India to prioritise strengthening of multilateral bodies during its G20 presidency

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BY YASHWANT RAJ

Washington– Strengthening multilateral institutions will be a priority for India in the year-long presidency of the G20 group of the developed and developing nations that it assumes in coming December, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a US think tank on Tuesday.

The minister, who is in Washington D.C. for the annual meetings of the World Bank Group, spoke on a wide-range of issues including India’s growth, whose robustness was testified in an IMF report released earlier in the day, the future of reforms and challenges and risks facing India, primarily, in her telling, energy prices and the supply of fertilizers.

“Multi-lateral institutions need to be strengthened, their capacity to deal with pandemics or any such future stressful global developments will have to be battered,” Sitharaman said. India takes over the rotational presidency from Indonesia.

In the last few decades, she added, “institutions existed but problems remain and solutions are not coming through them”.

Asked if she would like to see newer institutions instead, Sitharaman said that she is not against new institutions but she would like to see the improvement of the effectiveness of the existing bodies based on lessons learnt.

India has been calling for the reform of the global multilateral platforms such at the UN Security Council, the IMF and the World Bank to accord more authority and importance to emerging powers. India is seeking a permanent membership in a reformed and expanded UNSC, for instance.

The minister also stressed the need, in the context of the G-20 presidency, for finance to deal with natural disasters that are “far more frequent than we could imagine”. She brought the issue of climate finance, which required developed countries to contribute to the fund that will help developing and less developed countries deal with carbon gas emissions.

Sitharaman said that the climate finance “has not been smooth” despite many meetings. She was referring to the Green Climate Fund, which was created at the Cancun COP (Conference of the Parties) in 2016. But the developed countries have been slow to honour their commitments.

The G-20 group had proven effective in the past. She cited the two-pillar solution to global taxation of multinational companies as an example. (IANS)

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