G20 Leaders Almost Ready to Agree on Their Final Statement

The G20’s New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, representing the perspectives of nations from the global south, is nearing completion and is set to be presented to garner unanimous support.

G20 Leaders Almost Ready to Agree on Their Final Statement

In New Delhi, Amitabh Kant, India’s sherpa for the G20, has announced that the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration is in its final stages of preparation and will soon be presented to the leaders of the G20 nations to seek unanimous approval.

During a press conference held in anticipation of the G20 Leaders’ Summit scheduled for 9-10 September, Amitabh Kant shared that he intends to disclose further details about the declaration, often referred to as a joint communique, once it gains the approval of the leaders. He emphasized that the declaration will prominently feature the perspectives and concerns of the global south and developing nations.

Amitabh Kant further remarked, “Our New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration is almost ready. I would prefer not to go into too much detail at this point, as this declaration is subject to the leaders’ recommendations and subsequent acceptance.” He went on to highlight that despite the G20 traditionally being an economic forum, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has received significant attention due to its implications for fertilizer and food security.

He added, “We will only be in a position to discuss the tangible accomplishments of this Declaration once it has received the leaders’ acceptance.”

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has created divisions among G20 nations, leading to an unusual situation during the Indian presidency where ministerial meetings were unable to produce communiques or joint statements from member countries.

As a result, the G20 leaders now face the formidable challenge of crafting a communique, a departure from the norm where previous G20 presidencies have consistently issued such statements. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed the United States’ willingness to collaborate with India in formulating this communique, according to Reuters. However, it’s expected to be a demanding task.

Meanwhile, Amitabh Kant also disclosed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, known for his strong support of the global south, has reached out to G20 leaders with a proposal to include the African Union as a member of the G20 grouping.

He also noted that there have been encouraging responses from G20 leaders regarding this proposal, indicating a favorable reception to the idea. It is anticipated that the leaders will make a decision on this matter in the near future.

The press conference featured key figures from India’s G20 team, including Amitabh Kant, who serves as India’s G20 sherpa, along with Ajay Seth, the economic affairs secretary, Vinay Kwatra, the foreign secretary, and Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the chief G20 Coordinator. Vinay Kwatra emphasized that the concerns and perspectives of the global south hold a central place in the discussions during the Indian presidency of the G20.

Kant also mentioned that India assumed the G20 presidency in Bali last year, stepping into this leadership role during a period marked by significant challenges such as international conflicts, sluggish economic growth, and food security concerns. These issues have been extensively deliberated upon by the G20 member nations.

The Indian presidency has identified several key priorities, which encompass promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth, advancing sustainable development, addressing climate finance, fostering digital public infrastructure and goods, facilitating a fair energy transition, focusing on health, education, and employment, and promoting international peace and harmony.

Amitabh Kant emphasized the pressing issue of sustainable development goals (SDGs), highlighting that only 12 out of the 169 SDGs are currently on track, and there is a substantial lag behind the planned schedule. With the 2030 Action Point approaching, there is a critical need to accelerate progress towards these SDGs. He further stressed that India’s presidency places significant importance on accelerating progress in achieving the SDGs, enhancing learning outcomes, improving health indicators, and addressing nutrition concerns.

Amitabh Kant also underscored a notable achievement during India’s presidency, highlighting the significant strides made in the realm of digital public infrastructure. He remarked, “When India assumed the G20 Presidency, digital public infrastructure wasn’t widely known. One of our most notable accomplishments or key takeaways is the global recognition of India’s groundbreaking transformation in the field of digital payments.”

Vinay Kwatra expressed his hope that the G20 leaders would come to a consensus, ultimately resulting in the issuance of a communique or a joint statement.

Vinay Kwatra emphasized that their primary objective is to build a consensus on the G20’s priorities and unite the leaders under a shared vision.

On Friday, Prime Minister Modi expressed his anticipation of engaging in fruitful discussions with world leaders over the upcoming two days on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

He further stated, “I firmly believe that the New Delhi G20 Summit will pave the way for a fresh approach focused on human-centric and inclusive development.”

In a separate development, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen held discussions on Friday concerning essential G20 priorities and bilateral cooperation.

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