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Briefing to member states on G-20 meetings

[Monday, 13 March 2023]


Remarks by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj,

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations



Excellencies and Colleagues,


At the outset, let me extend a warm welcome to you all to today’s briefing. This briefing is being done at the request of the Co-facilitators, who had reached out to me suggesting that we do an informal briefing on what transpired at the recently held G-20 meetings, in particularly the meeting of finance ministers and the central bank governors and the meeting of foreign ministers.


2. Let me also clarify that this briefing is not an alternative to the traditional Sherpa’s interaction with member states. We are hopeful that this might be held sooner rather than later.




3. India’s G20 Presidency comes at a time when the world faces multiple challenges, ranging from climate change and lack of progress in SDGs to the economic slowdown, debt distress, uneven pandemic recovery, food and energy insecurity and geopolitical conflicts. Yet in every challenge lies an opportunity. The world is looking at G20 as a ray of hope in providing fresh perspectives and durable solutions to global problems.


4. As Prime Minister Modi had said at the Bali Summit, we would like our G20 Presidency to be inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive. Our G20 logo and theme reflect this thought, with the Earth representing India’s pro-planet approach and the Lotus representing growth, amidst challenges. Our theme Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: One Earth One Family One Future, reflects our intent to carry all countries with us, and leave no one behind. The theme also brings out the value of all life – human, animal, plant, and microorganisms – and their interconnectedness.


5. As the fastest growing large economy in the world, in a largely gloomy global economic scenario, India carries the requisite weight and ability to seek and garner support for quality outcomes. Yet G20 can work only by consensus and we have often seen G20 respond better to immediate concerns rather than the long-term challenges. In this context, India, as a G7 partner, BRICS and QUAD member, SCO and G20 President, and a “Voice of the Global South”, having served as a non-permanent member of the UNSC in 2021-22, hopes to serve as a trusted and effective bridge between the developing countries and the advanced economies.


6. Our G20 Presidency is India’s most high-profile international endeavour ever. It is also for the first time that four developing countries- Indonesia (2022), India (2023), Brazil (2024) and South Africa (2025) – are presiding over the G20, in a row. In addition to regular G20 participants, we have invited 9 more countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and UAE), and 14 International Organizations including ISA and CDRI which are headquartered in India.


7. The G20 Summit in New Delhi, scheduled on 9-10 September 2023, will have the largest ever participation, including from Africa with 6 invitees (South Africa, AU Chair, NEPAD Chair, Egypt, Mauritius and Nigeria). In the run-up to this Summit, India will host foreign delegates for around 200 meetings in over 50 cities across India.


8. During our G20 Presidency, we are convening 13 Sherpa Track working groups, 8 Finance Track workstreams, 3 Initiatives (RIIG, Empower and SELM) and 11 Engagement Groups. Over 200 meetings during our Presidency will comprise four Sherpa meetings, more than 20 Ministerial meetings, four Finance Deputy meetings, a Parliament Speakers’ Summit, as well as a Sherpa track WGs/Fin Track workstream meetings chaired at senior official level. All official meetings will culminate in the G20 New Delhi Leaders Summit in September 2023. Our G20 meetings are being held across 56 cities, covering all 28 states and 8 Union Territories of India. We are also working to provide visiting delegates with a unique Indian experience showcasing India’s diversity, inclusive traditions, cultural richness and strong democratic roots.


9. India’s G20 Presidency is looking to steer G20’s action towards finding tangible solutions to contemporary global challenges, inspired by an inclusive and human-centric approach, aided by effective use of technology and driven by the need for sustainable development for all. Sharing our story, caring for all and taking collective action are the key underpinnings of our Presidency.



10. Some of the key conversations that we are prioritizing in our G20 Presidency, are as follows.


(i) First, Green Development, Climate Finance & LiFE. Climate action and progress on SDGs are two sides of the same coin. Mobilization of timely and adequate resources for climate finance, including exploring innovative financing, is important to meet climate challenges. There is a need to set a New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) from a floor of USD 100 billion per year, taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries. Green and Green transition finance, credit enhancement by multilateral developmental banks through enhancing and expanding their mandate as well as innovative instruments such as blended finance, viability gap funding and interest equalization, are the need of the hour. Public finance should be used more to leverage the vastly higher amounts of private finance available in the market.


(ii) At the same time, with growing globalization and easier access to resources, a circular economy and responsible consumption have acquired greater significance. The principles of LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) can be adopted around the world, to ensure sustained growth with minimal waste production. From nudging individual and community behaviour and responsible consumption and production, to sustainable urbanization and the circular economy as a business model, a global pro-planet lifestyle movement holds the key to addressing effectively the multiple challenges of climate change, environment degradation, energy crises and rapid, sustainable growth.


(iii) Looking ahead, as perhaps the only large economy with the potential to industrialize without carbonizing, efficiently utilizing large-scale renewable energy as well as green hydrogen, coupled with green ammonia and green shipping, supplemented by technological collaborations and resilient critical material supplies, we aim to set a template for realizing net-zero ambitions.


(iv) Second, Accelerated, Inclusive & Resilient Growth. The challenges faced by our planet can only be addressed with collective resolve followed by robust action that furthers sustainable growth for all stakeholders. From accelerating progress on SDGs, a focus on the blue economy and trade for growth to sustainable energy transitions and global food security, our endeavour is to ensure G20 serves the long-term interest of all and leaves no one behind.


(v) We are at a crucial midpoint of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in 2015, with cascading and multiple crises threatening a dramatic reversal of progress on achievement of the SDGs. The SDG financing gap has been widening, owing to unfavourable macroeconomic conditions, including, record inflation and increasing debt distress. In many ways, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has got derailed and is in need of rescue. In this context, a robust Action Plan for achieving SDGs, halfway on the road to Agenda 2030, is our important priority.


(vi) Third, Technological Transformation & Digital Public Infrastructure. Developing and harnessing the digital infrastructure will, among other things, define the coming decade. Its use in furthering SDGs and providing easy access to digital payment methods while ensuring data privacy will be crucial and relevant to ensure a worldwide digital transformation. Digital public infrastructure and platforms, digital health and tech-enabled development from agriculture to education, will be key to harnessing the power of the digital economy, to boost growth and development. In particular, we plan to create a Common Framework for DPI that outlines the core principles for building DPIs (interoperability, scalability, open-source platforms, open-standards and privacy) based on a Digital identity system, a Digital Payment system and an Intra-Country Consent-based Data Sharing system.


(vii) Fourth, Multilateral Institutions for the 21st century. The world urgently needs reformed and effective multilateral institutions to build resilience and deliver solutions for the pressing and evolving challenges of our time, including developmental challenges, poverty, climate change, disaster risk, pandemics, global food security, international conflicts and crises, and international terrorism. Adapting to the contemporary world realities necessarily requires urgent and comprehensive reform of 21st century institutions, to make them more inclusive, representative and democratic, and to reorient them towards an inclusive, just and equitable global development agenda.


(viii) Women-led Development. Women as entrepreneurs, as members of the workforce and as leaders play a critical role in charting the path to prosperity of all societies. Development led by women, by going beyond women’s empowerment and bringing women to the core of economic and professional activities, can provide a real impetus to socio-economic development. Not only should women be empowered more, they should play a strong, equal and central role in every nation's overall growth. Development can be speedier, more inclusive and more beneficial when women not only participate, but lead capacity building institutions. When women engage with equal access, capacity and agency to take decisions, it improves not only their lives, but the lives of their families, communities and entire societies.




11. India’s G20 Presidency has started off well. We have had several important meetings including the Foreign Ministers meeting, and the meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. I would be touching on these two specifically a little later.


12. As the Hon’ble Prime Minister has said that the chairing by India of the G-20 Presidency is a reflection of the strength of 130 crore Indians. We are, taking the G20 to the people. We are making it a ‘Jan-Bhagidari’ or a ‘Peoples’ G20’. We are involving the private sector, universities, civil societies and youth in practical activities and bringing out fresh perspectives on global issues.


So far


13. So far, in the first three months of our Presidency, 11 of the 13 Sherpa Track Working Groups and all Finance Track workstreams have met, 2 Initiatives (RIIG and Empower) and 8 of the 11 Engagement Groups have held their Inception Meetings. The first G20 Sherpa Meeting, the first Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meetings and the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting have also been held successfully. 18 cities in 14 States and Union Territories have hosted G20 meetings. All our official meetings are being held in-person and have seen full scale or nearly full scale participation from all G20 Members, 9 Guest countries and 14 plus International Organizations.


14. In particular, the FMCBG and FMM saw record, in-person participation from all countries with high-level dignitaries, with 28 Foreign Ministers and 2 Deputy/Vice Foreign Ministers attending the FMM in particular.


15. I am happy to state that our broad G20 priorities [Comprising Green Development, Climate Finance and LiFE; Accelerated, Inclusive and Resilient Growth; Accelerating progress on SDGs; Technological Transformation and Public Digital Infrastructure; Multilateral Institutions of the 21 Century and Women-Led development. In the Finance Track, some of the key priorities are strengthening of the multilateral development banks, managing global debt and promoting financial inclusion] have thus far found wide acceptance, from amongst the G20 countries and stakeholders.


16. Going forward, we will be further fleshing out common ground, and working on specific outcomes. In doing so, we have also emphasized that G20 is a normative forum, and setting the right agenda, from a developing country perspective, is equally important in itself.

Last two meetings


17. We have held two important Ministerial meetings so far, the FMCBG in Bengaluru last month and the FMM in New Delhi last week. Both of them concluded with substantive outcomes on a highly diverse range of subjects. Agreed Outcome Documents were issued at both. At the FMCBG, 15 of the 17 paragraphs of the Outcome Document were fully agreed and at the FMM, 22 of the 24 paragraphs of the Outcome Document were fully agreed. Barring the complex geopolitical issue of Ukraine, agreement was found on all of them.


18. The G20 Foreign Ministerial Outcome Document was the first ever in G20. Its key outcomes included endorsement of a shared approach to development cooperation, wherein important principles of international development cooperation, such as host-country ownership, equal partnerships, tailoring such cooperation efforts with local needs, transparency and mutual accountability were emphasized. The need for MDBs to mobilize additional financing and additional financing for SDGs was underscored. There was an unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and resolve was expressed to counter new and emerging threats and promote counter-narcotics cooperation including against synthetic drugs. G20 called for strengthening of efforts to deny terrorist groups safe havens, freedom of operations, movement and recruitment, as well as financial, material or political support.


19. The need for reliable food and fertilizer supply chains as well as resilient and sustainable energy supply chains was stressed. In-principle agreement was reached in G20 on global skill mapping, given the changing nature of work, something that would help forge migration and mobility partnerships going forward, an important priority for developing countries. Emphasis was placed on a cooperative framework for disaster risk reduction. Women empowerment and leadership at the core of efforts for inclusive recovery was recognized. The need for pragmatic and focused discussions on WTO reform including its dispute settlement mechanism on the path to MC13 was underscored. In the area of health, improving digital health and affordable medical countermeasures, areas of particular interest to us, were stressed.


20. G20 countries expressed their strong sentiment on the need to strengthen multilateralism in the context of the dramatic changes in the global order. UNGA Resolution 75/1, which called for the reform of the Security Council, revitalizing the GA and strengthening the ECOSOC, was reaffirmed by the G20. In a first, further deepening of cooperation between G20 and African partners, i.e., the African Union, was highlighted. With South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, AU Chair Comoros, Mauritius and AUDA-NEPAD, the Indian Presidency has the highest ever participation from Africa in any G20. In addition, the FMCBG Outcome Document found agreement on the complex issue of a Common Framework for Debt Treatment, and agreed to set up an Expert Group on MDB reforms. These are all significant achievements of the G20 in our ongoing Presidency.


21. All of the above has been achieved despite the challenge of the geopolitical situation – the conflict in Ukraine. The G20 Ministers have been able to come to a consensus on addressing the important challenges being faced by the global community. The two Outcome Documents, therefore, are key milestones for our ongoing G20 Presidency. The US, EU, UK, Japan, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and Turkey have welcomed the outcome document, many of them in public. Russia and China also have also gone along with their adoption during the FMCBG and the FMM. Following the Voice of the Global South Summit held earlier this year in January, our agenda also takes forward the priorities of the countries of the Global South, some of whom participated as guests in the FMCBG and FMM as guests. As regards the Ukraine conflict reference, we will continue to remain closely engaged with all G20 Members, who have already lent support to the above agreed outcomes, to find common ground on its language.


What lies ahead


22. The second meeting at the Sherpa level will be held at Kerala at the end of March (30 March-2 April) and the third meeting will be held at Hampi, Karnataka in July 2023. The second FM&CBG meetings will be held in Washington D. C. from 12-13 April 2023 alongside the Spring Meetings of the IMF/WB [10-16 April 2023] and their third meeting will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 3-4 August 2023 in India. The meetings of the Ministers of Agriculture, Tourism, Development, Culture, Labour & Employment, Energy, Environment & Climate, Women’s Empowerment, and Health will be held through the year before the G20 Summit scheduled from 9-10 September 2023 in New Delhi.


23. The priorities that India is pursuing as part of G20 Presidency are embedded in various work streams and processes that are underway. We are pushing for outcomes and progress in the work of the G20 to seek sustainable solutions for the multiple crises impacting the world, particularly those that are most impacting the Global South.


I thank you.