Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the eleventh G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China on 4-5 September, 2016.
In addition to attending different segments of the Summit and making focussed interventions, Prime Minister Modi met and held talks on key bilateral issues with the host, President Xi Jinping of China as well as presidents of Russia, Turkey and Argentina, prime ministers of UK and Australia and deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. He informally interacted with US President Obama and French President Hollande on margins of official deliberations.
The importance of G20 has grown over recent years. It was initially established in 1999 and comprised of finance ministers and heads of central banks of 20 major economies of the world who would meet annually to discuss issues of global economic governance.
This was upgraded to summit level in 2008 to deal with the international financial and economic crisis that year.
G20 represents 85 per cent of world GDP, 80 per cent of world trade and two-thirds of the world population.
|PM Narendra Modi arrives in Hangzhou, China for the G20 summit. (Photo credit: Facebook)|
It is a forum in which world's major economies, both developed and developing are represented.
With passage of time Agenda of G20 summits has continued to expand so that in addition to macro aspects of trade, finance and economy, the forum also debates political and social issues including terrorism, terror financing, health, education, water, agriculture and several more.
Record of implementation of decisions taken has not been very inspiring. All work is accomplished by the country that holds the Chair for that year.
The Hangzhou Summit was the first G20 Summit organised by China and also the first such high level Summit to take place in that country.
In logistics, facilities and arrangements, China acquitted itself creditably barring the snafu at the airport when President Obama's Air Force One was not provided a regular staircase on arrival and the heated altercation between US and Chinese officials.
This was the last major international Summit that Obama attended barring the East Asia Summit in Laos, Vientiane, before he demits office in January 2017.
Significance of the Summit was enhanced as it was the first G20 gathering after the Brexit vote and took place just before the US presidential elections, both of which will have a significant impact on the international economy and trade in the coming years.
At the end of the Summit, the assembled leaders agreed to coordinate their macroeconomic policies, oppose protectionism and promote growth and demand.
However few concrete proposals emerged to meet the growing challenges to globalisation and free trade.
Discussions at the Summit were jolted by test-firing of three medium-range ballistic missiles by North Korea.
Russian and US leaders met on sidelines of the Summit to find a solution to Syria but failed to reach a deal.
Discussions are expected to continue. USA and China jointly affirmed that they will ratify the COP 21 declaration on climate change that provided a big morale booster.
In his address at the Summit, Modi exhorted the G20 countries to isolate and sanction countries which sponsor terrorism and not reward them.
Without naming Pakistan he said that a single country in South Asia is spreading agents of terror in India and the region.
He referred to the urgent need to curb black money; to forsake protectionism; to promote growth and demand; to safeguard climate justice and uphold principles of equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR).
Prime Minister Modi's message on terror is a clear, cautionary advice to the international community that they should not expect any elasticity from India if Pakistan continues its nefarious activities in carrying out terror attacks in India.
Modi's message at G20 was also directed at China which has continued to blindly support Pakistan on this vital issue.
In his bilateral meeting with Xi also, Modi had said that terrorism should not be viewed through the prism of politics as it is a scourge that afflicts the whole world.
In his bilateral conversation with President Xi, Modi underlined that both India and China need to be sensitive to each other's strategic interests, concerns and aspirations to realise the full potential of their bilateral partnership.
In the first few years of its establishment, G20 discussions had produced tangible results in coordinated policymaking and follow-up action but it has since meandered and lost focus.
Its significance has however continued to grow because of the opportunity it provides to world leaders to meet bilaterally with their major partners to discuss and resolve urgent issues of concern and interest.
(Courtesy of Mail Today.)