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"There were differences on Ukraine issue..." :Jaishankar on G20 meeting coming with Outcome document, not joint communique
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that G20 Foreign Ministers' meeting reflected the concerns of the global south and came out with an Outcome document and not a collective statement as there were differences on Ukraine issue which could not be reconciled.
"If we had perfect meetings of minds on all issues and captured it fully, it would have been collective statement but there were issues on which there were divergences...There were differences on Ukraine issue which we could not reconcile," Jaishankar said at a press conference here. He said on bulk of the issues which concern the Global South, the developing countries, there was considerable meeting of minds.
"And a considerable meeting of minds has been captured by the Outcome document. If we had a perfect meeting of minds of all issues and captured it fully then obviously it would have been a collective statement," he said.
Jaishankar said that the Chair Summary outlined the concerns of the Global South and "it is just on two paragraphs that were not able to get everybody on the same page."
Paragraphs three and four of the Outcome document were taken from the G20 Bali Leaders' Declaration and were agreed to by all member countries except Russia and China.
Answering a query on the impact of Ukraine conflict, Jaishankar said it is impacting the global south.
"Of course, it is. It is not something new. In fact, India has been saying this very strongly for pretty much close to a year that this is affecting... In fact, today, in my own session, I actually used the word saying for much of the global south, this is a make-or-break issue that the cost of fuel, the cost of food, the cost of fertilizer...The availability of fertilizer which means next year's food. These are all extremely pressing issues," he said.
"If you see, some of the countries who were already struggling with debt, who were already impacted by the pandemic. For them, the knock-on effects of this conflict coming on top of that. It is a matter of very, very deep concern for us. Which is why we kept focus in this meeting on the concerns of the global south. We feel these are the most vulnerable countries. It is not credible to talk about the future of the global economy and the multilateral order if we are not able to really address and focus on the issues of those who are most in need," Jaishankar said.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his remarks had said that G20 countries also had a responsibility towards those not in the room
"There were five important points in the Prime Minister's address. One, he noted that multilateralism is in crisis today. And, in terms of preventing future wars and fostering international cooperation which were two primary tasks it had failed. The second point he made was that it is important to give a voice to the global south because world was sinking ... a lot of countries actually regressing on their sustainable goals pathway were witnessing challenging debts," he said .
"The third point he made was that the discussions which we were beginning at that time. He recognised that these discussions were affected by the geopolitical tensions of the day but asked us all as foreign ministers to remember that we had a responsibility for those who are not in the room. And therefore, he urged that we draw inspiration from India's civilisation ethos and focus not on what divides us but on what unites us," he added.
Jaishankar reiterated PM Modi's concerns about the challenges that the participating countries should address which included the impact of the pandemic, the lives lost in natural disasters, the breakdown of global supply chains, debt and financial crisis.
He said that G20 group have individually and collectively an obligation to contribute to international growth and prosperity, adding that these can be implemented through sustainable partnerships and goodwill initiatives.
"On its part, India has undertaken development projects in 78 countries and has actively encouraged exchanges and capability building. During the Covid pandemic, we made a conscious effort at contributing to global solutions even while looking after our own. Today's situation demands that we continue to live up to our international responsibilities. G20 must be sensitive to all our partners' priorities and economic concerns, especially those more vulnerable. We must ensure demand-driven and sustainable development cooperation based on country ownership and transparency. Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity are essential guiding principles for such cooperation," he said. (ANI)