Voices from Asia

Opportunities and challenges of India’s G20 Presidency

Ada Dyndo conducts an interview with Shairee Malhotra on India’s role in G20. Shairee Malhotra serves as a Coordinator of the T20 India Taskforce on Reformed Multilateralism for India’s G20 presidency.

Instytut Boyma 14.09.2023

Ada Dyndo conducts an interview with Shairee Malhotra on India’s role in G20. Shairee Malhotra serves as a Coordinator of the T20 India Taskforce on Reformed Multilateralism for Indias G20 presidency.

Ada Dyndo: How would you explain India’s focus on the Global South during its G20 presidency?

Shairee Malhotra: The Global South has been a key focus during India’s G20 presidency. While it is understandable that the Russia-Ukraine war is a major concern globally, there are equally pressing challenges confronting the world including climate change, supporting the SDGs, and debt crises. Many of these challenges disproportionately impact nations of the Global South that represent 85% of the world’s population and require urgent attention. India’s goal was to have a constructive G20 aiming to collaborate on issues that pertain to development and impact most of humanity. In this context, India hosted the Voice of Global South Summit to amplify issues confronting developing countries. At the same time, India has also increasingly acted as a “bridge” between the North and South.

Ada Dyndo: What, according to you, could be the most lasting legacy of India’s G20 presidency?

Shairee Malhotra: India’s G20 presidency has had a unique focus on Africa in tandem with its broader focus on the Global South. PM Modi has pushed for full G20 membership of the African Union – a crucial step towards reforming multilateralism. This is conceptually feasible, since the European Union is already a member of the G20.

The logic is simple and sound – a Union of 55 countries with a population of over 1.3 billion people cannot be marginalised in a forum where global challenges such as sustainable development, economic recovery, and climate change – many of which disproportionately affect the African continent – are being deliberated upon. To contextualise, the EU has a population of less than 450 million. To enhance the legitimacy and effectiveness of the G20 as well as empower the African continent and its immense potential, the inclusion of the African Union as a G20 member is an important step towards a more representative global governance architecture. The G20 decision-making process is based around consensus between all member states. If the remaining countries agree with India’s proposal, this would be a crucial legacy from India’s G20 presidency.

Ada Dyndo: India identified several priorities for its G20 presidency. What are the three most important ones from the perspective of EU-India cooperation?

Shairee Malhotra: I think multilateral reforms, and energy transition and climate change are two important areas from the perspective of EU-India relations. These are key priorities on both the G20 agenda as well as the EU-India agenda and India’s bilateral ties with EU member states.

The Paris Agreement increased EU-India convergence, resulting in climate change becoming a central pillar in the partnership. Since then, India and Europe are working together through a number of bilateral agreements with the EU but also member states such as Italy, Germany, Sweden, in renewables as well as newer technologies such as green hydrogen. With their collaborative experiences, India and the EU present a compelling case of North-South cooperation, which is a prerequisite to achieving progress on many global challenges.

That multilateralism is in crisis is no secret, and for middle powers India and the EU, multilateral reforms are crucial. India is the world’s fastest growing economy and a stable world order is vital for further growth. The EU is itself a multilateral construct based on the rule of law. China and Russia’s assertive actions and respective weaponisation of trade and energy have only increased the need for an effective rules-based order that amongst other goals, secures supply chains and enables an open and stable Indo-Pacific region through which a majority of world trade now transits through.

Ada Dyndo: How is India contributing to the peace efforts in Ukraine?

Shairee Malhotra: India has condemned the conflict due to its disruptive impact everywhere but particularly on countries in the Global South in the form of the crisis of the three F’s – food, fuel, fertilisers. In sync with this position, India’s focus has been on finding a solution and urging for diplomacy and dialogue to prevail, while reiterating the core principles of the UN Charter of territorial integrity and sovereignty. India has also played a behind-the-scenes role in many instances, such as defusing the situation around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, and in the UN-led grain deal between Russia and Ukraine. Besides this, India has provided significant humanitarian assistance to Kyiv in the form of medical equipment and other relief supplies. In today’s volatile geopolitical context, India represents a much-needed reasonable voice urging for a return to the negotiating table.

Ada Dyndo: Do you think a G20 joint communiqué from the upcoming G20 Leaders’ Summit will be achievable?

Shairee Malhotra: Wording on the G20 communiqué will be challenging to navigate in a polarised forum, but remember it was PM Modi’s statement that “today’s era is not the era of war” that made its way into the final communiqué at the G20 summit in Bali last year. India is on the side of peace and will try to navigate the communiqué in sync with its position and focus on finding a solution to the conflict. Either way, a joint statement is certainly not the only way to measure success. Pushing the needle forward on technical reforms is just as important.

Ada Dyndo: You were involved in Think20 India – an official Engagement Group of the G20 that brings together think tanks and high-level experts to discuss policy issues relevant to the G20. As Coordinator of Task-force 7 (TF7): ‘Towards Reformed Multilateralism: Transforming Global Institutions & Frameworks’, how was your experience?

Shairee Malhotra: Think20 India’s Task-force 7 on Reformed Multilateralism brought together experts from 18 of the world’s top institutions to deliberate reforms for a multilateral order in crisis. This is perhaps amongst the most difficult topics under the G20 ambit given the critical importance of multilateralism on the one hand, and the general cynicism and pessimism that surrounds it on the other.

The work-streams under TF7 included UN reforms, digital governance, WTO reforms and policy coordination between multilateral groupings. It was a wonderful learning experience to coordinate the TF7 deliberations throughout the year and liaise with such eminent global scholars, beginning with the T20 inception conference and culminating in the T20 summit in Mysuru. The policy recommendations are captured in the Taskforce 7 statement, which is available here: https://t20ind.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Task-Force-7-digital.pdf.
These recommendations now need to be translated into action for global governance to become more effective. This will be an ongoing process that will continue as Brazil – another country from the Global South – takes over the G20 baton from India.

On my part, I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and past year to make my small contribution to the nation and India’s G20 presidency.

 

Shairee

Shairee Malhotra is Associate Fellow, Europe with the Observer Research Foundations (ORF) Strategic Studies Programme in New Delhi. 

Shairee  has several years experience working in Brussels – the headquarters of the European Union, at the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS), and at the European External Action Service (EEAS) – the official foreign policy arm of the EU – where she was selected at a success rate of only 1% for non-EU nationals.

Her writings and views have been featured in Haaretz, Hindustan Times, The Independent, Forbes, The Hindu, WION, EU Observer, Brussels Times, South China Morning Post, The Diplomat, The National Interest, Deccan Herald, LSE, Caravan amongst other prestigious platforms. 

Shairee was recently awarded as a Top 40 Under 40 EU-India Leader by the Europe India Centre for Businessu & Industry (EICBI) for shaping the growth of EU-India relations.

Ada Dyndo

Ada Dyndo has founded the WICCI’s India-EU Business Council in March 2022 as a platform for women who are strengthening the India-EU business corridor. She works at the European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) in New Delhi; before ETBC, Ada was heading the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) in India. In 2021, Ada was chosen by EICBI as one of the Top 40 under 40 Europe-India leaders who shape the future of EU-India relations. She is an Indologist living in Asia for seven years.

TAGI: / / / /

czytaj więcej

Kyrgyzstan on the Path to Political Stabilisation

On 10 January, early presidential elections were held in Kyrgyzstan, following the resignation of the incumbent, President Zheenbekov. The atmosphere in which the vote was conducted remained tense. This had been the case since the results of the October elections were announced, in which the opposition grouping failed to win a single parliamentary seat.

Meeting with Dr. Uki Maroshek-Klarman

It’s a great pleasure for the Boym Institute to organize an open meeting with dr Uki Maroshek who founded the betzavta method. Betzavta is taught across the globe at the Adam Institute for Democracy and Peace in Jerusalem as well as in other institutions in Europe and the Middle East.

Indian dream – interview with Samir Saran

Krzysztof Zalewski: India is a large country, both in terms of its population and its land area, with a fast-growing economy. It is perceived as a major new player on the global stage. What would the world order look like if co-organized by India? Samir Saran: India’s impact on the world order is already significant, but […]

To free oneself from the Chinese embrace. On Indo-Russian relations with Nandan Unnikrishnan

Interview with Nandan Unnikrishnan, who has served for many years as a correspondent for Indian media in Russia. Currently he is a research fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in Delhi. The interview was conducted during the Raisina Dialogue 2019 in Delhi.

Beyond Grey Hulls: Europe’s Role in “Crowdsourcing” Maritime Domain Awareness in the South China Sea

If developments observed in the South China Sea over the recent months are of any indication, it simply means that the situation has worsened. China’s continued aggression towards its neighbors – the Philippines and Vietnam in particular, has continued unabated.

Navigating tomorrow – the significance of Australia’s navy build-up

Australia has recently announced a plan to build the largest fleet since World War II. This move constitutes another step in Canberra's shift of defence strategy and commitment to adapt to the changing security environment.

Foreign Direct Investment in Vietnam

Thanks to continuous economic development, Vietnam attracts a record number of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The catalyst for such a strong growth of FDI in Vietnam is not only the ongoing trade war between the US and China, but also new international agreements.

Roman Catholic cemetery in Harbin (1903-1958)

First burials of Catholics, mostly Poles but also other Non-Orthodox believers took place in future Harbin in the so called small „old” or later Pokrovskoe Orthodox cemetery in the future European New Town quarter and small graveyards at the military and civilian hospitals of Chinese Eastern Railway at the turn of XIX and XX century.

India, China and the Shades of Grey

"We are at an inflection point in this century. Many of our traditional arrangements are failing. To achieve stability in this century we need to discover new solutions" - Interview with Samir Saran - Senior Fellow and Vice President at the Observer Research Foundation

Are “Climate Refugees” (Just) About Climate?

As the awareness of the scale and pervasiveness of climate impacts on human societies keeps rising, so does the frequency with which the terms “climate refugees” and “climate migrants” are being used in the public discourse “to describe those who are being displaced due to adverse consequences related to climate change” (Atapattu, 2020).

San Zhong Zhanfa or Three Warfares. Chinese Hybrid Warfare

Cognitive operations are becoming an increasingly significant and common element of non-kinetic military operations. States and other political players deliberately manipulate the way their actions, those of their allies and those of their adversaries are perceived by the governments and societies of other international players.

Book review: “Korean Diaspora in Postwar Japan – Geopolitics, Identity and Nation-Building”

Book review of "Korean Diaspora in Postwar Japan -  Geopolitics, Identity and Nation-Building", written by Kim Myung-ja and published by I.B Tauris in 2017.

We’re Stronger Together – an Interview with Minister Marcin Przydacz

"Cooperation and investments – we are absolutely up for it. However, we prefer to keep a certain degree of caution when it comes to entrusting the transfer of technology and critical infrastructure to external investors. The security of Poland and the EU should be considered more important than even the greatest economic gains..."

The North Korean nuclear dismantlement and the management of its nuclear wastes

Evidence suggests that North Korea stores its high-level nuclear waste (HLW) in liquid form in tanks on the same site where it is made, and has not invested in infrastructure to reduce, dentrify, or vitrify this waste. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, one of many aspects of the North Korean nuclear waste problem.

Will 2023 be the year of improving relations between Albania and South Korea?

In April 2021, the 30 years of establishing diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Albania was officially organized in the South Korean embassy in Athens, the capital of Greece. The localization of these official festivities perfectly pictured the nature of the relations between these two countries.

Asia-Integration – Follow-up Report on Polish Policy Challenges Towards Asian Countries

The debate was the consequence of positive reactions to the open letter that the Boym Institute published in the summer of 2020. Many of its readers pointed out the necessity of broad consultations regarding the principles of the new multidimensional policy in order to reflect the diversity of perspectives, interests and conditions.

Adam Institute for Democracy & Peace – Crowdfunding Campaign December 2020

Democracy in Israel is in crisis. And if we don't educate for democracy, it just won't exist. It's that simple. The actual teaching of democracy, on the other hand, isn't so simple. It requires experience, theoretical and practical knowledge and the flexibility to adapt to our ever-changing reality.

Women’s liberation in China: interview with prof. Wu Lijuan

Interview of Ewelina Horoszkiewicz with prof. Wu Lijuan - Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology at Peking University. Her research concentrates on the gender issues and social changes brought about by globalization. She wrote a book “Job Placements and Job Shifts in China: The Effects of Education, Family Background and Gender”.

Online Course: “Conflict Resolution and Democracy”

The course will be taught via interactive workshops, employing the Adam Institute’s signature “Betzavta – the Adam Institute’s Facilitation Method“, taught by its creator, Dr. Uki Maroshek-Klarman. The award-winning “Betzavta” method is rooted in an empirical approach to civic education, interpersonal communication and conflict resolution.

Patrycja Pendrakowska made it to the Top 40 under 40 Europe-India leaders list

#EuropeIndia40, an initiative of EICBI, covers the stories of leaders below the age of 40 and their contributions to promoting EU India / UK India relations.

TSRG 2021: The Impacts of the BRI on Europe: The Case of Poland and Germany

It is important to contribute to the understanding of what the New Silk Road can mean in economic, political, leadership and cultural terms for the European countries involved. This analysis should reveal the practical consequences of the Belt and Road Initiative for Europe in the case of Poland and Germany, as well as their respective social effects.

Patrycja Pendrakowska for Observer Research Foundation: “The Polish example: Defending the castle in the European East”

We would like to inform, that Observer Research Foundation has published article of Patrycja Pendrakowska - the Boym Institute Analyst and President of the Board.

Not only tests and masks: the history of Polish-Vietnamese mutual helpfulness

On the initiative of the Vietnamese community in Poland and Vietnamese graduates of Polish universities, our country received support from Vietnam - a country that deals with the threat posed by Sars-Cov-2 very effectively.

How to deal with gender-based segregation?

Interview on the project Supporting the Economic Empowerment of Afghan Women through Education and Training in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Magdalena Sobańska-Cwalina and Krzysztof M. Zalewski (The Boym Institute) in discussion with: Yakup Beris, Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Maria Dotsenko, Gulnar Smailova,