Heads of State of 16 Nations Gather in New Delhi for G20 Summit

The foreign secretary also said President Droupadi Murmu will host an official dinner for the G-20 heads of delegations on Saturday evening

NEW DELHI: A day ahead of the start of the two-day G-20 summit in New Delhi, India's G-20 “sherpa” Amitabh Kant said the “New Delhi Declaration” joint statement or communique was “almost ready”, signalling hectic efforts were continuing till the last minute to narrow differences on the contentious Ukraine issue, which has left the G-20 grouping polarised between the Western G-7 nations on one hand and Russia and China on the other. The concerns of developing nations on their access to global resources is a key issue at the summit, on which consensus is expected.

“We have been able to work on every single country and bring them on board,” Mr Kant told a crowded media briefing at the International Media Centre near the G-20 summit venue Bharat Mandapam. He said the effects of the Ukraine conflict on global food security had been discussed in detail at the G-20 meetings hosted by India, including the G-20 sherpas’ meet, as it was at last year’s G-20 summit hosted by Indonesia.

Kant said this was done despite the G-20 being essentially an economic forum focused on growth and development, as the conflict had impacted food, fuel and fertiliser security adversely, especially for the countries of the Global South (developing nations).

When asked specifically about details of the joint statement and whether consensus had been achieved over references to Ukraine, Kant noted the “high degree of confidentiality” over such documents, adding that the text would be referred by the G-20 sherpas to their respective leaders for acceptance. “Every G-20 nation has a veto power… We will speak (on this) after the summit is over”, he added.

He did not answer when asked whether India would also issue a separate Chair’s Summary (on any issue such like Ukraine due to lack of consensus, as has happened at previous G-20 meetings hosted by India).

He said “India will leave a huge impact” on the deliberations and outcome of the G-20 summit and pointed out how New Delhi had emerged as the voice of the Global South. Kant also pointed out how India had led the revolution in digital infrastructure.

Foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said at the briefing that the G-20 summit, being attended by the heads of 41 delegations, would begin on Saturday morning with the first session on “One Earth”, followed by the second session in the afternoon on “One Family”, while the third and last session would be on “One Future” on Sunday morning, after which the summit would conclude. There will also be a “couple of sideline events.”

The foreign secretary also said President Droupadi Murmu will host an official dinner for the G-20 heads of delegations on Saturday evening, and there will also be a visit to Rajghat for heads of delegations and also a separate spouses’ programme would be organised.

The G-20, or Group of Twenty, is an “intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies and comprises 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United States) and the European Union”. Collectively, the G-20 “accounts for 85 per cent of global GDP, 75 per cent of international trade and two-thirds of the world’s population, making it the premier forum for international economic cooperation”.

India, as G-20 president, has also invited Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and the UAE as guest countries and most leaders of these guest countries will attend.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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