At a time when geopolitical tensions over the wars in Russia and Ukraine are causing deep divisions across the globe, the G20 summit in Delhi is historic in bringing together the world’s most powerful countries to address more than just the conflict. , and formed a new language and paradigm to solve conflict problems. Concerns of the Global South were raised. The New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration adopted at the summit charted a new direction for reforming the world economic order and giving priority to the concerns of poor and developing countries.
Whether it’s reform of institutions like the World Bank, debt solutions for Zambia, Ghana, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka, and more funding to help vulnerable countries cope with the costs of climate change, the summit focuses on issues that go beyond national concerns. There is no doubt about the Western Bloc. To this end, India’s lasting legacy will be to get the 55-member African Union to join the G20. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a personal interest in taking this process forward. The atmosphere at Bharat Mandapam, the venue for the summit, where the Prime Minister announced the invitation in his opening speech and embraced Azali Assoumani, Chairman of the African Union and President of the Comoros, This reflects the democratization of the economic forum, which to date has only included South Africa as one of the AU member states.
Two other important and tangible takeaways from the summit were the launch of the India-Middle East-Europe Connectivity Corridor and the long-awaited Global Biofuels Alliance (GBA). The former is considered the largest effort yet to promote trade between India, the Middle East and Europe through rail and shipping networks. It opens up an alternative route to the Suez Canal that could bring significant strategic and economic benefits to partner countries. Crucially, it is seen as a counterweight to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The GBA consists of more than 30 national and international institutions that support the development and deployment of sustainable biofuels globally by delivering capacity-building activities across the value chain. It will assist industries, countries, ecosystem players and key stakeholders in mapping demand and supply, connecting technology providers with end-users.
Indian negotiators ensured that the Delhi Declaration averted any conflict between the superpowers. As summarized by Indian Sherpa Amitabh Kant, the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration consists of 83 paragraphs without any dissent, footnotes, or presidential summary, symbolizing an unparalleled global consensus. Particularly with regard to the conflict in Ukraine, negotiators got Russia and China to agree to refer to the war in general, while persuading Western countries not to mention Russia directly. Credit must be given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his negotiating team for not letting geopolitical differences undermine the constructive agenda.