Saudi King to chair Thursday’s G20 virtual summit

FOR MAINS

GS PAPER II – Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

Why in  NEWS :

  • Leaders of the G20 group of nations will hold a video conference on 26.03.2020.
  • The virtual summit will be led by King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia which is the current president of the economic grouping.
  • It is expected that the G20 virtual summit will yield a detailed plan for confronting the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • This will be the second virtual leadership summit for India after the video summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that India had initiated.
  • The SAARC virtual summit held on March 15 led to the creation of the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
  • For 2020, Spain, Jordan Singapore and Switzerland are the invited countries.
  • G20 members will be joined by leaders from invited countries, Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland as well as international organisations, the United Nations, the World Bank Group, the World Health Organisation and the World Trade Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
  • Leaders of the grouping had been in contact over the last few weeks and held preparatory consultations.
  • Vietnam will represent the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations, South Africa will represent the African Union, the United Arab Emirates will represent the Gulf Cooperation Council and Rwanda will represent the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

WHAT IS G20:

  • The G20 (Group of 20) is an international forum which includes 19 of the world’s largest economies and the European Union.
  • G20 is a forum for economic, financial and political cooperation.
  • It addresses the major global challenges and seeks to generate public policies that resolve them.
  • The G20 does not have permanent offices or employees.
  • The country that presides over the group takes care of all the organization and the logistical coordination of the meetings.
  • It came in the aftermath of Asian financial crisis of 1999 and is a forum of governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
  • G20 represents 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and European Union which is represented by European Commission and the European Central Bank.
  • G20 members represent –
  • two thirds of the world population.
  • 85% of the global gross product.
  • 75% of international trade.

G20 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • G20 Support for SDGs and Development Cooperation.
  • Infrastructure Investment and Financing.
  • Social Cohesion and the State.
  • Migration and Young Societies.
  • Sustainable Energy, Water and Food Systems.
  • Trade, Investment and Growth.
  • International Financial Architecture.
  • Economy, Employment and Education in the Digital Age.

G20 SUMMIT,2019

The 14th G20 Summit was held in Osaka, Japan on 28th-29th June, 2019.

Highlights:

  • The G20 Summit 2019 was based on discussions on subjects like trade, energy, climate change etc.
  • Indian PM held many plurilateral meetings with other world leaders like heads of Russia, USA, Japan, China etc.
  • India also participated in two parallel tri-laterals i.e. the Russia-India-China (RIC) and Japan-U.S.-India (JAI) and an informal BRICS summit.
  • India and the US discussed various bilateral and global issues including Iran, 5G communications networks, trade and defence ahead of the G-20 Summit.
  • India targeted to become a five-trillion dollar economy in the next five years.
  • India and Japan signed exchange of Letter of Intent on Ahmedabad – Kobe Sister City Partnership.
  • India also invited the G20 countries to join a global coalition on disaster resilience, saying disasters require quick and effective remedial measures as they invariably affect the poor the most.
  • India and Indonesia set an ambitious USD 50 billion targets for bilateral trade over the next six years.
  • India pledged to make Social sector as its top priority

Positive Outcomes:

  • Ratification of the Paris Agreement
  • Introduced some new important topics: e.g. Innovation new driving forces for the world economy, structural reforms, reinvigorate the dual engines of trade and investment, Anti-corruption.
  • G20 Hangzhou Summit.
  • The leaders achieved a common understanding on concluding work in the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision on a new global regime for bank capital and liquidity.
  • The countries adhered to principle of common but differentiated responsibilities on development issues to achieve affordability, accessibility and availability for people of developing economies.
  • Able to bring consensus from both developed and developing countries for Paris climate agreement in its discussions prior to the climate summit.
  • No other better alternative that commands such representation; 85% world GDP, 2/3 population of world.
  • It still holds important position as a multilateral institution which have representation of major economies of the world.

Issues and Challenges:

  • No Consensus: Countries look for own self-interest, or at least to focus on their own preoccupations e.g. China for its own, Eurozone is worrying about its banking system, US/UK for domestic protection.
  • Failed summits: The initial meeting was held in Washington in 2008, just after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and then London in April 2009, where the rescue programme was announced. But since then nothing much has happened e.g. Brisbane summit in 2014 pledged to lift global growth by 2 per cent more but not achieved enough to fulfil the promise.
  • Bilateral Issue dominate:World level issues have been taken over by bilateral and regional issues between countries e.g. South China Sea, Trade issues.
  • Not every country invited:Fearing deadlock in a larger decision-making body, not all countries are invited to the G20.Global forums like G-20 should work collaboratively instead of focusing on self-interest and work on mechanism of consensus and policy coordinating to enable countries to pull together and make G-20 existence worthwhile.

WAY FORWARD:

  • G20 must focus on large scale investment in developing and developed countries alike to expand the productive capacity of member countries.
  • Establish framework for strong and sustainable growth, speedy and effective decision making procedure.
  • Hence G20 can be an effective platform and can sustain its relevance in present scenario.
  • In a nutshell, though G20 is a big show but it needs to have some substance as well.

 


Olympics postponed; to be held latest by 2021 summer

FOR MAINS:

GS PAPER II Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate

Why in News:

  • The 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been postponed to no later than the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.
  • The Games were scheduled for July 24-August 9, but after telephone discussions between IOC president Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a historic joint decision was taken for the first postponement of an Olympics in peacetime.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The organisers have postponed the event for thefirst time in its 124-year modern history.
  • It is also considered as the first postponementof an Olympics in
  • Earlier, the games were not held during World War II considering the turmoil across the world.
  • The Olympics have never been delayed in their 124-year modern history, though they were cancelled altogether in 1916, 1940 and 1944 during World War One and World War Two.
  • Major Cold War boycotts disrupted the Moscow and Los Angeles summer Games in 1980 and 1984.

REASONS FOR POSTPONEMENT OF OLYMPICS:

  • Training has become impossible for many athletes and exposes them to the risk of contracting or spreading the COVID-19 disease.
  • Competitions and qualifiers have been scrapped, while international travel is severely limited.
  • Canada and Australia withdrew their teams and the powerful US Olympic Committee and World Athletics also joined the chorus calling for a postponement.

IMPACT OF POSTPONEMENT OF OLYMPICS:

  • It will be a bitter blow to sponsors and major broadcasters who rely on the four-yearly extravaganza for critical advertising revenue.
  • Tokyo was spending some $12.6 billion to host the Games, according to its latest budget, and experts believe a postponement could cost it some $6 billion in the short-term before recouping it when it eventually goes ahead.
  • Venues will have to be cancelled and rebooked and tens of thousands of hotel rooms will need to be cancelled and rebooked.
  • Squeezing in the 16-day Games into what will already be a hugely crowded 2021 calendar is another major headache, with arguably the two biggest sports, swimming and athletics, due to hold their World Championships in 2021.

ABOUT OLYMPICS:

  • The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions.
  • The Olympic Games are considered the world’s foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, alternating between the Summer and Winter Games every two years in the four-year period.
  • Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, leading to the first modern Games in Athens in 1896. The IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority.

OLYMPISM 

  • The visual ambassador of Olympism for billions of people is the Olympic symbol, widely known throughout the world as the Olympic rings.
  • Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.

THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT

  • The three main constituents of the Olympic Movement are the International Olympic Committee (“IOC”), the International Sports Federations (“IFs”) and the National Olympic Committees (“NOCs”).
  • In addition to its three main constituents, the Olympic Movement also encompasses the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), the national associations, clubs and persons belonging to the IFs and NOCs, particularly the athletes, as well as the judges, referees, coaches and the other sports officials and technicians. It also includes other organisations and institutions as recognised by the IOC.
  • As is clearly stated in the Olympic Charter: “The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised in accordance with Olympism and its values.”
  • THE OLYMPIC CHARTER

The Olympic Charter is the codification of the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, Rules and Bye-laws adopted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It governs the organisation, action and operation of the Olympic Movement and sets forth the conditions for the celebration of the Olympic Games.

THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE 

  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a not-for-profit independent international organisation that is committed to building a better world through sport. Created on 23 June 1894, just under two years before the first Olympic Games of the modern era in April 1896, the IOC is the supreme authority of the Olympic Movement.
  • As the leader of the Olympic Movement, the IOC acts as a catalyst for collaboration between all parties of the Olympic family, from the NOCs, the IFs, the athletes and the OCOGs to the Worldwide Olympic Partners, broadcast partners and United Nations (UN) agencies, and shepherds success through a wide range of programmes and projects. On this basis, it ensures the regular celebration of the Olympic Games, supports all affiliated member organisations of the Olympic Movement and strongly encourages, by appropriate means, the promotion of the Olympic values.

CONCLUSION:

  • This is arguably the biggest decision sport has seen in peacetime.
  • With athletes unable to train safely, and the calendar of Olympic and Paralympic qualification events decimated amid travel restrictions and lockdowns, a postponement or cancellation emerged as the only viable options.
  • Faced with the unenviable task of reorganising a sprawling mega-event that has already cost at least £10bn in preparations, the IOC and Japan had hoped to buy themselves some time to consider their next step.
  • The ramifications will be significant. It’s a huge blow to Japan, and the country will now have to spend yet more money.
  • Commercial contracts will have to be unpicked and the availability of venues revisited. A crowded sporting calendar will have to be flexible. And the IOC, sports federations, broadcasters, sponsors and a myriad of other related businesses will have to wait an additional year for the financial bonanza that the event generates.
  • The Games has had to deal with many challenges over the years, from terrorism and boycotts to war and doping. But nothing quite like this.