2023 Delhi G20

Written by  //  September 12, 2023  //  Geopolitics, India, Multilateralism  //  Comments Off on 2023 Delhi G20

Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN)

Whither the Gs? Summitry in a Time of Disruption
Senator Peter Boehm chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade and served as sherpa for six G7s
(Policy) Notwithstanding recent geopolitical ructions involving China and Russia’s stated designs on replacing that rules-based international order via both covert and kinetic aggression, both [the G20 and the G7] appear to be in fine shape. …
While both groups have their individual (and overlapping) memberships, styles, functions and fans, their issue sets and approaches to global problems have tended to be different.
… What distinguishes the G7 from the G20 is its informality, both at the round table and when leaders meet bilaterally. …
The G20 culminates in a larger summit with many more participants, including foreign and finance ministers as well as central bank governors and heads of international organizations, the latter also usually attending a portion of the G7 summit. The table is large, the leaders’ speeches pro forma and there is much emphasis on bilateral meetings, planned —sometimes unplanned— “bump-intos” and “brush-bys” (you don’t have to be a practitioner to appreciate these esoteric terms of diplomatic art). The focus is on the global economy, on international development financing and trade. But important decisions can be taken.
The clear advantage of the G20 is the presence of China and Russia, who are also involved in the ministerial and sherpa tracks where they can make their own contributions, by either supporting, attempting to create or diluting consensus. But unless there is a clear decision on a global economic initiative to respond to a crisis, G20 documents often represent a very low common denominator in collective will.

12 September
What Got Done in Delhi: Takeaways from the 2023 G20 Leaders’ Summit
Colin Robertson
(Policy) The G20 leaders are a ‘disparate’ bunch – dictators, and democrats – but it is the premier forum for international economic cooperation. They met this past weekend in New Delhi around the theme of “One Earth, One Family, One Future”.
Despite their differences and with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in the chair, they achieved a consensus declaration that addresses Ukraine, climate mitigation, food and energy security, as well as debt relief. In recognition of the growing weight of the Global South, the African Union, representing the 55 nations of the second most populous continent, joins the group.
On Ukraine, while it failed to explicitly condemn the Russian invasion as G20 leaders did in last November’s Bali communiqué, the intent is clear with the call for states to abide by the UN Charter, refrain from using force for territorial acquisition, cease attacks on civilians and infrastructure, declaring “inadmissible” the threat or use of nuclear weapons and calling for restoration of the Black Sea Initiative around shipping of food and fertilizer “to meet the demand in developing and least developed countries, particularly those in Africa.”
Looking to the climate change conference (COP28) in Dubai this December, G20 leaders agreed to “triple renewable energy capacity globally” and pledged preferential financing to help developing countries transition to lower emissions.The G20 accounts for over 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. A Global Biofuels Alliance will include India, USA, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Mauritius, and the UAE.
In other institution-building, India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union pledged to work together in developing the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor – a new ‘spice route’ designed to increase their connectivity. The US, India and Gulf countries also announced a ‘historic’ new railways and port corridor to link the regions. These new initiatives will both compete with and complement the Chinese-driven Silk Road and Maritime Belt Initiative. These initiatives remind us again that economic weight and growth continues to shift to the Indo-Pacific.
Leaders agreed to collectively mobilize more concessional finance to boost the World Bank’s capacity to support low- and middle-income countries. Rising interest rates have escalated debt financing. The World Bank calculates that the world’s poorest nations face annual debt servicing of over $60 billion to bilateral creditors, escalating the risk of defaults. Two-thirds of this debt is owed to China.
Recognizing the critical role of digital infrastructure, India will build and maintain a Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository. In a joint statement on the eve of the G20, the World Bank and IMF noted that nearly 3 billion people remained offline, the vast majority of whom live in developing countries.

9-11 September
Delhi Declaration at G20 Summit: India’s Strategic Sixer Amid a Global Catch-22
For India, the challenge is to walk the talk for its domestic population & deliver on the human-centric objectives.
C Uday Bhaskar
India expands G20, keeps it from fracturing over Ukraine — but little progress made on other key issues
(Globe & Mail) Heading into this weekend’s G20 summit, there were fears leaders might not agree on a joint declaration for the first time, forcing host India to issue a chair statement that would have highlighted growing rifts just as the bloc’s legitimacy is being challenged by other multinational institutions vying for greater influence.
In securing a unanimous agreement Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ensured the New Delhi summit would be remembered for success rather than failure. Not only that, he also delivered on promises to the Global South, adding the African Union as a permanent member and expanding the G20 to represent an additional 54 countries.
India was determined not to allow the Ukraine conflict to derail the summit, and Mr. Modi appears to have used his personal influence to win over recalcitrant partners to a statement considerably watered down compared with last year. Even then, it was a close run thing, with agreement only coming Saturday afternoon, after what one Indian official said were “very tough, very ruthless negotiations.”
West goes easy on Russia to save the G20
The group of the top world economies remains intact, but many are questioning at what cost as Western powers opt for consensus.
(Politico Eu) As the ink dried on the 35-page summit communiqué hashed out over weeks of negotiations by the world’s most influential countries, G20 members were battling a chorus of criticism about the omission of any specific reference to Russia’s role as aggressor in the war on Ukraine.
The G20 had “nothing to be proud of” when it came to the failure to denounce Russia specifically in the joint statement in New Delhi, according to Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko.
But Western officials defended the result, with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak touting the document as a “good and strong outcome.”
That view was echoed by European officials. “There is nothing problematic for us in this communique — it’s not changing our position,” said one senior EU official. And Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also hailed the communiqué as “meaningful” even as he said Japan had pressed for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine throughout the negotiations over the text.
The clashing views capture the conundrum that has permeated this G20 gathering from even before it started: Given the deep divides over Ukraine, was it preferable to get all sides to agree on a common position, or should the U.S. and European members continue to call out Russia’s blatant aggression against Ukraine and China’s role in supporting it?
G20 statement backs Ukraine but omits Russia blame for war
Communiqué at India summit calls for respect of ‘territorial integrity and sovereignty’ in the Ukraine conflict.
Heather Cox Richardson September 9, 2023
At the Group of 20 (G20) meeting today in New Delhi, leaders announced plans for a new rail and shipping corridor that will connect India and Europe through the Middle East. This ambitious plan is part of Biden’s larger vision of creating high-quality infrastructure projects and the development of economic corridors that together should promote sustainable growth in low- and middle-income countries. The theory is that enhanced global trade should reduce economic gaps among countries, expand access to electricity and telecommunication, and promote clean energy.
They also agreed to continue developing the Lobito Corridor, a rail line linking the port of Lobito, Angola, on Africa’s Atlantic coast, with the city of Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in Africa’s interior mining region. The White House and U.S. allies in this project say they are hoping that an injection of money to build infrastructure will support a transparent and developed critical minerals sector that will advance global supply chains for those minerals while benefiting local economies in Angola, Zambia, and DRC.
Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the history of Africa has reason to be skeptical of this plan, although Japan and India don’t carry the same colonial baggage European countries do in Africa. G20 leaders are trying to combat the legacy of colonialism by expanding the table of leadership to those countries previously excluded. In New Delhi the G20 admitted the African Union as a permanent member. The African Union was formed in 2001, and its 55 member states cover more than 12 million square miles and have a total population of more than 1.3 billion people. The G20 is now effectively the Group of 21.
Funding for the projects will come through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI), the Group of Seven’s answer to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
In a joint statement, the leaders of India, Brazil, South Africa, and the United States said they met on the margins of the G20 “to reaffirm our shared commitment to the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation to deliver solutions for our shared world.” Aside from the U.S., the three countries making that statement are all members of BRICS, the economic bloc that includes China.
Their statement, along with the fact that each of those countries will hold the presidency of the G20 for the next four years, indicates G20 pressure on China. So does the fact that the president of the World Bank, nominated by Biden, is former MasterCard chief executive officer Ajay Banga, an American citizen who was born in India. Banga is both familiar with financial services and deeply concerned about inclusive and sustainable growth.

G20 leaders agree joint declaration after deal on Ukraine statement
Indian official says there was ‘100% consensus from all countries’ on all 83 paragraphs in declaration
(The Guardian) The G20 leaders have agreed a joint declaration, Narendra Modi announced on Saturday, alleviating fears that disagreements over the Russia-Ukraine war would prevent a consensus for the first time.
Speaking at an afternoon session of the G20 summit in Delhi, the Indian prime minister said he had “just got the good news that due to the hard work of our teams and your cooperation, a consensus has been reached on the New Delhi G20 leaders’ summit declaration”.
To loud applause, Modi said the declaration had been officially adopted.
He said it meant this year’s G20 was “the most ambitious in the history of G20. With 112 outcomes and presidency documents, we have more than doubled the substantive work from previous presidencies”.
Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 representative, said there was “100% consensus from all countries” on all 83 paragraphs in the declaration.
According to Kant, in order to reach a consensus, there was over 200 hours of “very tough, very ruthless negotiations”. Kant said that Brazil and South Africa, the next two G20 presidents, had played a key role in getting Russia to agree to the language, as well as Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico. A senior EU official said that by Saturday, Russia was “cornered” in the negotiations.
The declaration signifies a major win for India, which holds this year’s G20 presidency. It has been a particularly challenging year for the group, which represents the world’s largest economies, as Russia and China had proved intransigent in discussions around the Ukraine war, climate and energy, derailing attempts for a consensus in previous ministerial meetings.
G20 Declaration Omits Criticism of Russia, Notes Ukrainians’ ‘Suffering’
(NYT) American officials defended the agreement, saying it built on the statement released last year and that the United States was still pressing for peace in Ukraine.

African Union made permanent member of G20 at Delhi summit
Continent’s leaders welcome the move, which give the AU the same status as the European Union
In his opening remarks to the group’s summit in Delhi on Saturday, the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, invited the continental body, represented by its chair, Azali Assoumani, to take a seat at the table of G20 leaders as a permanent member.
The African Union (AU) now has the same status as the European Union, previously the only regional bloc with a full membership. Its previous designation was “invited international organisation”.
Leaders from across Africa welcomed the move, which Modi proposed in June, saying it would give the continent a voice.

G20: EU and US back trade corridor linking Europe, Middle East and India
The US and the EU have backed an ambitious plan to build an economic corridor linking Europe with the Middle East and India via rail and sea, a project the US president, Joe Biden, described as a “really big deal”.
(The Guardian) The Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, and the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the project during a Saturday afternoon session at the G20 leaders’ summit, being held in Delhi this weekend.
Modi said the India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor promised to be “a beacon of cooperation, innovation, and shared progress”. Biden said it was “game-changing investment”.
The planned corridor would link India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Israel and the EU through shipping ports and rail routes, in an effort to make trade quicker and cheaper and to boost economic cooperation and digital connectivity across the region.
The project, called the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment, could speed up trade between India and Europe by 40% and help normalise relations between Israel and the Gulf states, which the Biden administration has been pushing for.
The leaders did not lay out who would be paying for the project. A working group will lay out fuller plans over the next 60 days, including a timeline for building the infrastructure.

Launch of the Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA)
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi along with the leaders of Singapore, Bangladesh, Italy, USA, Brazil, Argentina, Mauritius and UAE, launched the Global Biofuel Alliance on 9 September 2023, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi.

2. The Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) is an initiative by India as the G20 Chair. The Alliance intends to expedite the global uptake of biofuels through facilitating technology advancements, intensifying utilization of sustainable biofuels, shaping robust standard setting and certification through the participation of a wide spectrum of stakeholders. The alliance will also act as a central repository of knowledge and an expert hub. GBA aims to serve as a catalytic platform, fostering global collaboration for the advancement and widespread adoption of biofuels.

6-8 September
G20 Summit: Despite India framing and conducting an energetic presidency, a joint statement is proving elusive
India has the satisfaction of imbuing G20 with purpose and direction through the wide focus on developmental issues and providing a forum for inclusive political dialogue. A joint statement by the leaders would have been a fitting culmination, but the conflicting views of the West and Russia-China on the war in Ukraine stands in the way
C Uday Bhaskar
With the curtains set to rise on the G20 summit in Delhi, it appears that a consensual joint statement reflecting the views of the global political leadership may remain elusive at this mega-event which has been planned in a grand and spectacular manner by India.
… In the past ten months, almost 200 meetings among officials and domain experts of the G20 and at ministerial level have been held in different parts of India to discuss a wide range of development issues relevant to human security. This is unprecedented in the history of the G20 and India has been commended for the wide net it has cast.
Given the scale of global developmental challenges whose equitable management warrants detailed and empathetic dialogue between the developed and developing parts of the world, India has used its chairmanship of the G20 to imbue the global dialogue with purpose and directivity – but clearly there are many geo-political challenges that remain intractable.
G20 summit: can Modi’s India be the glue that binds the world?
The challenge of bringing the West and the Global South together will test New Delhi’s leadership
C Uday Bhaskar
(The National UAE) … Perhaps Beijing is reluctant to give much space or forum for India to be acknowledged as a credible voice on the global stage. Already having considerable influence in Brics, with the recent expansion to 11 members, and the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO), China may be determined to be the principal player in multilateral fora and be the alternative to the US-led western-dominated global order.
With the US partnering India across various domains and US President Joe Biden being accorded special status at the G20 summit – where Mr Modi will hold a bilateral summit with the US leader – Chinese chagrin is palpable. But staying away from the summit without a valid reason, when the world is grappling with multiple crisis-tinged exigencies (climate change, global warming, food insecurity and nuclear threats) is a peculiar decision for a major power.
… Whether or not a consensual joint statement is issued by the G20 leaders on Sunday, India and Mr Modi will have received high-octane visibility for a brief period. Hopefully, the voice of the Global South will be heard in an empathetic manner, and the ultimate objective of an equitable and sustainable socio-economic model for our planet and its inhabitants is not abandoned.
The G-20 summit is a huge global branding exercise for Modi’s India
(WaPo) A looming question is whether any joint statement made by the world leaders gathered in New Delhi will condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine. So far, this year’s G-20 has not produced any joint statement. If the disagreements continue, it could mark the first time since 1999 that the G-20 has failed to produce a joint statement. On Wednesday, a European Union official — who was not named in coverage — offered a pessimistic view of its chances in briefings with Indian reporters. “The text, as it is presented by India, is not enough,” the unnamed official said.
In newly gleaming Delhi, Modi hopes G20 will cement India as a major global player
(The Guardian) As some of the world’s most powerful leaders, Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden among them, descend on India’s capital this weekend for the G20 leaders’ summit, a frantic, and to some controversial, beautification effort has been in force.
Gone are the poverty-stricken families often living in make-shift shelters along roads and underpasses. Gone too are the drowsy street dogs that usually line every pavement. Slums and unofficial housing have been bulldozered and about 300,000 street vendors have also been evicted from central thoroughfares.
It is widely acknowledged that few countries have made such a spectacle of hosting the G20, the group of 20 nations representing the world’s biggest economies, as India has over the past year. Since India’s presidency began at the beginning of the year, it has been marked by a publicity campaign to rival only general elections.
In cities, towns, airports, train stations and highways across the country, it is hard to travel a few metres without encountering a billboard or advert bearing the face of prime minister Narendra Modi, declaring India the “mother of democracy”, and asserting that “now is the time for an ambitious and decisive G20”. Over 200 G20 meetings, more than in any previous summit, have been hosted in cities across the country, all held with great fanfare.
Why the G20 Keeps Failing, and Still Matters
Summits like the one in India this weekend have produced many ambitious statements — and, often, disappointing results. Critics say an upgrade is needed.
(NYT) The annual Group of 20 summit brings together world leaders in pursuit of a lofty goal: coordinating policy for the global economy.
But how much progress has the G20 made toward its ambitions? And what can be expected from this year’s meeting in India on Saturday and Sunday?
The agenda in New Delhi includes climate change, economic development and debt burdens in low-income countries, as well as inflation spurred by Russia’s war in Ukraine. If members can reach consensus on any or all of these subjects, they will produce an official joint declaration at the end.
Then what? Often, not much, when it comes to real-world results. Most of the grouping’s joint statements since it formed in 1999 have been dominated by resolutions as solid as gas fumes, with no clear consequences when nations underperform.

3 September
The Delhi G20: Which World Order Will Run the Table?
Lisa Van Dusen
(Policy) In this time of avid geopolitical power consolidation, the G20’s role as a diplomatic Venn overlap — between the rules-based international order/US-led G7 and the aspiring world order/China-led BRICs group — portends a summit in Delhi next weekend that could be the most important for the group in more than a decade.
While the first official G20 meeting was held at the ministerial level in December of 1999 in Berlin, the group was really born three months earlier, on September 25th, at the Ritz Carlton on Embassy Row in Washington. It was at that meeting of G7 finance ministers that the concept of the expanded group was agreed.
On that balmy DC evening,…two Canadians held court. One was Finance Minister Paul Martin, the driving force behind the idea of a G7 finance-ministerial group expanded to reflect the early, borderless economic mutations of globalization. The other was Don Johnston, former Canadian Treasury Board president and Martin’s fellow Montrealer, who was then Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
This new multilateral mobilization of finance ministers was deployed in response to a series of debt and default crises, from Russia to Mexico to Southeast Asia, that had activated a whole new form of financial contagion fuelled by — among other accelerants — the impact of the internet on currency crises, capital flows and the checks and balances of a suddenly outdated global financial and regulatory architecture. Martin agreed to act as chair of the new group — which would include as ex-officio members the IFI heads and central bankers — for its first two years.
In November 2008, the first G20 leaders meeting was held, 10 days after the election of President Barack Obama and two months before his inauguration, amid the economic rubble of the financial cataclysm that crystallized his victory in the campaign’s final weeks. That was followed by the crucial London G20 in April 2009, at which the group underscored the value of its global reach by proving indispensable to the post-crisis economic recovery.
See also: How Canada made the G20 happen by John Ibbitson and Tara Perkins, 18 June 2010–
In the history of the G20, the landmarks of its 1999 launch and its mission-defining 2009 moment may well be followed by New Delhi as an existential inflection point.
The Delhi G20, hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi per India’s turn in the rotating G20 presidency, will drop gavel two weeks and two days after the BRICs Johannesburg meeting at which the Beijing-led, anti-democracy/authoritarian-curious grouping of Brazil, India, China and South Africa announced an expansion of its own, by six countries: Argentina, Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Iran. Two of those, Argentina and Saudi Arabia, are G20 members, as are all the original BRICs countries. The US-led G20 has added to its Delhi invitation list: Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and United Arab Emirates. At least three or four of those are currently better suited to the BRICS expansion, but being unencumbered by democratic accountability as to their geopolitical alignments are likely keeping their poaching options open.
Further churning the diplomatic brine is the announcement that President Xi Jinping, representing the BRICs/new world order/authoritarian side of this contest, will not be in Delhi, dispatching Premier Li Qiang in his place. The snub has been spun as a possible effort to undermine both Modi’s role as host and India’s ascension as a US-backed democracy to counter China. “The absence of China’s president will be a blow to India’s rotating presidency of the multilateral gathering and the status of the New Delhi summit,” per The Financial Times this week. “It also shakes the stature of the G20 as the pre-eminent global leadership forum, amid deep fissures between its members.”
Given Modi’s role in advancing a number of anti-democracy agenda items in India, including human rights rollbacks, the adoption of surveillance-state tactics and privacy obliterations, the abuse of the legal system to silence and sideline political opponents and the leveraging of ethnic divisions to sow and weaponize political upheaval, that first notion that he is somehow at odds with China’s president only underscores his status as the new, polymorphously persuadable, multifariously loyal Pervez Musharraf in America’s geopolitical Rolodex. The second notion that “the stature of the G20 as the pre-eminent global leadership forum” is the real tactical target is far more pertinent to the proceedings overall. As the recent Economist leader What if China and India became friends? pointed out, growing economic ties between the two countries and the post-democracy proclivities of their leaders are more reliable measures of the bilateral relationship than any irritant, present or past. In that sense, Xi’s absence from Delhi next week may be more an act of deputation than of sabotage.

4 September
Xi’s G-20 Rebuff Reflects a More Divided World
(Bloomberg Balance of Power) President Xi Jinping is set to snub the Group of 20 summit in India this weekend for the first time since coming to power. While the Chinese president’s reason for skipping is unknown, one thing is clear: The G-20 looks more divided than ever.
China alone is feuding with multiple members. … China and India, the summit host, are also once again at odds over a territorial dispute along their shared border
… And it’s not just China: It’s unclear if the compromise reached at the Bali meeting over the language to describe Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine will hold this year. That could mean the group doesn’t put out a joint communiqué for the first time since its founding in 1999.
After presiding over an expansion of the BRICS group of emerging economies in Johannesburg last month, Xi now looks to prefer attending gatherings where he’s going to get along with the other invitees — and not be asked awkward questions about his faltering economy or human rights record. The same may be true for Putin, who also isn’t attending.
Even if the meetings in New Delhi are smoother without them, the world ultimately could be entering an even rockier period.

31 August
Xi no show at G20
Chinese President Xi Jinping is reportedly unlikely to attend the G20 summit of the world’s leading advanced and emerging economies in India next week.
(GZERO media) No reason for Xi’s decision is known, but it’s the first time he’ll miss the gathering. He also unexpectedly skipped giving a speech at the BRICS summit earlier this month and is said to be sending a deputy in his stead to an Asian economic summit next week as well. Pick your speculation: health problem, deepening domestic economic woes, diplomatic snub?
Regardless of why he’s ditching the invite, the decision deals a blow to Indian PM Narendra Modi, who is keen to use his country’s rotating leadership of the G20 to bolster his global profile.
It also comes as the G20 is riven by disputes over two big issues. First, the war in Ukraine — with Europe and the US on one side, China and Russia on the other, and most other nations wary of picking sides.
The second is climate change, where developing and emerging nations still see rich-world demands to cap their emissions as an unfair brake on their economic development.

8 August
Don’t count on the G20 to solve the world’s problems. But don’t count it out completely.
By Mark Linscott
(Atlantic Council) Amid the hoopla and meetings, the G20 deserves a critical examination of its relevance so that observers can set realistic expectations. Certainly, the G20 is an important forum for promoting global engagement across the range of issues that bedevil collective efforts to seek a better, more prosperous, happier planet. Like previous hosts, India has been serving up a wide-ranging buffet of global issues, including finance, trade, energy, climate change, health, and even tourism during its year-long G20 presidency. It is hard to argue against the value of gatherings among top officials of nations that account for more than 80 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, three-quarters of world trade, and more than two-thirds of the world’s population. …
The G20 has been effective in the past. During the 2008 global economic downturn, for example, G20 members gathered in Washington to pledge coordinated fiscal stimulus to prevent the financial crisis and global recession from worsening. In 2009, G20 leaders used summits in London and Pittsburgh to reinforce the actions initiated the year before. Since then, the G20 has also provided critical moments for bilateral meetings between leaders, which may be the most durable value these summits offer, now and in the future.
This year, the war in Ukraine has stymied progress on multiple fronts. At a meeting last month, the G20 finance ministers failed to conclude a joint statement as they tussled over how to frame the conflict and assign blame to Russia. Nonetheless, the massive G20 agenda continues to attract stakeholders’ attention in very diverse global policy areas. Discussions so far have covered post-pandemic mechanisms to ensure accessibility and equity in delivering vaccines to citizens in all nations. Supply chains, stretched thin in current crises, are also a hot topic, getting focus in several separate G20 working groups. Responses to climate change continue to climb up the G20’s agenda, as well. And a range of digital issues present ongoing challenges, even as India promotes its vision of digital public infrastructure.
This month’s G20 in India can focus on hosting important discussions, establishing person-to-person contacts, and hammering out statements that move the needle in very limited ways on health, trade, digital governance, and even climate change. As such, this and future G20 meetings can play an important supporting role to other international groupings, such as the WTO, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will also seek to make an impact in these areas. At the same time, India and future G20 presidents can continue to showcase their tourist hotspots and cultural heritage as the centerpieces of their year in the spotlight. After all, to paraphrase Shakespeare, all the world is a stage, and this is India’s moment to play its role.

21 July
Whither the Gs? Summitry in a Time of Disruption
(Policy) Having been at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, hosting the G20 summit in September, with his participation at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit in South Africa in between, Modi will have an opportunity to play the role of conciliator/mediator whether or not Putin attends either event. At the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Samarkand last year, Modi told Putin publicly that “today’s era must not be one of war”. Perhaps he can press him some more.

22 May
China and Saudi Arabia boycott G20 meeting held by India in Kashmir
Indian presidency of group becomes mired in controversy as tourism session hosted in disputed territory
(The Guardian) India’s presidency of the G20 group of leading nations has become mired in controversy after China and Saudi Arabia boycotted a meeting staged in Kashmir, the first such gathering since India unilaterally brought Kashmir under direct control in August 2019.
The meeting, a tourism working group attended by about 60 delegates from most G20 countries taking place from Monday to Wednesday, required a large show of security at Srinagar international airport.
China has said it will not attend, citing its firm opposition “to holding any kind of G20 meetings in disputed territory”. In April, Pakistan, which also lays claim to Kashmir but is not a G20 member, described the meeting as irresponsible. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Indonesia were also expected to stay away.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti claimed India had turned the region into the equivalent of the Guantánamo Bay prison simply to hold a meeting on tourism. She also accused the Bharatiya Janata party, the party of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, of hijacking the G20 for its promotional purposes.
Last week Fernand de Varennes, the UN’s special rapporteur on minority issues, issued a statement saying the G20 was “unwittingly providing a veneer of support to a facade of normalcy” when human rights violations, political persecution and illegal arrests were escalating in Kashmir.

2 March
At G20 meeting, India’s Modi says ‘global governance has failed’
Indian leader calls on bloc to find common ground on global issues as he inaugurates the meeting set to be dominated by Ukraine war.
Speaking at the opening of the Group of 20 (G20) foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi on Thursday, Modi said that countries should acknowledge that multilateralism is currently “in crisis”.
India holds the G20 presidency this year. But New Delhi’s longstanding security ties with Moscow have put the host of Thursday’s meeting in an awkward position.
India, being a major buyer of Russian armaments and energy, has not directly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said Russia’s war in Ukraine is expected to be an important point of discussion at the meeting.
New Delhi is also keen to steer the talks towards issues affecting the Global South, such as poverty eradication and climate change.

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