West Current Affairs - 2020

Capacity Augmentation to Successfully Deliver the G20 Presidency

India will preside and host the G20, or Group of 20 nations meeting in 2022. G20 provides a unique opportunity for India to transform from rule-taker to rule-maker. Being a host India would set an annual agenda, wielding vast direct and indirect influence on the G20 nations’ economies.

To exploit this opportunity to the full extent, India must address organisational challenges, where the country has an infrastructure, management and intellectual gap.

Organisational Challenges

The organisational challenges before India are:

  • G20 summit brings together several global leaders with their attending delegations and independent experts. Since it is a small powerful group it demands good airports, accommodation, conference facilities, and communications infrastructure all year round.
  • G20 is tasked with leading and managing the global economic agenda for the year. It cannot be a task of a single ministry or agency. Various ministries and regulators must come together in contributing to the formulation of global financial regulations.
  • The logistical requirement for G20 is monumental and unprecedented for India. G20 demands an energetic secretariat to organise over 150 high-level ministerial, sub-ministerial and sub-forum meetings through the year; at least 50 task forces lead scores of meetings including those by sub-forums for think tanks and business, content management, negotiation and feedback processes and developing and executing the year-long agenda.
  • India needs to augment its intellectual capacity to be able to deliver inter-disciplinary research on the international monetary system, global financial architecture, global trading system, global climate, energy and sustainability issues.

The global economic framework is largely driven by the West, and increasingly by China neither of which are suitable for an India. G20 presidency has given an opportunity for India to take the lead and give direction to global economic policy framework. If India doesn’t augment its capacity to set the agenda, India would again be reduced to passive rule-taker, not rule-maker or designer of global economic rules.

Ukraine and EU sign historic agreement

Ukraine and EU leaders have signed a historic agreement which will bring Ukraine closer to the West. The agreement which will come into force in January 2016 is of great historic and geopolitical significance. The agreement involves a wide spectrum of agreements. Ukraine will have to abide by EU standards of human rights, security, arms control and will be open to free trade.
In another landmark development, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko granted amnesty to the rebels fighting in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. He announced special status for the region for 3 years as that will ensure sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine. This will further open the gates for decentralization. It has been clarified that the amnesty will come into force only when the rebels give up their arms, release all hostages and give up occupation of the public offices. The authorities have taken exception to the rebels who were involved in the deliberate shooting down of Malaysian airliner MH17.
Russia has expressed its unhappiness over the new political developments in the neighborhood as it has always opposed any move by Ukraine to form an alliance with EU. The recent troop build-up by NATO forces along the borders of Russia as part of the Rapid Trident Exercises which will continue till September 26 has not been well-perceived by Russia. Russia has started moving troops to the newly annexed territory of Crimea. Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has stated that the foreign military presence has made it imperative on Russia to lay utmost importance on the security of Crimea. He also added that the developments can destabilize the fragile ceasefire and the on-going peace efforts and talks.
The West has welcomed the new developments in the region. US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt has expressed his contentment via his twitter message. He stood in favor of the Association Agreement which will serve as the basis for a prosperous and democratic rule free from all vices of corruption.