PM Modi heads to Bali for the G-20 summit in the shadow of the Ukraine crisis

DAY a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads for the G-20 summit in Bali, where India will be given the group’s presidency for the year ahead, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra underscored Sunday the key challenges that face world leaders, including the “ongoing conflict” in Ukraine and “the knock-on effects, including food security challenges, energy crises, and inflation”.

In his remarks to the press, Kwatra emphasized that the G-20 leaders “will discuss these challenges as well as emphasize the importance of closer multilateral cooperation in order to address them.”

According to him, the “evolving priorities” of the India G-20 presidency include “green development”, “lifestyle for the environment”, “digital transformation”, “inclusive and resilient growth”, “women-led development”, and, most importantly, “a greater voice for the global south” in economic cooperation and reforming 21st-century institutions.

On his three-day visit to the Indonesian city for the summit, Kwatra said the Prime Minister will participate in three key sessions: food and energy security, digital transformation, and health.

As a result of the current global economic and political climate, G-20 discussions have gained greater relevance. Aside from the environmental challenges, the lack of progress in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the pandemic, the world is currently facing many significant challenges.

According to him, these factors include uneven economic recovery post-pandemic, vulnerability to debt, especially in countries of the global south…and the ongoing conflict in Europe, as well as its knock-on effects, including food security challenges, energy shortages, and inflation in all nations.

As the new presidency, India has always been actively engaged with all G-20 countries and participants throughout this year, including during the Indonesian presidency. “We have consistently supported Indonesia, as the G-20 presidency has demonstrated strong leadership in ensuring that issues of substantive interest to the world are discussed at the G-20 platform,” he stated.

Asserting that the Prime Minister will take over the G-20 presidency from Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Kwatra announced that India will host the next summit in New Delhi on September 9 and 10, 2023. Indonesia is the current chair of the G-20, and India will formally assume the role from December 1 this year.

The Indian presidency of the G-20 is expected to provide new insight, focus, and direction to G-20 discussions on a variety of topics, he stated before enumerating the priorities.

US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to attend the Bali summit. Russian President Vladimir Putin is not attending the summit but has sent his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in his place.

According to Kwatra, Modi will hold bilateral meetings with some of the G-20 leaders, but he did not specify whether these meetings will also include China’s Xi. A visit to a mangrove forest in Bali is scheduled as part of the summit programme on November 16. The Indian community in Bali will also be addressed by Modi, and he will interact with them.

Indonesia, Italy, and India form the G-20 Troika (current, past, and incoming presidencies).

There is an intergovernmental forum known as the G-20, or Group of 20, comprised of major economic powers in developed and developing countries. There are members of this group from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the United States, and nations within the European Union (EU).

Approximately 85 percent of global GDP, more than 75 percent of global trade, and approximately two-thirds of the world’s population are represented by the G-20, a premier forum for international economic cooperation.

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