G20 Summit 2023 in India: One Earth, One Family, One Future By Dr. Muhammad Shakeel Ahmad

G20 Summit 2023 in India: One Earth, One Family, One Future By Dr. Muhammad Shakeel Ahmad

THE G20 Summit of 2023 held in New Delhi, India, concluded on 10 September, featuring the theme “One Earth, One Family, One Future.” However, this summit’s significance goes beyond mere rhetoric and slogans; it prompts us to ponder its true beneficiaries and impact. The theme “One Earth” calls for environmental responsibility, but this juxtaposes sharply with the actions of capitalist forces dominating the G20. These powerful entities have relentlessly pursued profit, often at the cost of the environment, exploiting natural resources without restraint, contributing significantly to environmental degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss.

“One Family” conveys inclusivity, yet it raises questions about which family the G20 truly represents. While leaders of major economies may see themselves as part of a global family, they often serve as political managers for powerful transnational corporations. This global elite prioritizes profit over the well-being of the world’s majority. “One Family” loses its meaning when it fails to address the widening wealth gap and systemic inequalities perpetuated by these economic powerhouses.

The promise of “One Future” seems superficial in the context of neoliberal politics. Capital wields significant influence over global political alliances, and the G20 serves as a platform to maintain global hegemony. It primarily serves multinational corporations and elite groups, making it challenging to translate its slogans into meaningful change for the marginalized 99% of the world’s population. Corporate lobby groups, notably the Business20 (B20), exert immense influence within the G20, shaping policy recommendations and further entrenching corporate interests in global decision-making. Balancing this corporate dominance and prioritizing the needs of the majority is crucial.

The G20 Summit promotes the optimistic slogan “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” but this must be accompanied by concrete actions addressing the environmental crisis, economic inequalities and corporate influence. Rhetoric alone cannot bring about meaningful change. The history of G20 pledges and themes, dating back to its inception in 1999, reflects its focus on global economic challenges, responding to financial crises, and shaping economic policies.

Over the years, G20 declarations have evolved to address various economic priorities. The 2008 Washington Declaration aimed to restore confidence and growth, stabilizing the financial sector. The 2009 London Summit expanded pledges to include job creation, financial regulation and trade promotion. The 2010 Seoul Summit emphasized macroeconomic policies and fiscal consolidation. The 2011 Cannes Communiqué acknowledged global imbalances and tensions in financial markets. The 2012 Riyadh Consultation Meeting introduced sustainable economic growth. The 2013 St. Petersburg Summit focused on coordinated action and economic resilience. The 2014 Brisbane Communiqué highlighted raising global growth, gender equality and infrastructure development.

The 2015 Antalya Communiqué emphasized inclusive growth and engagement with low-income countries. The 2016 Hangzhou Declaration addressed global challenges like terrorism and slow productivity growth. The 2017 Hamburg Declaration adopted a tripartite theme: people, planet and prosperity. The 2018 Buenos Aires Declaration focused on the future of work, infrastructure, sustainable food and gender equality. The 2019 Osaka Declaration highlighted harnessing technological innovation for economic growth. The 2020 Riyadh Virtual Summit emphasized seizing opportunities in the 21st century. The 2021 Rome Declaration centred on recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2022 Bali Declaration marked 14 years of G20 cooperation, emphasizing inclusive growth and economic stability.

The 2023 G20 Summit in India, themed “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – The World is One Family, focuses on interconnectedness and the well-being of all life forms on Earth, highlighting the broader implications of economic policies. Despite these pledges and themes, the G20 has faced dissenting voices and anti-globalist movements, from the 2009 G20 London summit to the 2017 G20 Hamburg summit. These voices highlight perceived shortcomings in the summit’s agenda, governance and responsiveness to global challenges. The G20’s lack of transparency and accountability and its perceived focus on corporate interests have drawn criticism. These dissenting voices underscore the importance of inclusive, responsive and accountable global governance institutions to address today’s complex challenges.

The 2023 G20 Summit in India presents an opportunity to reflect on the paradoxes within its themes and objectives. While it professes to champion environmental responsibility, inclusivity and a common future, the reality often falls short of these ideals. Addressing the influence of powerful corporations, environmental exploitation and global inequalities is essential if the G20 is to fulfil its promise of a better future for all. Its legitimacy is under scrutiny and leaders must prioritize the global population’s interests over those of powerful elite. Without concrete actions, the colourful slogans will remain empty words and the G20 will miss its potential as a force for positive change in the world. Moving forward, assessing the impact of G20 decisions on vulnerable populations and ensuring inclusive, sustainable economic policies will be essential, aligning with the theme of the 2023 G20 Summit: “The World is One Family.”

—The writer is a Chief Executive of Global Strategic Institute for Sustainable Development-GSISD.

Email: shakeelgsisd@gmail.com

Source: https://pakobserver.net/g20-summit-2023-in-india-one-earth-one-family-one-future/

 

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