At the first formal meeting of the G-20 at Udaipur on Monday (4th December 2022), Indian Sherpa Amitabh Kant highlighted the importance and significance of the Global South in the international fora. Kant stated that the voice and concerns of the Global South are often unheard quite often. Through the Indian policy of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam, which is also the current theme for India’s presidency at the G-20, and the importance of the forum itself, advanced and emerging economies can be brought together.
The Global South is a term which denotes the countries in the continents of Latin America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. These generally include many of the Third World nations in the Globe. This rating is done along socio-economic and political lines and characteristics. It has mainly developed and underdeveloped countries.
The four-day gathering of the Sherpa Track began on Sunday and engaged dignitaries from forty countries on Monday. The Sherpa team, which will set the agenda for the G-20 leaders next year in September, will engage in various topics ranging from energy, trade, investment, development, employment, tourism, agriculture, digital economy, culture and anti-corruption.
Regarding trade and investment, discussions will be held on resilient global value chains and the integration of small and medium industries and international trade for growth and prosperity. On development, data for development along with Sustainable Development Goals and lifestyle of the environment will be discussed.
The Employment Section will address the global skill gap, sustainable financing for social security and the platform economy. The Tourism Working Group will deliberate on green tourism and skills for tourism. As far as agriculture is concerned, the group will discuss food security, nutrition and digitisation for agriculture.
For the digital economy sector, a digital public infrastructure, fast payments, and digital identities will be discussed. Prevention, preparedness, and response to health emergencies and diseases will be addressed in healthcare. In the energy domain, discussions will be held on bio-energy cooperation, low-cost finance for energy transition and principles of green hydrogen.
The G-20 Discussions come when the international global economy suffers from headwinds like inflation, recession, rising global debt, and a growth slowdown. The G-20 officials and representatives will consider and deliberate all these issues.
The G-20 is an intergovernmental forum of 19 countries and the European Union. These include Australia, Brazil, Argentina, India, China, Canada, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, France, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Africa, the UK and the US. It represents 85% of the global GDP, 75% of international trade and two-thirds of the world population.
It consists of two parallel tracks: Finance Track which central bank governors and finance ministers lead. The Sherpa Track is the second track. The presidency steers the G-20 agenda for one year till the final summit next September. During its presidency, India will conduct 200 meetings across 32 workstreams in 50 cities, involving ministers, government officials, and civil society members.