Leaders of the 20 largest economies in the world overcame significant differences about the conflict in Ukraine during a summit in the Indian capital that concluded on Sunday. The leaders generated a consensus agreement and advanced on matters pertaining to reforming organisations like the World Bank.
To increase the bloc’s diversity, they also officially integrated the African Union.
The G20 countries agreed that states cannot seize territory by force and emphasised the suffering of the Ukrainian people, but they refrained from criticising Russia directly for the conflict. The statement was interpreted as a perceived softening of the G20’s stance from last year, when it chastised Russia for the conflict and urged that it leave Ukraine.
Diplomats claimed that despite Russia’s refusal to accept a definitive denunciation, the conclusion was nevertheless favourable since all parties, including Russia, agreed to refrain from annexing land.
Officials said that the host country India, together with Brazil, Indonesia, and South Africa, was instrumental in preventing a G20 split over the war in Ukraine. This is a reflection of the rising influence of the developing countries of the Global South in the G20.
In order to increase the G20’s diversity, the 55-member African Union was formally admitted as a permanent member, on par with the European Union. The G20 only had South Africa as a member up to this point. The addition of the AU would give the Global South more clout within the G20, where the G7 group have always overshadowed others.
The decision also followed the BRICs’ expansion to include Saudi Arabia and Iran, among other countries, which was regarded as an effort by Beijing to make it a potential replacement for the G20. The BRICs is another organisation dominated by China and Russia.
A new corridor
United States President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia made the announcement of plans to build rail and port connections between the Middle East and South Asia and eventually to Europe, which the United States President called a “real big deal.”
The Biden administration is positioning Washington as a different partner and investor for developing nations at the G20 grouping in an effort to challenge China’s Belt and Road drive on global infrastructure.
The G20 leaders recognised the need to phase out unabated coal power and committed to double renewable energy capacity globally by 2030, but they could not come up with significant climate milestones.
In order to meet the goal of scaling up renewable energy, the group did not offer any strategy to modify current policies and objectives. The report also stated that a green energy transition would cost $4 trillion annually, but it did not provide a roadmap for getting there.
Prior to the COP28 UN climate meeting in the United Arab Emirates later this year, the G20 discussions were carefully monitored.
India shines at G20
The G20 presidency has provided Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a year-long chance to promote India as a significant economic and diplomatic force and to encourage commerce and investment into the most populous nation on Earth.
As he runs for a third term in office in the coming months, it has also given him a platform to improve his standing at home. Modi’s picture may be seen on G20 billboards across the city as well as at the sizable and luxurious new meeting facility. The summit’s smooth conclusion proved India’s great moment had arrived, according to his supporters.