In the annals of diplomacy, India's recent hosting of the G20 summit in New Delhi will stand as a superlative example of diplomatic finesse and strategic success. The deft, depth, and determination displayed by Indian diplomats were nothing short of extraordinary, culminating in the adoption of the New Delhi Declaration, a remarkable consensus document that addresses pressing global challenges.
The standout feature of the New Delhi Declaration was its diplomatic balancing act. In a geopolitical climate fraught with tension, India skillfully navigated the tricky waters to ensure that the declaration did not explicitly condemn Russia for its actions in Ukraine. Instead, it called on all states to refrain from the use of force to seize territory—a statement that, while nuanced, helped sidestep potential disagreements among G20 nations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement of the consensus on the declaration marked a major achievement. Many countries had expressed objections to key wordings from the outset, particularly concerning the Ukraine conflict. However, India succeeded in conveying the essence of the G20's purpose—to foster a better future for humanity through global economic growth—while recognizing the geopolitical ramifications of events like the Ukraine war.
Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar succinctly encapsulated the G20's stance: “Noting that G20 isn't the platform to resolve geopolitical and security issues, leaders recognized it has consequences on the global economy. In particular, they focused on Ukraine war.”
The omission of direct references to Russia in the context of Ukraine marked a significant change from a previous G20 summit in Bali. The declaration did, however, include important remarks on territorial aggression, emphasizing the importance of avoiding actions that threaten global stability.
This diplomatic approach, avoiding the blame game and instead focusing on broader consequences, paved the way for a consensus document that retained all 83 paragraphs without any dissent. Amitabh Kant, India's G20 Sherpa, highlighted the significance of this achievement: “G20 Declaration without any footnote or chair's summary demonstrates India's ability to bring everybody to the same table.”
One of the critical points of the declaration was its unequivocal stance on the use or threat of nuclear weapons, declaring it inadmissible—a statement that underscores the G20's commitment to global peace and security.
India's diplomatic prowess was also evident in its collaborative efforts with nations like Brazil, South Africa, and Indonesia to reach a consensus on the language regarding Ukraine. The focus on highlighting the human suffering and negative impacts of the Ukraine conflict on global food and energy security was a diplomatic masterstroke.
Furthermore, the declaration recognized the far-reaching impact of the Ukraine conflict on supply chains, macro-financial stability, inflation, and economic growth—a testament to India's diplomatic acumen in addressing multifaceted challenges.
Perhaps the most remarkable achievement was the declaration's commitment to a green development pact, with a clear focus on environmental sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant emphasized this accomplishment: “We have achieved a green development pact which has financing, focuses on global greenhouse gas emissions, doubling provision of adapting finance, and a global biofuel alliance.”
In conclusion, India's hosting of the G20 summit and the successful adoption of the New Delhi Declaration showcased not only its diplomatic finesse but also its commitment to global cooperation and consensus-building. As the world faces complex challenges, this diplomatic triumph provides a ray of hope for the future of international cooperation and diplomacy. As Japan's Press Secretary Hikariko Ono rightly commended, “We would like to commend the efforts of the Government of India to successfully formulate this leaders declaration by consensus.” India's leadership has indeed left an indelible mark on the global stage.
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