India’s Impact at G20: Key Takeaways from the Leaders Summit

India achieved a ‘Leaders Declaration’ with full consensus on day one of the G20 Leaders Summit and ensured the entry of the African Union into the group of nations, leaving an ever-lasting mark on the platform.

The 37-page-long declaration has mentioned the ‘War in Ukraine’ and also recorded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s famous words on the conflict — “Today’s era must not be of war”. The declaration also gave a big push to climate finance, asking developed countries to double their promised funding of $100 billion a year by 2025, expecting the earlier goal to be met for the first time in 2023. A Green Development Pact has been drawn up along with setting up a Global Biofuels Alliance.

The India-Middle East-Europe connectivity corridor will be launched soon after the announcement at G20 — a historic initiative on cooperation on connectivity and infrastructure involving India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the EU, France, Italy, Germany, and the USA. The summit also marked India’s presidency being the biggest in terms of delivery-oriented events with 112 outcomes and presidency documents, more than double the substantive work from previous presidencies. Here are these five big takeaways decoded:

1. ‘Leaders Declaration’ by Consensus

The biggest takeaway is this being a ‘Leaders Declaration’ which has been achieved by complete consensus and without any footnotes. India has achieved a Leaders Declaration by mentioning ‘War in Ukraine’ rather than saying ‘War Against Ukraine’. This was a significant shift in language from the Bali declaration last year and shows a climbdown by the G7 and EU over the language from Bali. It mentioned PM Modi’s famous line, “Today’s era must not be of war”, indicating how India’s stance was appreciated. It was speculated that Russia and China would play spoilers over the mention of the Russia-Ukraine war and their premiers Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping had also skipped the summit.

“We note with deep concern the immense human suffering and the adverse impact of wars and conflicts around the world. Concerning the war in Ukraine, while recalling the discussion in Bali, we reiterated our national positions and resolutions adopted at the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly and underscored that all states must act in a manner consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter in its entirety. In line with the UN Charter, all states must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state. The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible,”

The declaration has said. It said that while the G20 is not the platform to resolve geopolitical and security issues, the summit acknowledged that these issues can have significant consequences for the global economy.

“The declaration also highlighted the human suffering and negative added impacts of the war in Ukraine with regard to global food and energy security, supply chains, macro-financial stability, inflation, and growth, which has complicated the policy environment for countries, especially developing and least developed countries which are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic disruption which has derailed progress towards the SDGs. There were different views and assessments of the situation,”

The document has said. The forum asked for a cessation of military destruction or other attacks on relevant infrastructure and expressed concern over the impact on the security of civilians. It called upon all states to uphold the principles of international law including territorial integrity and sovereignty and advocated peaceful resolution of conflicts, and efforts to address crises by diplomacy and dialogue. The declaration welcomed all relevant and constructive initiatives that support a “comprehensive, just, and durable peace in Ukraine that will uphold all the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter for the promotion of peaceful, friendly, and good neighbourly relations among the nations”.

2. African Union Entry Ensured by Modi

The entry of the African Union is another landmark event as India pushed for this. It was also mentioned by the government that PM Modi had assured the African Union last year that they would be included in the G20. This, government officials, said will be an ever-lasting legacy of India’s presidency and is a strong statement on the country’s advocacy for the ‘Global South’.

“The African Union comprises 55 nations, and its inclusion in the G20 is a significant milestone, making it the second-largest group of nations within the G20, following the European Union,” officials said. For long, it was asked if the EU could be part of the G20, why not the AU, an official said. With full G20 membership, the AU can represent a continent that’s home to the world’s largest free trade area. It’s also enormously rich in the resources the world needs to combat climate change, which Africa contributes to the least but is affected by the most, officials added. The African continent has 60% of the world’s renewable energy assets and more than 30% of the minerals key to renewable and low-carbon technologies.

“The Africa Union will significantly contribute to addressing the global challenges of our time. Africa plays an important role in the global economy,” the declaration said.

3. Climate Finance Push

The Green Development Pact is another major takeaway with climate finance issues coming to the forefront and the declaration asking developed countries to double their promised funding of $100 billion a year by 2025, expecting the earlier goal to be met for the first time in 2023. A ‘global biofuels alliance’ has also been announced at G20 in a tangible outcome. It is an India-led initiative to develop an alliance of governments, international organisations, and industry to facilitate the adoption of biofuels.

The declaration noted the need for USD 5.8-5.9 trillion in the pre-2030 period required for developing countries, in particular, for their needs to implement their NDCs, as well as the need for USD 4 trillion per year for clean energy technologies by 2030 to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

“We recall and reaffirm the commitment made in 2010 by the developed countries to the goal of mobilising jointly USD 100 billion climate finance per year by 2020, and annually through 2025, to address the needs of the developing countries, in the context of meaningful mitigation action and transparency in implementation. Developed country contributors expect this goal to be met for the first time in 2023. We urge the developed countries to fulfil their commitment to at least double their collective provision of adaptation finance from 2019 levels by 2025, in the context of achieving scaled up financial resources,”

The declaration has said.

4. India-ME-Europe Corridor: Game-Changer

The India-Middle East-Europe connectivity corridor would be launched soon after being announced at G20. This will be a historic and first

-of-its-kind initiative on cooperation on connectivity and infrastructure involving India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the EU, France, Italy, Germany, and the USA. This is a large-scale project coming two years after the launch of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment by the US President, Joe Biden.

5. Biggest Presidency

India’s presidency of G20 will go down in history as one of the most inclusive, culturally vibrant as well as goal-oriented events that have taken place so far. The event helped showcase India’s push for development, ensuring ease of living through the use of technology and bringing peace to all parts of India.

The G20 event has held 220+ meetings in 60 cities with 25,000+ delegates from more than 115 countries across the world. The event has stayed true to its message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ as it had the largest participation from the African Union. Compared to previous presidencies, the G20 summit witnessed one of the most inclusive and delivery-oriented events. India was able to bring out 91 lines of effort and presidency documents which is more than the previous G20 presidencies till 2017. With 112 outcomes and presidency documents, India has more than doubled the substantive work from previous presidencies. The Indian presidency has been the most ambitious and action-oriented in all of the G20 presidencies, government officials say.

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