G20 Summit 2023: As India marked a significant achievement by adopting New Delhi G20 Leader's Declaration, External Affairs Ministers Dr S Jaishankar said that under India's presidency, leaders managed to find common ground on key issues, particularly the Russia-Ukraine war, and that the summit represented the interests of the Global South.
"This is a declaration of 83 paragraphs. It has a lot of content and there are a lot of subjects to cover. Obviously, because of the ongoing conflict and strong views about it, considerable time was spent especially in the last few days in regard to geopolitical issues which really centered around the war in Ukraine. The point to be recognised is that a common ground was reached," he said during a special press briefing on Saturday.
"They (G20 leaders) dwelt on the ongoing war in Ukraine and the impact it has had especially in developing and least developed countries who are still recovering from the pandemic and economic disruption," he further said.
Meanwhile, G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant underlined that India has worked very closely with Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia on the resolution of Russia-Ukraine conflict. He and EAM Jaishankar credited the role of emerging markets in a consensus for the leaders' declaration.
"Obviously there are differing viewpoints and interests at play in regard to the various issues under discussion. However, we have been able to find common ground in all of them. As a result, we can justifiably state that under PM Narendra Modi's guidance, the New Delhi Summit has given clear directions for the growth and development of the Global economy in the years ahead," said Jaishankar.
Sustainable development and inclusive growth in focus
"The declaration the leaders have agreed on today, focuses on promoting strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. It seeks to accelerate progress on SDGs and has come up with an action plan accordingly. It envisages a green development pact for a sustainable future, it endorses high-level principles on lifestyle for sustainable development, voluntary principles of hydrogen, the Chennai principles for a sustainable resilient blue economy and the Deccan principles on food security and nutrition among others," said Jaishankar.
He further outlined that India has tried its best to make the G20 initiative as inclusive and broad-based as possible under the message of 'One Earth, One Family'. He said that the transformative and inclusive role of technology was highlighted during the summit with a focus on digital public infrastructure (DPI).
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was also present at the meeting, said that DPI has been integrated into the G20 Financial Inclusion Plan (FIAP) that will be held between 2024 and 2026, leaving a legacy of India's G20 presidency.
India's G20 presidency has walked the talk: Union Finance Minister Sitharaman
Speaking at the briefing, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted geopolitical tensions at the time when India assumed the G20 presidency. "We assumed the presidency at a challenging time of geo-political tensions...Today I can confidently state that the Indian G-20 Presidency has walked the talk," she said.
She also mentioned key outcomes of the G20 Summit in the finance track on strengthening Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). "First, agreement on the need for better, bigger and more effective MDBs. It is necessary to have better bigger and more effective MDBs because the developmental demands from all across the globe are high, so these institutions will have to be better and bigger," she added.
Sitharaman also mentioned the constitution of a G20 independent expert group on strengthening MDBs and an endorsement for the G20 roadmap for implementation of an independent panel on capital adequacy of MDBs. "So through these achievements, India has harnessed the opportunity provided by the G 20 presidency to effectively articulate and embed the priorities of the global south in the larger global conversation on the MDB reforms," said the Finance Minister.
The Union Finance Minister further said that a global push for clearer policy on crypto assets has gained momentum under the Indian presidency and the global consensus is emerging on the same.
Terror financing and money laundering
At the briefing, EAM Jaishankar announced that the G20 leaders have condemned terrorism in all forms and manifestations and recognised it as a serious threat to international peace and security. He also outlined the commitments undertaken in the leaders' declaration raising strong concerns over terror financing.
"I would draw your attention to paragraphs 74 and 75 of the leaders' declaration. 75 speaks about the role of the FATF because clearly, the financing of terrorism is a very strong concern which the entire international community, not just the G20 shares," said Jaishankar
"The 74 deals with illicit trafficking and diversion of small arms and light weapons. So I think these are concerns. So within the G20, I think these conversations are quite helpful, but obviously, in terms of policy action, they will be carried into their mechanisms and forums which focus on the issue," he said.
Women-led development, green pact
G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant said that the leaders' declaration shows the achievements of women-led development, particularly the areas of women empowerment and gender equality. "There's a huge focus on gender-inclusive climate action. There's a completely big focus on women's food security, nutrition and well-being. And we've created a new working group on empowerment of women, which Brazil will carry forward," he said.
He also stated that a green development fact has been achieved during the summit, which will prioritise the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030. Additionally, Jaishankar said that the three Fs - Food, Fuel and Fertilisers were issues of special concern.
Negotiations between Turkey and Russia over Black Sea grain deal
Since Russia withdrew from the Black Sea grain initiative, Turkey has been calling on President Vladimir Putin to allow exports from Ukraine to help curb food insecurity in several countries.
In reply to a query about the negotiations, Jaishankar said, "There are many discussions going on. The Foreign Minister of Russia is here, the President of Turkey and his delegation are here. UN Secretary-General is here, other people are here. So it's natural that there would be discussions going on on this."
"In the past, when the grain corridor was created at Bali last year, we had also, in our own way, contributed to some bridging of viewpoints and concerns both at that time between Turkey and Russia," further said the External Affairs Minister.
(with agency inputs)