India’s G20 priorities will be shaped in consultation with not just its G20 partners, but also “our fellow-travellers” in the global South, whose voice often goes unheard, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.

“For promoting harmony within the human family, we will seek to depoliticise the global supply of food, fertilisers and medical products, so that geopolitical tensions do not lead to humanitarian crises… those whose needs are the greatest must always be our first concern,” Modi said in a blog on Thursday, the first day of India assuming rotatory presidency of the G20 for a year.

India’s G20 presidency would be an opportunity for the country to promote the developing countries’ agenda as for the first time the G20 Troika are all developing nations. At the G20, the member holding the rotatory presidency every year, works together with its predecessor and successor, together known as Troika, to ensure the continuity of the agenda. 

India, which has now assumed presidency, is part of the Troika with its predecessor Indonesia and successor Brazil.

This will provide the unique opportunity to look at developments from the perspective of the developing world reversing the tables on the developed country members that have mostly been setting the tone of discussions at the G20.

“India’s G20 agenda will be inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented, and decisive….For healing our planet, we will encourage sustainable and environment-friendly lifestyles, based on India’s tradition of trusteeship towards nature,” the PM wrote.

The greatest challenges facing the world — climate change, terrorism, and pandemics — can be solved not by fighting each other, but only by acting together, Modi said.

The G20 comprises 20 of the world’s largest economies, which represent around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of international trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

G20 members include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union.