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India's G20 Triumph: 5 Game-Changing Moments

India's successful presidency of the G20 Summit in New Delhi garnered praise worldwide for its effective leadership. India's growing global influence was evident as it played a pivotal role in fostering consensus among the G20 nations and advancing multilateral reforms. Girish Linganna analyses

Column India G20 Triumph: 5 Game-Changing Moments
First Published Sep 11, 2023, 7:14 PM IST

The highly-anticipated G20 summit in New Delhi has concluded, and diplomats worldwide are praising India's effective leadership during its presidency. India not only facilitated consensus among the divided G20 members but also established a foundation for enhanced future collaboration. Under India's guidance, the G20 underwent a transformation, marked by the inclusion of the African Union in the bloc, a development that paves the way for further reforms in global multilateral organizations.

India, a staunch proponent of global organization reform, demonstrated its commitment by leading by example at the Group of 20 forum. The summit has emerged as a significant indicator of India's growing influence on the world stage, with experts suggesting that India was uniquely positioned to achieve such a comprehensive consensus. With amicable relations with both Western nations and Russia, India has judiciously utilized its distinctive status for the benefit of the global community. Here are five crucial highlights from the G20 Summit in New Delhi.


1) G21 Expansion Empowers Africa's Global Representation

With India's leadership, the G20 expanded to become the G21, opening the door for the African Union to be a part of this prestigious group. Recognizing that Africa represents one-fifth of the world's population, India's message to world leaders is clear: Africa should not be underrepresented on the global stage. Vincent Magwenya, the spokesperson for the South African presidency, highlighted the significance of this move as a crucial step towards the reforms that the 55-nation bloc has been advocating for in global and multilateral institutions, including a reevaluation of the United Nations Security Council.

2) India-led Economic Corridor, Challenges, China's Belt and Road Initiative

A noteworthy development took place on the eve of the 10th anniversary of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India, in collaboration with the United States, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union, collectively entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to inaugurate the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEE-EC). This corridor is designed to promote economic integration and establish a link between Asia and Europe, presenting a strategic counterpoint to President Xi Jinping's BRI.

During a critical juncture in which Italy, a member of the G-7, led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, is contemplating a departure from the China-sponsored Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), this development takes on heightened strategic importance. US President Joe Biden, in collaboration with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the request of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressed robust support for this novel undertaking. The UAE President, a close associate of PM Modi and an ally of India, actively championed this initiative, envisioning the Arabian Peninsula as an economic link between India and Europe. With the endorsement of another ally, Emmanuel Macron, Germany, Italy, and the European Commission have joined forces in this groundbreaking endeavour.

3) India's Diplomatic Triumph at G20

In a notable diplomatic achievement, India secured unanimous agreement on the "New Delhi Leaders' Summit Declaration" encompassing both developmental and geopolitical issues at the outset of the G20 Summit, even in the face of divisions concerning the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Indian negotiators exhibited relentless efforts in bridging differences between the Western Bloc and the Chinese-Russian alliance. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bilateral meetings with leaders such as Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak, Olaf Scholz, and Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the G20 further played a significant role in building this consensus.

4) Divided G20 Unites on Climate Crisis

While the G20 was divided over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, climate change presented its own set of challenges. Nevertheless, a consensus was reached on tackling the climate crisis, marking a notable achievement for both India and the global community. Some contentious points in this regard involved commitments to decrease fossil fuel consumption, elevate renewable energy objectives, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which encountered resistance from China and Saudi Arabia.

In the discussions leading to the declaration, India and other developing nations underscored the significance of developed countries fulfilling their commitments, whereas developed nations advocated for a worldwide emphasis on climate-related goals. The New Delhi declaration urges the gradual elimination and streamlining of subsidies for fossil fuels and commits to reducing "unabated coal power" while enhancing the production of clean energy.

5) Global Biofuels Alliance Unveiled for Sustainable Future

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a significant announcement on a Saturday, unveiling the Global Biofuels Alliance. This alliance boasts the participation of nineteen countries and twelve international organizations, encompassing both G20 members and non-members. Notably, India, Brazil, and the United States serve as the founding members of this alliance.

The launch event witnessed the presence of influential leaders such as Joe Biden, Luiz Inacio da Silva, Alberto Angel Fern√°ndez, Giorgia Meloni, Sheikh Hasina, and others. In addition to India, Brazil, and the US, several G20 member nations, including Argentina, Canada, Italy, and South Africa, have extended their support to this initiative. Furthermore, Bangladesh, Singapore, Mauritius, and the UAE, despite not being G20 members, have received invitations to participate in this promising endeavour.

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