C20 is an official engagement group of the G20 that aims to bring a perspective from civil society organisations from around the world to the forum’s heads of state.
New Delhi: With India taking over G20 presidency earlier this month, the official engagement group of the forum – Civil20 India – also launched its logo and tagline Monday ahead of its upcoming meetings.
The appointed Chair for this term, Mata Amritanandamayi, a spiritual leader from India, released a message on the occasion, praying that the venture will provide “a transformation in human minds”.
In a video message uploaded on the Twitter handle of Civil20 India 2023, Mata Amritanandamayi, famously known as Amma, also revealed the significance of the logo – “To illuminate the world and all the sentient things in it”.
The tagline – ‘You Are The Light’ – is meant to be a call to “every member of the civil society to come together, make their own paths, find solutions and resolve issues through collective effort”.
The message is vastly different from the tagline of the previous edition – ‘Listening to the world’, which reflected that countries were still reeling from the aftermath of the global pandemic with Indonesia choosing its G20 Presidency theme to be “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”.
C20 for G20
Civil Society 20 or C20 is one of the eight official engagement groups of the G20 forum since 2013. A 2019 document, listing out its principles, described it as a platform for civil society organisations around the world to bring forth a non-government and non-business voice. The C20 aims to bring a perspective from civil society organisations from around the world to the G20 heads of state.
Under the umbrella of the G20, C20 engages more than 800 civil societies, representatives, and networks of various countries, including organisations from countries who are not G20 members, to ensure that “people across all strata of society” are heard at the G20 Leaders’ Summit.
The group aims at protecting the environment, promoting social and economic development and human rights.
They represent global organisations and also bring together coalitions of NGOs from under-represented regions. As the G20 Presidency rotates, so does the leadership of engagement groups who are led by organisations from the local civil society. The host government of the G20 usually invites organisations from the country to form the engagement groups.
The most recent forum took place in Bali, Indonesia from 5-7 October. The Chair for the previous edition of C20 was Sugeng Bahagijo, executive director of International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development. He passed on the baton to India after hosting more than 50 discussions, meetings, seminars, policy dialogue and consultations. The Coordinator of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) of Oxfam India, Arjun Phillips, was also part of the Indonesia leg of C20.
Structure & workings of C20
The C20 has a steering committee that follows a troika structure which allows for dialogue and coordination between the lead civil society organisations from the current, previous and following G20/C20 host countries.
According to the C20 Indonesia 2022 website, the C20 Chair and Co-Chair are responsible for facilitating the C20 process, whose appointments each year are prerogative of the civil society in the host country.
Aiding the C20 Chair and Co-Chair are the C20 Sherpa, the C20 Steering Committee and the International Advisory Committee, completing its leadership structure according to the C20 principles.
India assumed the presidency of the G20 for a year starting December and will end its term on 30 November next year. The country is expected to host more than 200 meetings across the country, an endeavour that will involve work by ministerial meetings, working groups, and engagement groups in advance.
Who is the C20 India Chair?
Mata Amritanandamayi, the 69-year-old founder of the famous Mata Amritanandamayi Math, was appointed as the Chair for C20 India by the Modi government in October. The spiritual and charitable organisation has its headquarters in Kerala.
Upon accepting her role as Chair of the engagement group, Amma had expressed her appreciation for the Indian government for arranging such a high-level representation of the voices of the common people, The Hindustan Times reported.
“Hunger, conflict, extinction of species, and environmental destruction are the most important issues facing the world today. We should put in sincere effort to develop solutions,” Amma had said in the initial C20 online meeting.
According to her, the need of the hour is integrated effort and creating innovative methods of predicting environmental catastrophes.