From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Sherpa, G20
Mains level : G20 summit
Former NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has been picked as India’s new Sherpa for the G-20.
Who is a Sherpa (in IR context)?
- A Sherpa is the personal representative of a head of state or government who prepares an international summit, particularly the annual G7 and G20 summits.
- Between the G7 summits, there are multiple Sherpa conferences where possible agreements are laid out.
- This reduces the amount of time and resources required at the negotiations of the heads of state at the final summit.
- The name Sherpa—without further context—refers to Sherpa for the G7 summit, but the designation can be extended to different regular conferences where the participation of the head of state is required.
- The Sherpa is generally quite influential, although they do not have the authority to make a final decision about any given agreement.
- The name is derived from the Sherpa people, a Nepalese ethnic group, who serve as guides and porters in the Himalayas, a reference to the fact that the sherpa clears the way for a head of state at a major summit.
- They are Tibetan Buddhists of the Nyingmapa sect, and have drawn much of their religious tradition from the Rongphu monastery, located at 16,000 feet on the north side of Mount Everest.
- Formed in 1999, the G20 is an international forum of the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
- Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 85 percent of the Gross World Product (GWP), 80 percent of world trade.
- To tackle the problems or address issues that plague the world, the heads of governments of the G20 nations periodically participate in summits.
- In addition to it, the group also hosts separate meetings of the finance ministers and foreign ministers.
- The G20 has no permanent staff of its own and its chairmanship rotates annually between nations divided into regional groupings.
Aims and objectives
- The Group was formed with the aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.
- The forum aims to pre-empt the balance of payments problems and turmoil on financial markets by improved coordination of monetary, fiscal, and financial policies.
- It seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization.
Members of G20
The members of the G20 consist of 19 individual countries plus the European Union (EU).
- The 19 member countries of the forum are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
- The European Union is represented by the European Commission and by the European Central Bank.
- G20 is a major international grouping that brings together 19 of the world’s major economies and the European Union.
- Its members account for more than 80% of global GDP, 75% of trade and 60% of population.
India and G20
- India has been a member of the G20 since its inception in 1999.