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The G20 Summit has come to a close this weekend, with the world’s most powerful countries meeting amid simmering worldwide tensions.
Notably absent from the meeting were Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
Importantly, the summit ended with the traditional “family photo”, though reports of disagreements on core issues affected the decisions at the conference. Most of the leaders left Delhi after honoring Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial by the Yamuna River.
What is the G20?:
The G20 Summit refers to an annual international meeting of leaders from the world’s largest economies, representing both developed and developing nations. The acronym “G20” stands for “Group of Twenty,” and includes 19 individual countries and the European Union. The primary objective of the G20 Summit is to facilitate discussions and cooperation on global economic issues and financial stability.
Leaders from these countries come together to discuss a wide range of topics, including trade, financial regulation, climate change, and international development. The G20 Summit serves as a platform for addressing pressing global challenges and fostering international cooperation. It provides an opportunity for leaders to exchange ideas, negotiate agreements, and coordinate policies that can have a significant impact on the global economy.
The G20 Summit also promotes dialogue and collaboration on various geopolitical issues, such as security, terrorism, and regional conflicts. Since its inception in 1999, the G20 has played a vital role in shaping global economic governance and responding to crises. While the specific agenda may vary from year to year, the overarching goal remains the same: to promote stability and sustainable growth in the global economy through multilateral cooperation among the world’s major economies.
The Topic of Ukraine:
Most contentious among the group’s discussions was the topic of Ukraine. The leaders’ official statement shows concern for the “human suffering” caused by the Ukraine conflict. However, it refrains from directly attributing the war to Russia and provides only a general mention of the significance of upholding the “territorial integrity” of nations.
“We call on all states to uphold the principles of international law, including territorial integrity and sovereignty, international humanitarian law, and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability.”
“We … welcome all relevant and constructive initiatives that support a comprehensive, just, and durable peace in Ukraine.
“The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible,” the statement said.
The host of the event, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announced that the Leaders’ Declaration had been adopted on the first day of the weekend summit.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the summit’s declaration “does a very good job of standing up for the principle that states cannot use force to seek territorial acquisition or to violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of other states”.
Germany and the United Kingdom have openly praised the resolution. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated that “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is something that could shake the foundation of cooperation at G20.” Ukraine has said “it was nothing to be proud of”.
Most notably, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that the G20 is not the place to expect diplomatic progress on the war in Ukraine, given the summit’s economic focus.
The G20 Summit also focused on issues such as the implementation of the Black Sea Deal, which provides for the secure transportation of grain, food, and fertilizers between Ukraine and Russia.
Russia stated its willingness to rejoin the Black Sea Deal for Ukraine to export grain, provided that its conditions are satisfied. In July, Russia withdrew from the accord, citing alleged non-compliance with its requirements for the implementation of a parallel agreement that eases regulations for Russia’s food and fertilizer exports. Turkish President Erdogan, presiding over the agreement, promised that Russia and Ukraine would renegotiate.
The meeting also granted permanent membership to the African Union, consisting of 55 member nations, within the G20.