Urban Journalism Institute

India and Japan, hubs for intensifying local multilateralism

Urban 20 is consolidating its influence in the G20, and the G7 has published the first-ever G7 Urban Development Ministers’ Communiqué of Urban7.

Two of the world’s largest economies will assume the presidencies of the G20 and the G7. In 2022, Japan was the third-largest economy, while India was the fifth largest. It is projected that India will move to the third position by 2030. Both countries will be key in multilateral scenarios in 2023. 

The G7 Leaders’ Communiqué in June 2022, under Germany’s presidency, recognized the role of cities, their associations, and networks as actors in driving prosperity and transformation towards sustainable development. The first-ever G7 Ministerial Meeting for Sustainable Urban Development took place in Potsdam in September 2022. The final communiqué expresses its support for “a stronger recognition of cities as dialogue partners within the framework of the G7, by continuing and intensifying dialogue with city associations, alliances and networks”. Japan has already announced the second G7 Urban Development Ministers’ Meeting, to be held in Takamatsu, Kagawa, from 7 to 9 July 2023. 

India holds the G20 presidency from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023. This is the second of four consecutive presidencies of the so-called Global South countries,

after Indonesia in 2022, to be followed by Brazil in 2024 and South Africa in 2025. Further, India, Brazil and South Africa are fellow BRICS countries, first-time leaders of the G20 and political systems built on local democracy. It could be a unique period to shape the reform of the multilateral system, review the global financial governance, and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs. 

The G20 Heads of State and Governments Summit will take place on 9 and 10 September in New Delhi. Among the meetings that will take place, the city of Ahmedabad will host Urban 20 (U20). This group brings together mayors from major G20 cities to inform the discussions of national leaders at the G20 and establishes a platform for cities to collectively inform G20 negotiations. 

The U20 priority areas for 2023 are encouraging environmentally responsible behaviours, ensuring water security, accelerating climate finance, championing local identity, reinventing frameworks for urban governance and planning, and catalysing digital urban futures. It is expected that the U20 will present the outcome document with their recommendations in July 2023

All previous U20 communiqués are available at:


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Japan night city view
@ Toru Shimada