Home » Sri Lanka seeks to engage with the G20 during India’s presidency.

Sri Lanka seeks to engage with the G20 during India’s presidency.

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Sri Lanka has sought India‘s support to engage with the work of the G20 and its assistance to overcome the economic crisis.

This request was made by Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda when he met with the Chief Coordinator for India’s G20 Presidency for 2023, Harsh Vardhan Shringla in New Delhi.

The discussion especially focused on various avenues through which Sri Lanka could engage with the G20 during India’s presidency of the Group and also the possibility of understanding G20 approach towards international financial cooperation and debt restructuring.

High Commissioner Moragoda and the Chief Coordinator discussed the opportunities available to Sri Lanka, as a neighbouring country of India, to engage with the work of the G20.

India assumed the presidency of the G20 on 01 December 2022 for a period of one year. Under its Presidency, India is expected to host over 200 G20 meetings in 56 cities across the country, beginning December 2022.

The G20 Leaders’ Summit at the level of Heads of State / Government is scheduled to be held on 09 and 10 September 2023 in New Delhi.

The G20 or Group of Twenty is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union, which works to address major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development.

Before assuming office as the Chief Coordinator for India’s G20 Presidency, Harsh Vardhan Shringla was the Foreign Secretary of India. An officer from the Indian Foreign Service, he had previously served as India’s envoy to Thailand, Bangladesh and the United States.

U.N. chief Antonio Guterres sought India’s support in mobilizing G20 nations to help out developing countries saddled with debt, with three of India’s neighbours Sri Lanka Pakistan and Bangladesh already seeking IMF loans as their economies struggle.

India has taken over the G20 presidency from Indonesia for a year from Dec 1. India’s neighbours Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh have in recent months sought IMF loans as high oil prices complicate efforts to recover from the economic damage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I count on India’s support in mobilizing G20 countries around debt relief,” Guterres said adding that many developing countries are at or near debt distress and require multilateral action, including the expansion and extension of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative.”

Established in May 2020 during the pandemic, the initiative allowed nearly 50 countries to suspend $12.9 billion in debt-service payments until the end of last year.

Guterres said climate change was “already a grave threat” to India’s economy, agriculture and food sector, and to the health, lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people.

He said G20 countries were responsible for 80% of global emissions and must take the lead in cutting those. Rich countries should also financially help developing ones do so, he said.

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