Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated virtually in the G20 Extraordinary Summit on Afghanistan on October 12.
The meeting was convened by Italy, which currently holds the G20 Presidency, and chaired by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Issues under consideration at the meeting related to the humanitarian situation, concerns relating to terrorism, and human rights in Afghanistan.
Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August, the country — already struggling with drought and severe poverty following decades of war — has seen its economy all but collapse, raising the spectre of an exodus of refugees.
Points highlighted by PM Modi:
• PM Modi mentioned that over the last two decades, India has contributed to promoting socio-economic development and capacity building of youth and women in Afghanistan. He recalled that over 500 development projects have been implemented by India in Afghanistan.
• He emphasized on the need to enhance our joint fight against the nexus of radicalisation, terrorism and the smuggling of drugs and arms in the region.
• He underlined the need to ensure that Afghan territory does not become a source of radicalisation and terrorism, regionally or globally.
• The PM emphasized the centuries old people-to-people ties between India and Afghanistan.
• Modi mentioned that over the last two decades, India has contributed to promoting socio-economic development and capacity building of youth and women in Afghanistan. He recalled that over 500 development projects have been implemented by India in Afghanistan.
What is G20?
• The G20 is the international forum that brings together the world’s major economies.
• The members of G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union (EU).
• Its members account for more than 80 per cent of world GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of the population of the planet.
• India has been a member of the G20 since its inception in 1999.
• Prime Minister Modi has been leading India’s representation at G20 summits since 2014.
Genesis of G20
• After the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-1998, it was acknowledged that the participation of major emerging market countries is needed in discussions on the international financial system, and G-8 finance ministers agreed to establish the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in 1999.
• The G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meetings were centered on major economic and monetary policy issues amongst major countries in the global financial system and aimed at promoting cooperation toward achieving stable and sustainable global economic growth for the benefit of all countries.
• The participating members in the meetings were the same as the current G20 members.
• Since then, finance ministers and central bank governors have met annually.
• India hosted a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in 2002.
• In November 2008, the inaugural G20 Summit was held in Washington, D.C. in response to the global financial crisis that occurred in the wake of the collapse of the Lehman Brothers.
• The G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors was upgraded to the head of state level, as a forum for leaders from major developed and emerging market countries.
• In September 2009, the third summit was held in Pittsburgh where the leaders designated the G-20 as the “premier forum for international economic cooperation.”
• From thereon, the summit meetings were held semi-annually until 2010 and annually from 2011 onwards.