Germany and India say cooperation and coordination between G7 and G20 crucial to find solutions to global challenges
‘Need to build trust through open knowledge-exchange global platforms and networks to address long-lasting challenges and ensure sustainable support to developing countries’
New Delhi, June 7
Cooperation and coordination between the advanced country grouping G7 and the developed country-emerging economy multilateral strategic platform G20 is crucial to find innovative, viable and effective solutions to the ongoing global challenges including food insecurity, public health crisis, supply chain disruption and fossil fuel dependency, according to officials and experts from India and Germany.
“G7 and G20 cooperation and coordination is crucial for ideas in this regard (to address the above-mentioned challenges),” said Mr. Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, India. He was speaking at a hybrid mode seminar jointly organised by the RIS and Embassy of Germany in India on June 7, 2022. The event was aimed at advancing common goals through German and Indian presidencies of G7 and G20 respectively as well as widening the basis for a global and regional partnership between Germany / G7 countries and India.
Mr. Ravi said it is a challenge for the Global South to expedite green transition unless advanced economies help them with technology and finance and make the process a commercially viable proposition through win-win strategies. He said regulations such as the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism will affect market access for goods from developing countries including India and affect their economic growth, adding that therefore, it was important to make the green transition smooth through coordinated actions.
On food insecurity issues that have emerged especially after the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, he referred to the proposal from some countries including India ahead of the WTO’s forthcoming Ministerial Conference (MC) to permit food grain sales from public stockholdings to address the food crisis and food inflation. It is crucial to revisit the agriculture debate and the MC will provide opportunities, Mr Ravi said, adding that the rules-based trading system should be made more flexible to facilitate solutions to assist countries needing food, fertilizer and all the components of the food system.
Speaking on the occasion virtually, Mr. Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary, Germany, said it is vital to build trust in international cooperation to address long-lasting challenges like climate change and biodiversity crisis. He added there is a need to ensure more sustainable support to developing countries through open knowledge-exchange platforms such as the Global Alliance for Food Security by involving countries, think-tanks, research institutions and civil society organizations and by bringing out tailor-made solutions that are appropriate to each country in need. Referring to Germany’s development cooperation efforts, he said “our partner countries are in the driving seat, and we as financiers do our best to support.” Mr. Flasbarth said efforts such as India’s trilateral cooperation (partnership with a developed country to help the Global South) and plurilateral forms of cooperation can ultimately build trust and help the multilateral process.
In his welcome remarks, Professor Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, RIS, said talked about the need to address global governance issues and better manage them by including wider concerns of all the countries as well as by looking at a collective future.
The event also included a roundtable discussion co-chaired by Dr. Stephan Grabherr, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, New Delhi and Mr. Sandeep Chakravorty, Joint Secretary (Europe West), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. The panellists included Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri, Director, Carnegie India, New Delhi, Dr. Stephan Klingebiel, Head of Programme, German Development Institute (DIE), Bonn (Virtual), Professor Gulshan Sachdeva, Professor, Centre for European Studies, JNU, New Delhi and Professor Amrita Narlikar, President, German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Hamburg (Virtual).
Mr. Chakravorty said bilateral initiatives such as the Indo-German Green Hydrogen Task Force as well as India’s Trilateral Cooperation initiative and the related pilot projects in Africa could be seen as efforts to ensure green and digital transitions in a just manner. Dr. Grabherr mentioned the importance that Europe is giving to ending its fossil fuel dependency including with Russia.
Dr. Klingebiel said while the current geopolitical context could be a challenge for G7-G20 cooperation, it was important for like-minded countries to set up dialogue formats and trusted networks to listen and understand each other’s perspectives and carry out joint analytical work to effectively manage global governance. Professor Narlikar said G7-G20 collaborative efforts were so far uncommon, adding that it was important to take forward such initiatives as siloisation is unhelpful and will not help build synergies. It is essential for G7 and G20 to join forces across institutions and develop focal points for bilateral and multilateral cooperation, she said, adding that G7, which invites countries from the developing world including India for its meetings, can be a powerful green room (to build consensus on important issues that can then be taken up at the multilateral level) as well as a mechanism to signal that democracies in the Global North and South stand up when faced with existential crisis. Dr. Chaudhuri talked about the importance of global data governance by including the views of important data markets like India, while Professor Sachdeva mentioned the need for G7 and G20 to look at connectivity issues. (ENDS)