The G20 Summit in New Delhi has concluded with diplomats and world leaders praising India’s successful presidency. India’s leadership helped bridge divisions within the bloc and set the stage for future cooperation and reforms in global multilateral organizations. Under the guidance of India’s leadership, it transformed into the G21, welcoming the African Union into its fold, marking a significant step towards global reform. Here are the key takeaways from this influential summit.
The most notable outcome of the G20 Summit 2023 was the inclusion of the African Union, expanding the group from G20 to G21. The importance of giving Africa, representing one-fifth of the global population, a more significant voice on the world stage was recognized. This signifies progress toward the reforms sought by the 55-nation union in various multilateral and global institutions, including the UNSC.
On the eve of the tenth anniversary of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a groundbreaking development took place. India, alongside the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Italy, France, Germany, and the EU, signed a MoU to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEE-EC). This corridor aims to promote economic integration and connect Asia with Europe, presenting a strategic alternative to China’s BRI. With Italy, a G7 member, considering withdrawal from the BRI, this development assumes even greater significance.
India achieved a unanimous “New Delhi Leaders’ Summit Declaration” covering all developmental and geopolitical matters during the summit’s opening day. This achievement is remarkable, given the differences surrounding the Russia-Ukraine conflict. India’s negotiators worked tirelessly to bridge gaps between Western and Chinese-Russian factions. Bilateral meetings between Hon’ble PM Modi and leaders such as Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak, Olaf Scholz, and Fumio Kishida contributed to this consensus.
While the Russia-Ukraine conflict posed a divisive challenge, the summit managed to secure a consensus on addressing the climate crisis. Contentious issues included commitments to reduce fossil fuel use, increase renewable energy targets, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. India and other developing nations emphasized the importance of developed countries fulfilling their commitments, while developed nations advocated for a global focus on climate-related targets. The New Delhi declaration calls for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and boosting clean energy generation.
Narendra Modi announced the launch of the Global Biofuels Alliance, with nineteen countries and twelve international organizations. The initiative intends to expedite the global uptake of biofuels by facilitating technology advancements, intensifying the utilization of sustainable biofuels, and shaping robust standard setting and certification through the participation of a wide spectrum of stakeholders.
At the summit, it was acknowledged and agreed that states should not acquire territory through force and expressed concern for the suffering of the people of Ukraine. While avoiding direct criticism of Russia, this marked a departure from the G20’s previous condemnation of Russia for the war. Diplomats suggested that this shift was a pragmatic approach to maintaining unity within the group.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the G20 presidency as an opportunity to showcase India as a prominent diplomatic and economic power. Besides underscoring India’s emergence as a significant player on the world stage, the forum has Modi’s domestic image as he seeks a third term in office.
All in all, the event was marked by Bharat’s leadership, inclusive initiatives, and successful consensus-building on critical global issues. That being said, how ideas lauded at this international event translate into actions with far-reaching positive outcomes remains to be seen.
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