G 20 Current Affairs

Shaktikanta Das appointed as India’s G 20 Sherpa

The Union Ministry of Finance has appointed Shaktikanta Das, Former Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) as India’s G 20 Sherpa till December 31, 2018 for Development Track of G20.

Sherpa is personal representative of leaders participating at G-20 summit and are responsible for thrashing out details before meeting of the leaders.

There are two tracks in G 20-Development Track and Finance Track. Finance Track is managed by Secretary (Economic Affairs) as India’s Deputy to G-20 and Development Track is coordinated by Sherpa. The DEA, Ministry of Finance provides necessary support to the Sherpa.

Background

Former NITI Aayog vice-chairman had recommended to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to appoint full-time Sherpa for G20 talks as India’s role is expanding in global arena. Panagariya was India’s Sherpa for G20 talks in September 2015. As per earlier norms, deputy chairman of erstwhile Planning Commission used to be Sherpa for G20 talks.

Sherpa

Sherpa is personal representative of leader of member country at international Summit meeting such as G8, G20 or Nuclear Security Summit. They are mostly career diplomats or senior government officials appointed by leaders of their countries. The term has been derived from Nepalese Sherpa people, who serve as guides for mountaineers in Himalayas.

The Sherpa is mainly engaged in planning, implementation and negotiation tasks through Summit. They coordinate agenda, seek consensus at highest political levels and participate in series of pre-Summit consultations to help negotiate their leaders’ positions.

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G-20 leaders adopt Hamburg Action Plan

The 12th G-20 summit concluded in Germany’s Hamburg city with adaptation of Hamburg Action Plan. It sets out the group’s strategy for achieving strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

The action plan aims to address major global challenges, including climate change, harnessing digitalisation, and to contribute to prosperity and well-being.

Key Highlights of Hamburg Action Plan

Tackle common challenges: G20 members resolved to tackle common challenges to the global community, including terrorism, displacement, hunger, poverty and health threats, job creation, climate change, energy security and inequality including gender inequality, as a basis for sustainable development and stability.

Trade and globalisation: They stressed on the importance of harnessing the benefits of globalisation, reaffirm the importance of transparency for predictable and mutually beneficial trade relations. They also underlined importance to boost employment by improving sustainable global supply chains, as an important source of job creation and balanced economic growth.

Continue to use all policy tools:  G20 members will use all policy tools such as monetary, fiscal and structural-  individually and collectively to achieve the goal of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, while enhancing economic and financial resilience.

Paris Agreement: They agreed that the 2015 Paris Agreement is irreversible and reiterated the importance of fulfilment of the UNFCCC commitments by developed countries in providing means of implementation including financial resources to assist developing countries with respect to both mitigation and adaptation actions.

Sustainable livelihoods: G-20 members are committed to increase innovation on sustainable and clean energies and energy efficiency, work towards low greenhouse-gas emission energy systems and harness digitalisation to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Global Health systems: G-20 members called for strengthening health systems and safeguarding against health crises. The leaders called on the UN to keep global health high on the political agenda and strive for cooperative action to strengthen health systems worldwide, including through developing the health workforce. The leaders also stressed on combatting Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR), which is a growing threat to public health and economic growth.

About Group of Twenty (G20)

The G20 is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making. It is deliberating on global economic issues and other important development challenges.

It was started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Southeast Asian (Tiger economies) financial crisis. In 2008, the first G20 Leaders’ Summit was held in Washington DC, US. Since them the group had played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis.

Its members include 19 countries India, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, UK, US and European Union (EU). They collectively represent 85% of global GDP, 80% of international trade, 65% of world’s population.

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