G20 world leaders’ summit is scheduled in New Delhi over two days, September 9 and 10, and is expected to be one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in the country.
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He also referenced President Droupadi Murmu’s Independence Day address to the nation to reiterate India’s role to nudge the G20 dialogue in favour of the developing world with its presidency of the intergovernmental group, made up of the world’s leading economies from 19 countries and the European Union (EU). “As far as the G20 is concerned, it is the premier forum for the world to try and create better opportunities for inclusive growth for all countries,” Doraiswami told PTI. “And getting us, as the President’s speech said, to be able to nudge the global dialogue in the right direction, whether it is in terms of the digital development agenda, whether it is in terms of poverty alleviation, in terms of the voice of the South; all of this has been India’s effort to try and create a truly unusual G20 not just in terms of the locations that we’ve showcased, but also in terms of the agenda,” he said.
The High Commissioner highlighted Prime Minister Modi’s goal of Amrit Kaal, the next 25 years to the centenary of freedom, as connected with the G20 theme of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam One Earth, One Family, One Future. “I think the Prime Minister has made it very clear that the intention is to make every year special and to help us reach, both in our own minds and in reality, the sense that India will truly be a developed country by the time of its centenary,” said Doraiswami. “Much of that rests in self-belief. Things are happening, great things are happening in India, and we have to believe that we can make greater things happen. So, for me, the G20 is part of that the belief that we can host the world’s most important politico-economic event in style, in substance and in terms of organisation. In terms of the bandobast, in terms of showcasing the country, it’s been a very unusual G20. What we’ve tried to do is to showcase every bit of India for every one of the meetings that is a uniquely prime ministerial initiative,” he noted.
The G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies. The members represent around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade and about two-thirds of the world population. The grouping comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union. Asked about the preparations for the upcoming visit of Rishi Sunak to New Delhi for the leaders’ summit next month and the hype in the UK media about a grand reception planned for his first tour of the country as British Prime Minister, the envoy simply said: “wait and see”. “Let’s see how best we can organise as much as possible for him around the G20. It’s a tight window, one or two-day event but, of course, there will be bilateral meetings etc. So, we hope that his visit will inspire him enough to look for another visit,” he said.