The G20 Summit: India is stepping into the global limelight as the host of the 18th G20 summit, marking the very first time this prestigious event graces Indian soil.

Just a year ago, in 2022, the summit was held in Indonesia, but now all eyes are on India, as this time India holds the Presidency from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023.

The entire city of New Delhi has undergone a transformation, with massive clean-up just for this day and decorations in every corner.

The world’s most powerful leaders are making their way to New Delhi for the G20 Heads of State and Government Summit to be held on September 9-10. This grand event will take place at the newly constructed Bharat Mandapam, located near the iconic India Gate monument.

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What exactly is the G20, and how does it work?

The G20, or Group of Twenty (G20), was founded in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98 as an informal forum for the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the most important industrialised and developing economies from the world.

It is the premier forum for international economic cooperation to shape and strengthen the global architecture and governance on all major international economic issues.

Initially, it was focused largely on broad macroeconomic issues, but now it covers a whole range of concerns, including trade, sustainable development, health, agriculture, energy, the environment, climate change, and anti-corruption.

The very first G20 Leaders’ Summit, titled ‘Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy,’ was held in Washington DC in November 2008.

Though it’s true that the G20 doesn’t have a permanent secretariat or staff, instead, the G20 Presidency rotates annually among its members. It is responsible for bringing together the G20 agenda, organising its workings, and hosting summits.

Which countries are included in the G20 summit?

The G20 includes 19 countries plus the European Union. These countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Together, they represent around 85% of the global GDP, more than 75% of global trade, and nearly two-thirds of the world’s population.

In addition to these, the summit will also include ‘guest countries’ from around the world. These guest countries include the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the UAE, Oman, Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, and Nigeria.

How is the G20 presidency determined?

The 19 member countries are divided into five groups, with each group having a maximum of four countries. These groups are often organised on a regional basis, meaning that countries from the same region are usually placed in the same group. 

Group 1Group 2Group 3Group 4Group 5
AustraliaIndiaArgentinaFranceChina
CanadaRussiaBrazilGermanyIndonesia
Saudi ArabiaSouth AfricaMexicoItalyJapan
USATürkiyeUKRepublic of Korea

The 20th member, the European Union, is not a member of any of these regional groups.

What is the theme of the G20 summit this year?

The theme for the G20 summit is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — One Earth, One Family, One Future”. This idea is inspired by an ancient Sanskrit text, the Maha Upanishad, which highlights the importance of all life forms, including humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms.

Moreover, the theme also brings attention to LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), which encourages environmentally sustainable and responsible choices in both individual lifestyles and national development.

The goal is to inspire global transformative actions that lead to a cleaner, greener, and bluer future for our planet.

G20 Summit: Who is attending and who is not?

The G20 Summit is expected to have more than 40 world leaders attending.

As per reports, the government has allocated Rs. 2,700 crore for the construction and decoration of the Bharat Mandapam venue and Rs. 4,604 crore for the transformation of New Delhi for the event.

g20 summit 2023 attendees

Leaders who will be absent:

  1. Premier of the State Council Li Qiang will represent China instead of President Xi Jinping
  2. Russian President Vladimir Putin risks arrest when travelling abroad; thus, Russia will be represented by its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He didn’t attend the last meeting either. 
  3. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky will not be present at the New Delhi summit as he has not received an invitation to attend.
  4. Spain President, Pedro Sanchez, announced that he tested positive for COVID-19.
  5. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
  6. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz instead of President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Leaders who will be present:

  1. President Joe Biden of the United States
  2. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
  3. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol 
  4. French President Emmanuel Macron
  5. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
  6. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
  7. Türkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
  8. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
  9. South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa
  10. Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
  11. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is expected to attend the summit. But an official confirmation is still awaited.

Others who have not confirmed their presence

  1. President of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, and President of the European Council, Charles Michel
  2. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni
  3. Indonesian President Joko Widodo
  4. Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Amidst all this excitement, the world is eagerly waiting to see what economic benefits the G20 summit will bring and for the undeniable sense of optimism for India’s future.

Written By Shivani Singh

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