G-20 has ‘capacity to build consensus, deliver concrete results,’ says Indian premier

NEW DELHI (AA) : The G20 foreign ministers’ meeting began on Thursday in the national capital New Delhi, with the Indian prime minister stating that the group has the “capacity to build consensus and deliver concrete results.”

Addressing the inaugural session of the G-20 foreign ministers’ meeting via video link on Thursday morning, Premier Narendra Modi said that the “world looks upon the G-20 to ease the challenges of growth, development … in all these areas, the G-20 has the capacity to build consensus and deliver concrete results.”

“We should not allow issues that we cannot resolve together to come in the way of those we can.”

Modi said he prayed that the participants will draw “inspiration from India’s civilizational ethos … to focus not on what divides us, but on what unites us all.”

The meeting began in the morning with a minute of silence in memory of those who lost lives in the Feb. 6 devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.

The event is being held days after a meeting of the bloc’s finance heads in Bengaluru, the capital of southern Karnataka state, which ended last week with disagreements over the Ukraine war.

On Wednesday, officials from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said the Russia-Ukraine war will be a major topic of discussion during Thursday’s meeting.

Noting that “multilateralism is in crisis today,” the Indian leader said the architecture of global governance created after the second world war was to serve two functions – to prevent future wars by balancing competing interests and to foster international cooperation on issues of common interests. Modi said the experience of the last few years amid the financial crisis, climate change, pandemic, terrorism, and wars “clearly shows that global governance has failed in both its mandates.”

“We must also admit that the tragic consequences of this failure are being faced by the developing countries,” he said, adding: “After years of progress, we are at risk today of moving back on the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Stating that the foreign ministers are meeting at a time of deep global divisions, the premier said: “We all have our positions and our perspectives on how these tensions should be resolved. However, as the leading economies of the world, we also have a responsibility towards those who are not in this room.”

The foreign ministers’ meeting began on Wednesday evening with a gala dinner in the Indian capital New Delhi.

The meeting is the second since India assumed the G-20 presidency on Dec. 1 last year.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs officials say over 40 delegations, including G-20 countries, guest countries, and international organizations, are attending the meeting, which is “one of the largest gatherings of foreign ministers hosted by any G-20 presidency.”

The meeting includes foreign ministers from Türkiye, Russia, China, and the US, among others.

The G-20 is a strategic multilateral platform that connects the world’s major developed and emerging economies, which account for more than 80% of global GDP, 75% of international trade, and 60% of the world population.

In December last year, India commenced its year-long presidency of the G-20, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledging that the South Asian nation would present “experiences, learning, and models as possible templates for others, particularly the developing world.”