The leaders of the G20 have agreed on a joint statement, Indian Prime Minister Modi said. That is a boost for host Modi, because for a while it seemed that the countries would not agree on this for the first time in the history of the partnership. Until last night, there was major disagreement about how the war in Ukraine should be included in the declaration.
Modi addressed those present and said to loud applause that all member states had given their approval. He calls the declaration the “most ambitious in the history of the G20”.
European countries, many of whom are loyal allies of Ukraine, wanted the G20 to jointly speak out in tough terms about the Russian invasion. Russia and China wanted no mention of the war at all. A text has now been drawn up that all G20 leaders can more or less agree with.
‘Nothing to be proud of’
Without naming Russia in the statement, G20 leaders said they should adhere to the United Nations charter and refrain from using or threatening to use force to seize territory. The countries also call the threat of nuclear weapons or their use unacceptable.
According to the G20, everyone must comply with international humanitarian law. The G20 leaders also say that they jointly want to show the negative consequences of the war in Ukraine for the global economy. They call peaceful solutions critical and say they welcome constructive initiatives for a “just and lasting peace in Ukraine.”
Ukraine, which is not a member of the G20, reacts critically. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called the statement “nothing to be proud of.” “It is clear that Ukrainian participation in the G20 meeting could have helped participants better understand the situation,” the ministry said, thanking countries that wanted stronger language. Russia speaks of a “balanced” story.
The statement addresses many other topics. The countries also reflect on the “years of successive crisis”, the continued emissions of greenhouse gases, climate change, and the loss of biodiversity. In this context, they advocate, among other things, sustainable growth and a commitment to low greenhouse gas emissions.
The countries say the impacts of climate change are “being felt globally, particularly by the poorest and most vulnerable people”. Together they reiterate that it is important that global warming is kept “well below 2 degrees”, in line with the Paris climate agreement. They believe that efforts to stay below 1.5 degrees deserve the support of the G20.
It became clear earlier that the African Union would become a member of the international partnership. The Union of African Countries, which includes more than 50 countries with a combined population of around 1.3 billion, has been asking to join for seven years. The fact that it is happening now is seen as an important recognition for the continent. Africa’s average very young population is expected to double by 2050.
On the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi, the EU, US, India and Saudi Arabia made further agreements on multinational ports and rails. These should more closely connect the Middle East and South Asia. President Biden speaks of “endless opportunities” and believes that the agreements contribute to a more stable and richer Middle East.
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