A security personnel walks past the G20 logo installed along a street in New Delhi on September 7, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

India will host a two-day G20 Summit in the capital New Delhi on September 9 and 10, attended by leaders of the world’s richest and most powerful countries.

Discussions will centre on reforming the international debt structure, effect of climate change and the impact of geopolitical disturbances on food security.

The capital has been adorned with ornamental flowers and fountains at traffic roundabouts while public buildings and sidewalks have been given a facelift.

Flags of participating countries are pictured inside the International media centre at the G20 venue, days ahead of its commencement in New Delhi on September 7, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

Security is being provided by anti-drone systems and 130,000 police and para-military personnel.

Here’s an explainer on the G20 Summit and the events surrounding it.

What is the G20?

The world’s 20 major countries formed an economic grouping after the Asian financial crisis in 1999 keeping in mind that such crises could no longer be contained within a nation’s borders and required better international economic cooperation.

The bloc currently accounts for 85% of global gross domestic production (GDP), 75% of international trade and represents 2/3rds of global population.

Who are its members?

Its members include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

Although only treasury chiefs met in the initial years, heads of all member nations decided to meet once a year for a leaders’ summit post the 2008 financial crisis.

Indian Counter Drone System developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) deployed in a diplomatic enclave on the eve of the start of the G20 Summit, in New Delhi on Thursday, September 7, 2023. Image Credit: DRDO

Is the G20 expanding?

The G20 has agreed to grant permanent membership to the African Union, Bloomberg News said on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The move would give the African Union, a continental body of 55 member states, the same status as the EU, from its current designation of “invited international organisation,” it added.

Which other countries are attending the summit?

Nine non-member countries have been invited to the summit, including the UAE, Oman, Egypt, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Singapore, Spain, Mauritius and Nigeria, besides international organisations such as the United Nations, World Health Organisation, the World Bank and the IMF to the weekend summit in New Delhi.

A glimpse of Bharat Mandapam in Pragati Maidan ahead of the upcoming G20 Summit, in New Delhi on Wednesday, September 6, 2023. Image Credit: ANI/PIB

Who else is attending the summit?

India has invited three regional and three other international organisations as guests.

The regional organisations include the African Union (AU), the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The international organisations are the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

What is the theme of the summit?

India’s G20 theme is derived from the Sanskrit phrase “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” which translates to “The World is One Family”.

What are the key issues this year?

Under India’s year-long presidency, the bloc has centred discussions around more loans to developing nations from multilateral institutions, reforming international debt architecture, regulations on cryptocurrency and the impact of geopolitical uncertainties on food and energy security.

So far this year, the bloc has failed to issue any joint statements as it is deeply divided over language referring to the war in Ukraine.

The G20 nations will aim to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 and offer support to technology that can sustain the use of fossil fuels, reports have said.

Are all leaders attending?

US President Joe Biden has confirmed his attendance. Biden intends to discuss the social impact of the war in Ukraine, clean energy transition, fight against climate change, and increasing the capacity of multilateral banks to fight poverty.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang will lead China’s delegation in the absence of President Xi Jinping.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is representing Russia in the absence of President Vladimir Putin.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, British PM Rishi Sunak, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will attend the summit, along with other world leaders.

Many leaders are also expected to hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit.

A paramilitary force personnel patrols a checkpoint ahead of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, September 7, 2023. Image Credit: REUTERS

As chair of the summit, what has PM Modi said?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that leaders of the G20 summit must support developing nations to tackle climate change with more cash and by sharing technology.

“Ambitions for climate action must be matched with actions on climate finance and transfer of technology,” Modi said.

“We believe there is a need to move away from a purely restrictive attitude of what should not be done to a more constructive attitude focusing on what can be done to fight climate change.”

An armed security personnel stands guard near a G20 India summit logo installed along a street in New Delhi on September 6, 2023, ahead of its commencement. Image Credit: AFP

What’s planned for the spouses?

The spouses of G20 leaders will catch a glimpse of India’s achievements in the field of agriculture, including an agri-start-up ecosystem display, a millet fields tour and live cooking by celebrity chefs to display millet-based arts.

When and where is the next meeting?

India will hand over the presidency to Brazil on December 1. India took over the presidency from Indonesia in December 2022.

- With inputs from agencies