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A HISTORICAL AND RESOUNDING SUCCESS OF INDIAN PRESIDENCY
The 18th G-20 Summit in New Delhi was culmination of all the processes and meetings held throughout the year among ministers, senior officials, and civil societies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his opening address at the G-20 Summit on Saturday, 09 Sep 2023, said, “India’s G-20 presidency has become a symbol of inclusion, of ‘sabka saath’ both inside and outside the country. This has become people’s G-20 in India. Since Dec 2022, more than 200 meetings have taken place in more than 60 cities of the country. The summit opened with African Union taking seat as 21st permanent member of G-20 setting the stage for more reforms in global multilateral organisations including United Nations Security Council. The long-awaited summit in New Delhi is over, and diplomats from across the world are hailing India’s successful presidency, which not only helped the heavily divided bloc reach a consensus but also laid the ground for deeper future cooperation.
G-20 negotiators were unable to resolve disagreements over the wording of the summit declaration on the war in Ukraine till the summit commenced. While near consensus was reached on almost all issues which included climate change, cryptocurrencies and reforms in multilateral development banks, the geopolitical issue of Ukraine witnessed a strong divide between the West and Russian allies. India, which shares cordial ties with both the West and Russia, has rightfully leveraged its unique status for the global good and finally the muchawaited -New Delhi Declaration with a preamble of ‘We are One Earth, One Family, and we share One Future’ stating accelerate strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth was adopted with full consensus.
THE MAJOR SUCCESSES OF THE NEW DELHI G-20 SUMMIT ARE: New Delhi Leaders Declaration signifying a historical success of the summit was signed by all the country heads with full consensus on all major issues concerning the G- 20 countries in particular and world in general. Though the statements of French President and Japanese PM immediately after the summit implicating Russia for Ukraine war is a pointer against cohesiveness in G-20.
A 55 nations strong Africa Union (AU) joined the G-20 Organization and became 21st member paving way for further restructuring and reforms in other multilateral organisations. Inclusion of the African Union into the G-20 will significantly contribute to addressing the global challenges of present time.
On the eve of the 10th anniversary of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), India, the US, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEE-EC). This corridor will foster economic integration and connect Asia with Europe, presenting a strategic challenge to China initiated BRI.
Global Biofuel Alliance has been created by the member countries which will emphasise on the maximum use of Biofuel. Nineteen countries and twelve international organisations, including both G-20 members and non-members, have agreed to join this alliance. India, Brazil, and the US are the alliance’s founding members.
Consensus on climate change. Apart from Russia-Ukraine conflict the climate change also posed challenges. However, a consensus emerged on addressing the climate crisis, signalling a significant victory for India and the world. Contentious issues included commitments to reduce fossil fuel use, increasing renewable energy targets, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions despite objections from China and Saudi Arabia.
The New Delhi declaration calls for the phasing out and rationalisation of fossil fuel subsidies and commits to reducing “unabated coal power” while boosting clean energy generation. The statement of French President Emmanuel Macron that climate outcomes were “insufficient”, and the world must “phase out coal very rapidly and much more quickly than today” is indicative of dissent.
G- 20 commitment to eliminate gender-based violence including sexual violence, harassment, discrimination and abuse against women and girls both online and offline, and ensure safe workplaces in this regard was also truly reflected in the declaration by its resolution to promote women’s inclusion into the formal financial system by strengthening their access to economic resources, particularly through digital finance and microfinance and eliminate gender stereotypes and biases, and change norms, attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate gender inequality. Recognising that the terrorism was one of the most serious threat to international peace and security, the declaration condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including those on the basis of xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance, or in the name of religion or belief, recognizing the commitment of all religions to peace.
PM Modi’s proposal for a G-20 virtual summit in November end to review progress on matters decided in this summit will a go a long way on determining the sincerity in adoption of declaration and will of the members to execute it with some real concrete steps. The baton passes onto Brazil for 19th summit in 2024 and then 20th summit to South Africa for 2025. This makes three consecutive summits of G-20 predominantly representing ‘Global South’. The summit ended with a thanking note by all the member and other invited nations to India and acknowledgment of its diplomatic acumen in making the summit a historic resounding success.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL
Col Rajesh Bhukar The writer is a Post Graduate in International Studies, Alumni of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and College of Combat, Mhow [email protected]