G20 brings entire world arrives at India's doorway

NEW DELHI: Except for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping who decided to skip, heads of state from the rest of the 18 countries including United States President Joe Biden, United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in New Delhi for the eighteenth meeting of G20 (Group of Twenty) chaired by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

The summit was held between 9 and 10 September at the Bharat Mandapam International Exhibition-Convention Centre, Pragati Maidan and India effectively leveraged its G-20 Presidency to establish itself as a global powerhouse, advocating for the hopes and aspirations of many developing nations and PM Modi said that G20 summit saw very 'Productive discussions at Summit for a better planet' 

India, according to PM Modi went with the agenda to evolve toward a human-centric development approach that aligns with the concerns of the global south, including addressing climate change, debt restructuring through the G20's common framework for debt, and a strategy for regulation of global cryptocurrencies.

Among the notable participants who were given a rousing welcome at the Palam airport included Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, President of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol, Mohammed bin Salman the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of  Saudi Arabia, Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni, President of Argentina Alberto Fernandez, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Sultan of Oman Haitham Bin Tarik, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres among others. 

The most notable point of the summit was the expansion of the group from G20 to G21 with the admission of the African Union, which represents 55 countries, was admitted as a new member on Saturday. The proposal to include the African Union was first mooted by PM Modi in June this year when he wrote to all G20 leaders proposing that the African Union be given full membership at the upcoming Delhi Summit of G20 and two countries US and France had agreed to accept.

PM Modi mooted this proposal considering that every member agreed to the proposal and made the announcement in his inaugural address on Saturday, after which he invited the Chairperson of the African Union, Azali Assoumani, to join the other G20 leaders to the main conference table. 

One of the biggest highlights of the summit and a big win for India was the New Delhi Declaration which saw much skepticism and days of speculation however a consensus was reached at the G20 Summit and the New Delhi Declaration was adopted on Saturday. 

The Delhi Declaration acknowledges the defining moment in history and addresses political, economic, and environmental challenges. The Declaration begins by asserting that 'today's era must not be of war' and the G20 countries called on all states to uphold the principles of international law, including territorial integrity and sovereignty and pitched for initiatives for 'comprehensive, just, and durable peace in Ukraine'.

The G20 grouping also strongly deplored all acts of religious hatred against persons, religious symbols and holy books. They emphasised the freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly.

On the sidelines of the G-20 meeting, PM Modi also held bilateral meetings with leaders of different countries. On the day of his arrival, he held a bilateral meeting with the President of the United States Joe Biden at his official residence in Delhi along with bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina. 

The PM later posted on social media saying that the outcome of the meeting was very productive. He posted on X (former Twitter) about meeting the three leaders and wrote, "The meetings will give an opportunity to review India's bilateral ties with these nations and further strengthen developmental cooperation."

On the sidelines of the G20 Summit, the PM also met other important leaders like UK's PM Rishi Sunak and Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and posted on X about his discussion on improving trade ties, bilateral relationships and exploring investment opportunities during these interactions. 

India assumed the G20 presidency on December 1 last year following the 2022 G20 Bali summit held in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia on 15–16 November 2022 and about 200 meetings related to G20 were organized in 60 cities across the country. The nineteenth meeting of the G20 summit is scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro in 2024.


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