India is hosting the third G20 tourism summit in Kashmir from May 22 to May 24, amidst controversy. With heightened security in the region, the government aims to showcase the culture of the region to foreign delegates.
What is the G20?
G20 stands for the Group of 20 and is an intergovernmental forum that was founded in 1999 in order to deal with economic crises. The G20 focuses mainly on issues related to the world economy, like global financial stability and sustainable economic development.
The G20 consists of annual meetings of the leaders of 19 different countries and the European Union. These 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The G20 is very important economically, as its member countries make up 80% of the world’s GDP (gross domestic product) and about 66% of the world’s population. It is the main forum for international economic and financial cooperation and wields considerable influence.
2023 G20 Summit in India
Image Source: india.gov.in
India is hosting the 3-day G20 Tourism Summit in Srinagar, Kashmir, from May 22 to May 24.. Delegations from 60 countries were welcomed at the Srinagar Airport by Union Minister for Tourism Kishan Reddy.
The delegates got to see traditional Kashmiri dance forms performed by local artists,and graffiti was shown to display the cultural beauty and heritage of Jammu and Kashmir.
The summit is the first international conference being held in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019. Security has been heightened in the region, with NSG (National Security Guard) and MARCOS commandos being deployed. Drones have also been used for surveillance and security.
Image Source: msn.net
The G20 meeting will focus on five major areas: digitalization, MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises), skills, green tourism, and destination management. The main goal is to show that peace has been restored to Kashmir and to promote tourism and development in the region.
Reactions and Responses
China has refused to attend the event, saying that it will not attend any meeting that is being held in disputed territory.
Similarly, Pakistan, which is not a G20 member, criticised India for holding the summit in Kashmir, calling it arrogant. Pakistan reiterated its stance on not bilaterally interacting with India until Article 370 is repealed.
Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar shot back by saying Pakistan should vacate its illegally occupied parts of Kashmir.
Image Source: Republic World
The G20 summit in Kashmir aims to start a transformation in the region, which will help boost its economy with the help of tourism. This, in turn, will help bring about a period of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.