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Key highlights from 2023 G20 Summit in New Delhi

Key highlights of G20 summit in New Delhi

The leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies concluded their summit in the Indian capital, demonstrating remarkable unity despite deep-seated divisions over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. This landmark gathering produced a consensus document and charted a course for addressing critical issues, including the overhaul of institutions like the World Bank. Additionally, the G20 took a historic step by formally admitting the African Union (AU) into its fold, aiming to enhance the group’s representativeness on the global stage. The following are the key takeaways of the landmark summit.

Walking the middle path on Russia-Ukraine Conflict

While addressing the crisis in Ukraine, the G20 nations adopted a more conciliatory tone compared to the previous year. The declaration underscored the principle that states should not acquire territory through force and expressed deep concern for the suffering of the Ukrainian people. Notably, it refrained from direct criticism of Russia for its role in the conflict. Diplomats reasoned that a direct condemnation of Russia would have been unfeasible and that the outcome was still successful as all members, including Russia, committed to refraining from territorial expansion by force.

India, along with Brazil, Indonesia, and South Africa, played a pivotal role in preventing the G20 from fracturing over the Ukraine crisis. This underscores the growing influence of Global South developing nations within the group, ensuring that their perspectives and interests are considered in international diplomacy.

Inducting African nations into G20

The significant development of the summit was the admission of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20, putting it on par with the European Union. Prior to this, only South Africa was a G20 member from the African continent. This move aimed to give greater voice and representation to the Global South within the G20, where the G7 countries have traditionally wielded substantial influence. It also aligns with the broader trend of expanding global governance to include a more diverse array of voices and perspectives.

US, Saudi, India collaborate on transport

In another key development, leaders from the United States, India, and Saudi Arabia, among others, announced plans to establish rail and port links connecting the Middle East, South Asia, and eventually Europe. President Joe Biden described this initiative as a “real big deal,” marking an effort to counter China’s Belt and Road infrastructure push by positioning the United States as an alternative partner for developing countries within the G20.

However, specific details regarding financing and timelines for this ambitious transport corridor project were not disclosed. The project entails laying railway lines across the Middle East and linking them to India through port infrastructure, representing a significant step toward enhancing connectivity between regions.

Consensus on Climate change policy

Regarding climate change, the G20 leaders reached an agreement to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030 and acknowledged the necessity of phasing out unabated coal power. While these commitments represent incremental progress, the summit did not set major climate goals or provide a comprehensive plan for revising existing policies and targets to achieve renewable energy objectives. The challenge of mobilizing $4 trillion annually for a green energy transition remained unresolved.

The deliberations of the G20 drew significant attention ahead of the COP28 U.N. climate summit scheduled for later in the year in the United Arab Emirates. The world is closely monitoring the G20’s actions and commitments in the context of global efforts to combat climate change.

India’s clout increases

For Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hosting the G20 summit represented a year-long opportunity to showcase India’s growing influence in diplomacy and economics. It also served as a platform to attract investment and stimulate trade in the world’s most populous country. Additionally, this summit allowed Modi to bolster his domestic standing as he sought a third term in office in upcoming elections. His leadership during the successful summit reinforced the perception that India had arrived on the global stage as a significant player. Modi’s image featured prominently on G20 billboards throughout the capital and within the impressive conference venue, symbolizing India’s prominent role in international diplomacy and economics.

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