South Asia and Beyond

Despite Ukraine, G20 Document In The Works?

 Despite Ukraine, G20 Document In The Works?

NEW DELHI: “I can assure you we have lived up to his vision. No document in the world will have such a strong voice for the developing countries and the Global South as the New Delhi Leaders Declaration which would be released at the end of the summit.”

That was India’s G20 sherpa Amitabh Kant hinting hours before the summit of G20 leaders that a consensus may have been struck on the prickly issue of Ukraine, thereby ensuring an outcomes document reflecting Prime Minister Modi’s vision of an inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented Indian presidency.

Of course, Kant was also cautious, urging patience during a media briefing at Bharat Mandapam, saying that the joint document was being discussed by the leaders and it would not be right for them to talk about it before they approved and released it. However, he indicated some form of consensus arrived at with every nation, which “you will see later”.

Ajay Seth, Economic Affairs Secretary, said his department had focused on how to strengthen multilateral development banks to meet the challenges of the 21st century and support strong, balanced and sustainable growth, manage debt and use new technology to improve productivity.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said there would be a few sideline meetings between Indian leaders and visiting heads of states and organisations over Saturday and Sunday. President Droupadi Murmu would host a dinner for the heads of state and delegations and there would be the customary visit to Raj Ghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi.

G20 Coordinator Harsh Vardhan Shringla focused on what he described as “the effort to take the G20 down to the grassroots level. We’ve also used this opportunity to highlight and showcase India’s rich cultural heritage, diversity and tourism potential, and in that context we’ve held over 300 events with the participation of over 18000 cultural artistes and exponents,” he said, adding: “At least 15 million Indians have been directly involved in some G20 event or the other across the country.”

He listed various interactive artificial-intelligence based displays put up across the venue, ranging from a democracy wall to music and arts to financial apps which were not yet available to the general public, and all these would also be open to the general public after the summit.

Foreign Secretary Kwatra summed up the mood. “The coming together of the 41 heads of state, government, delegations, and international organisations in India is a celebration of G20 family, and it is the largest ever participation of the Global South in India.”

Appropriately, the two main sessions on Saturday would be themed “One Earth” in the morning and “One Family” in the afternoon, and “One Future” on the 10th morning.


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