Controversies at the G20 Summit

4 minute read
Controversies at the G20 Summit

The G20, also known as the Group of 20, is an international forum of countries comprising some of the world’s largest powers. The group is made up of both developed and developing countries which meet annually to discuss topics of global relevance and importance. 

The G20 was founded in the year 1999 and has since met regularly. This year, the G20 summit will be held in India which is a first. India is currently assuming the presidency and the motto for this year’s summit is to manifest the true spirit of  ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or the ‘World is One Family’.

The G20 Summit and Controversies Over the Years

The G20 summit is globally recognized as a meeting of countries and international leaders in order to address some of the problems faced by the world today. However, the summit itself has been no stranger to controversies. Over the years, the G20 summit has faced backlash and even protests over its stand or ignorance of some topics of international concern and importance. 

In today’s blog, we shall be discussing some of the controversies surrounding the current G20 summit as well as over the years.

Ignorance of Real Problems 

Recently, a public statement issued by civil societies and trade unions in India criticized the upcoming G20 summit as a means of political gains and to lure voters rather than raising the actual issues in the participant countries. The statement goes on to state that India’s G20 presidency is being used as a smokescreen to hide the actual issues of the country and to paint a rather shining and rosy picture of the country when the reality is something else altogether. 

The statement also questions the silence of the countries of human rights violations and poverty faced by various countries. Lastly, the statement also questions the lack of inclusion and diversity. 

The Russia-Ukraine Conflict 

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine continues to cast a shadow over the summit. During the G20 meeting last year, the countries could not reach a common consensus on the topic with India and China refraining from criticism of the invasion. Not much has changed since then as the war continues to go on. 

While the host nation, India, has stressed solving the problems of climate change, global crisis and the pandemic, it would be interesting to see how the question of war is handled during the summit. This becomes all the more interesting with Russia’s participation in the summit. 

The Lotus Row

The logo for this year’s summit consists of saffron colour and a lotus which has now become a topic of discussion and controversy. The logo has been criticized as being too close to the ruling party, BJP’s election symbol.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi described the logo as comprising of the colours of India’s national flag and the lotus which symbolises hope and how lotuses continue to bloom despite adverse conditions. However, this explanation has not stopped opposition parties from labelling the summit and India’s chairmanship as a political exercise and a means to further its own political ambitions. 

Lack of Inclusion and Diversity

The G20 has often been criticised for being a populist body where only the cool kids have been allowed to play. Simply put, it has often been said that the G20 group is very restrictive and smaller countries that have been added are purely for the cosmetic value. Many critics believe that smaller countries have simply been added to make numbers while the bigger powers continue to flex their muscles and exercise control over the body as a whole.

This lack of inclusion has, as per critics, led to the formulation of policies and strategies that only help developed and developing nations while underprivileged nations continue to suffer. 

The Kashmir Issue 

Kashmir has been a topic of contention and debate between the neighbouring states of India and Pakistan for decades. However, India’s decision to host one of the G20 meetings in Srinagar has led to severe condemning words from Pakistan. The Tourism Working Group will meet in Srinagar in May 2023. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned this scheduling by stating that India has illegally occupied parts of Kashmir and is holding and scheduling such meetings to serve its own selfish interests.

Clearly, the G20 summit is not without its own issues. However, as India gears to host the G20 summit for the first time in its history, there are certain objections, criticisms and controversies surrounding the summit. While the host and participating nations will continue to rally towards the cause and objectives of the summit, the voices of criticism surrounding the summit continue to grow louder and will eventually continue to rise.

In light of the above, it would be interesting to see how the G20 summit shapes up this year and whether the voices of dissent finally make the host and participating bodies change their stand and address the topics noted above. 

For more such updates about the G20 and Y20 Summit stay tuned to our page. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *