G20 Summit 2018 concludes: G20 Leaders pledge to fight climate change; India to host G20 Summit in 2022

The G20 Summit 2018 concluded on December 1, 2018 in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nineteen leaders of the world's biggest economies and representatives of the European Union held a meeting together as part of the G20 summit.

It was the 13th meeting of Group of Twenty (G20) and the first G20 summit to be hosted in South America. President Mauricio Macri of Argentina assumed the presidency of G20 on November 30, 2017 for one year during an official ceremony in Kirchner Cultural Centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Theme

The theme of the summit was 'Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development'.

The leaders of the Group agreed to fix the world trading system, however, only 19 agreed to support the Paris accord on fighting climate change with the United States holding onto its withdrawal.

G20 Leaders pledge to fight climate change

  • In a joint declaration, the leaders of G20 nations, except for US President Donald Trump, reaffirmed their commitment to fight climate change by upholding the Paris Agreement.
  • The United States reiterated its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and affirmed its strong commitment to economic growth, energy access and security, while protecting the environment.
  • In fight against the climate change, the G20 leaders expressed their strong support for the countries that are signatories to the 2015 Paris Agreement, to implement their commitments set out in their nationally determined contributions.
  • They took note of UN scientists' call for a more ambitious target of reducing the warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Experts say with only a single degree Celsius of warming so far, the world has already seen deadly wildfires, heatwaves and hurricanes.
  • The declaration states that the leaders look forward to "successful outcomes" of the COP24 Climate Change Conference, which began in Katowice, Poland on December 3.
  • G20 leaders also recognise the importance of a multilateral approach to trade and importance of the reform of the World Trade Organisation, and renew their commitment to a rules-based international order.

India's representation at the Summit: Prime Minister Modi represented 9-point agenda; held talks with various leaders

Prime Minister Narendra Modi represented India at the Summit and met US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Argentina President Mauricio Macri, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on the sidelines of the summit.

PM Modi presented a 9-point agenda to G20 Member Nations, calling for strong and active cooperation to deal with fugitive economic offenders. The agenda was presented during the second session of the G20 Summit 2018 on International Trade, International Financial and Tax Systems.

Highlights of the 9-point Agenda on Fugitive Economic Offenders

  • The agenda reads as, "Cooperation in legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime, early return of the offenders and efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime should be enhanced and streamlined".
  • "Principles of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNOTC), especially related to 'International Cooperation' should be fully and effectively implemented".
  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was called upon to assign priority and focus to establish international cooperation that leads to timely and comprehensive exchange of information between the competent authorities and financial intelligence units.
  • FATF will formulate a standard definition of fugitive economic offenders and should develop a set of commonly agreed and standardised procedures related to identification, extradition and judicial proceedings of fugitive economic offenders and to provide guidance and assistance to G-20 countries.
  • It advocated setting up of a common platform for sharing experiences and best practices including successful cases of extradition, gaps in existing systems of extradition and legal assistance, etc.
  • The G-20 forum should consider initiating work on locating properties of economic offenders who have a tax debt in the country of their residence for its recovery.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also stressed on cooperation among G20 countries on issues related to global economy, trade tensions, crude oil prices and terrorism. He highlighted the flagship programmes like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna, MUDRA and Start-up India undertaken by his government to modernise the economy and promote inclusive growth.

On the sidelines of the G-20 summit, the Prime Minister met Chinese President Xi Jinping and discussed how to strengthen bilateral ties between the two neighbours. He also met Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia who offered to supply oil to India.

India, Japan & US held trilateral meeting on G20 sidelines

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held their first trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit to discuss major issues of global and multilateral interests.

PM Modi quoted that, "The 'JAI' (Japan, America, India) meeting is dedicated to democratic values...'JAI' stands for victory (in Hindi)." The JAI meeting was a convergence of vision between the three nations.

All three leaders agreed on free, open, inclusive and rules-based order to maintain peace and prosperity in Indo-Pacific region.

India, Russia & China held trilateral meeting on G20 sidelines

Prime Minister Modi, Russian President Vladimir V Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a Trilateral Meeting in Buenos Aires.

The three leaders exchanged views on expanding mutual cooperation in international forums, and to encourage greater interaction among the three countries. They agreed on the importance of reform and strengthening of multilateral institutions which have benefitted the world, including the United Nations, WTO, and well-established and new financial institutions.

Informal BRICS Leaders’ Meeting

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met on November 30, 2018 for the annual Informal BRICS Leaders’ Meeting on the margins of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

They exchanged views on international political, security and global economic-financial issues, as well as challenges facing sustainable development.

They reaffirmed full support for the rules-based multilateral trading system, as embodied in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to ensure transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive international trade.

The leaders advocated for a strong Global Financial Safety Net with an adequately resourced, quota-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) at its centre. They extended their support to Brazil which is going to host 11th BRICS Summit in 2019.

India to host G20 Summit in 2022

India will host the G20 Summit in 2022, when the country celebrates its 75th year of Independence. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the ongoing meet of the G20 Leaders in Argentina.

As India’s 75th Independence Day in 2022 is coinciding with the G20 Summit, the Prime Minister had requested Italy if it can host the summit in 2021 and allow India to host the G-20 countries for their annual summit in 2022. All the G20 leaders including Italy accepted the request.

Japan is scheduled to host the G20 Summit in 2019, followed by Saudi Arabia in 2020.

G20 or the Group of Twenty

Formed in 1999, the G20 is an international forum of the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.

Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 85 percent of the Gross World Product (GWP), 80 percent of world trade.

To tackle the problems or the address issues that plague the world, the heads of governments of the G20 nations periodically participate in summits. In addition to it, the group also hosts separate meetings of the finance ministers and foreign ministers.

The G20 has no permanent staff of its own and its chairmanship rotates annually between nations divided into regional groupings.

The first G20 Summit was held in Berlin in December 1999 and was hosted by the finance ministers of Germany and Canada.

Objective

  • The Group was formed with an aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.
  • The forum aims to preempt balance of payments problems and turmoil on financial markets by improved coordination of monetary, fiscal, and financial policies.
  • The forum seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organisation.

Member Countries

  • The members of the G20 consist of 19 individual countries plus the European Union (EU).
  • The 19 member countries of the forum are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The European Union is represented by the European Commission and by the European Central Bank.
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