What has India achieved in its G20 presidency?

  • The declaration set the direction of future negotiations on important economic issues including climate financing which has for the first time put $5.9 trillion number to the green financing requirements for developing countries.

Gulveen Aulakh, Gireesh Chandra Prasad
First Published10 Sep 2023, 04:08 PM IST
What has India achieved in its G20 presidency?(Photo: AFP)
What has India achieved in its G20 presidency?(Photo: AFP)

New Delhi: India’s presidency of G20 or the Group of 20 has been able to bring all member countries to the table on the issue of war in Ukraine and brought to the fore the voice of the emerging markets as moderators, said foreign policy experts, highlighting the country's heritage as the voice of reason.

The New Delhi Declaration issued on the first day of the two-day G20 Summit set the direction of future negotiations on important economic issues including climate financing which has for the first time put $5.9 trillion number to the green financing requirements for developing countries, reforms in multilateral banks, international taxation and sustainable development.

“People were expecting the declaration not to come out and that the paragraph of Ukraine would have been opposed by China and Russia, but the fact that everyone decided on a little give and take, is as much a tribute to diplomacy of India, as also India's ability to have chosen right. Emerging countries have got a role in terms of being the moderating influence, and this is not the first time that India has been a moderating influence,” said Rajiv Dogra, former ambassador of India to Italy, Romania, Moldova, Albania and San Marino and India’s permanent representative to the United Nations agencies based in Rome.

On the Russia-Ukraine crisis, India worked very closely with Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia, where the emerging markets played a very key role, India’s Sherpa to the G20 Amitabh Kant said on Saturday, after issuing the joint communique. The declaration also noted the contribution of Turkiye and the UN-brokered Istanbul Agreements for the effective implementation of the Black Sea grain deal for ensuring immediate and unimpeded deliveries of grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizers/inputs from the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

“The most complex part of the entire #G20 was to bring consensus on the geopolitical paras (Russia-Ukraine). This was done over 200 hours of non-stop negotiations, 300 bilateral meetings, 15 drafts,” Kant said in a social media post on Sunday.

Joe Biden, president of the United States, said that decisions made today were going to affect the course of the future for decades. “At a moment when the global economy is suffering from the overlapping shocks of the climate crisis, fragility, and conflict, this year’s Summit proved that the G20 can still drive solutions to our most pressing issues,” he said in a social media post prior to close of the Summit.

Dogra added that India’s heritage of being the moderating influence in 50s and 60s and thereafter as a voice of reason, of non-alignment, against racism and colonialism, has stood well in the G20 negotiations, where the Prime Minister's name and his intervention helped to clench the crucial agreement with all countries.

“Kudos to the Prime Minister's leadership. I'm sure his telephone calls to other leaders would have made the difference and agreed text was stamped on, within time,” Dogra said.

The consensus on a joint declaration marks a significant diplomatic breakthrough amid intense negotiations to settle disagreements. The communique said, with regards to the war in Ukraine, that is in line with the UN Charter, all states must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state. The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible. It did not specify Russian aggression into Ukraine.

Chief co-ordinator of G20 Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters on Sunday that the biggest take away from the ongoing G20 leaders' summit in New Delhi was the spirit of 'the world is one family'.

“You have seen the significant outcomes of the leaders' summit--the New Delhi declaration and prior to that, the African Union's joining G20 as permanent member. These are significant developments under India's presidency. In multilateral process, usually negotiations go on till the last minute. In the G20 summit, Prime Minister announced the consensus (decision) on the first day itself by afternoon. This is a very important outcome," said Shringla.

The communique also included the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 and noted that the continent played an important role in the global economy. Vincent Magwenya, spokesperson to the President of South Africa told Mint on the sidelines that India’s role in the inclusion of the Global South in the Summit has set the benchmark for future discussions by any and all multilateral platforms, where the voice of the developing and underdeveloped countries would have a permanent platform.

“In fact, what's going to happen you're going to see an accelerated push towards the reforms that we have been seeking in other multilateral forums, like the UN Security Council, global institutions, financial institutions in terms of the disbursements of funds in terms of how loans are structured,” he added, noting that the developing countries would be seeking more equitable share of resources.

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First Published:10 Sep 2023, 04:08 PM IST
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