On September 9–10, 2023, leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) nations met in Delhi, India, for the 2023 G20 summit meeting. The G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration (final declaration) outlined 10 distinct areas where G20 countries have pledged their commitment to new initiatives and to continued support for ongoing goals of the G20 and other international organizations. The G20 was initially formed in 1999; in 2007, G20 delegations became directly led by the head of state of each member nation. The G20 was initially founded for economic cooperation, but it has expanded into other areas such as climate change; anti-corruption; and environmental, agricultural, and public-health-related concerns. (G20 Background Brief.)
This year, the G20 welcomed the African Union as a permanent member of the forum, making it the second supranational organization, after the European Union, to join the G20.
The following are noteworthy initiatives the G20 leaders recommitted to or established in the 2023 meeting.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed to as part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In the G20 final declaration, the parties note that many of the goals are “off-track” to be completely met by 2030, with only 12% on target. (Final Declaration at 7.) The G20 committed to employing technological advances in digital infrastructure and artificial intelligence to meet the SDGs, supporting developing countries, and, in general, financial scaling to support the initiatives in cooperation with the United Nations. (Final Declaration at 7.)
The G20 final declaration included the Green Development Pact for a Sustainable Future. Here, the G20 committed to accelerating their actions to address environmental crises and climate change. The members reiterated their commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and to the Paris Agreement. (Final Declaration at 11.) The members also committed to providing support to other countries to reach the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. (Final Declaration at 12.) Along with the Paris Agreement, the Green Development Pact included several commitments towards cleaner oceans, among them support for the Antarctic Treaty mechanisms for protections and the newly signed “Treaty of the High Seas,” or BBNJ (Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction) Treaty. (Final Declaration at 17–18.)
Digital Public Infrastructure
The G20 final declaration recognized the rapid development of digital public infrastructure, including aspects of cryptocurrency and AI, and identified various sectors where G20 member involvement would advance goals of inclusive and sustainable development. This involvement would focus on voluntary efforts by members to make digital public infrastructure interoperable by building such infrastructure and supporting the digital economy. (Final Declaration at 22). The members also committed to monitoring and establishing recommendations for cryptocurrency regulation (Final Declaration at 23), and agreed to reestablish commitments to national AI standards adopted in 2019 and promote AI use toward achieving the UN SDGs (Final Declaration at 24).
The G20 reaffirmed that gender equality is of fundamental importance and that investing in the empowerment of all women and girls is paramount to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Additionally, the members reaffirmed their commitment to the Brisbane Goal, a G20 commitment to reduce the gender gap in labor by 2025. (Declaration at 25.) Beyond the Brisbane Goal, the G20 also committed to reducing the digital employment gender gap and created a new working group on the empowerment of women, with its first meeting set for the Brazilian G20 sessions next year. (Declaration at 26.)
Other notable updates include those related to countering terrorism and money laundering, financial sector issues, and international taxation.
Louis Myers, Law Library of Congress
September 20, 2023
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