By: MAriam Qureshi
G20: Is Multilateralism Losing Momentum?
Photo Credits: Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash
The G20, created to bring together economies from the developing and developed world, and seen as a success of multilateralism, now appears to have lost steam. Both President Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping have announced that they will not be travelling to New Delhi for the meeting this weekend, sending instead the Russian Foreign Minister and Chinese Prime Minister.

This year’s host, India, wanted to utilise the platform to voice concerns of the so-called Global South on issues such as climate crisis, Ukraine War, global debt, reform of multilateral financial institutions and discuss the possibility of inclusion of the African Union as a full member. However, the Summit is less likely to make any breakthroughs on these issues amidst Putin and Xi’s absence. This puts into question the very relevance of the multilateral institution itself and the commitment of its states towards finding multilateral solutions to global concerns.
The map shows the existing and the newly invited BRICS members. For an expanded and more interactive version of the map, visit here.
Created in 1999, the forum gained significance after the 2008 Financial Crisis where the G8 alone was considered insufficient to deal with the changing dynamics of the global economy due to the emerging economies of countries such as India, Brazil, and China. Now, the multilateral forum appears to be struggling amidst the subtle creation of pro-U.S. and pro-China camps, albeit with a grey zone of countries who may prefer to remain in the middle and seek benefits from both sides. China attempted to make this division more pronounced by trying to revive and expand the BRICS last month.

It appears that the very states that pushed for the creation of multilateral platforms as an agency for the so-called non-western powers to contribute to solutions to global issues, now seem to view the relevance of these platforms with scepticism. Given the rising doubts regarding the relevance of G20 and the tricky agenda of discussing the climate crisis and Ukraine War, among other issues, India is stuck with an arduous task this weekend. It remains to be seen whether the host country will be able to secure a consensus among the twenty members from both the developed and developing world for the final communique.
The opinions expressed in this article are of the author alone. The Spykman Center provides a neutral and non-partisan platform to learn how to make geopolitical analysis. It acknowledges how diverse perspectives impact geopolitical analyses, without necessarily endorsing them.