G20 Leaders Praise Consensus on Ukraine Crisis, Prompting Criticism

The G20 summit held in Delhi resulted in a joint declaration by the world leaders that avoided condemning Russia for its war against Ukraine. This unexpected consensus on the Ukraine section of the statement was hailed as a “milestone” by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The declaration focused on the negative impacts of the war on global food and energy security while calling on states to refrain from using force for territorial acquisition. While the UK and US praised the joint statement, Ukraine, who was not invited to this year’s summit, criticized it as “nothing to be proud of”. The lack of mention of Russian aggression in the declaration has sparked controversy and raised concerns about the shifting power dynamics within the G20.

The G20 summit in Delhi began with low expectations of a joint declaration due to the deep divisions regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. However, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised the attendees by announcing consensus on the Ukraine section of the statement. The watering down of the direct criticism of Russia in this year’s declaration reflects a shift in power dynamics within the G20, with emerging giants from Asia gaining influence. Russia’s praise for the declaration indicates the growing assertiveness of the so-called Global South countries and their unwillingness to be lectured by advanced market economies. This shift in dynamics could have long-term implications for the decision-making processes and priorities of the G20.

The limited progress on addressing climate change was another significant aspect of the summit. The G20 members reached a consensus on pursuing efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally through existing targets and policies. This ambitious goal aims to mitigate the environmental impact of the member countries, which account for over 75% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, India launched a global biofuel alliance with the US and Brazil to promote the use of cleaner fuels and accelerate the achievement of net-zero emissions targets. These initiatives demonstrate a commitment to combat climate change and transition towards sustainable energy sources.

Furthermore, the summit witnessed a multinational rail and ports deal linking the Middle East and South Asia, seen as a counter to China’s Belt and Road initiative. This deal highlights the increasing competition for global infrastructure projects and the geopolitical tensions between major powers. The G20 members’ efforts to expand connectivity and trade routes in the region serve as an alternative to China’s dominance in infrastructure development. This reflects the broader geopolitical rivalries shaping the international order and the quest for influence in key strategic regions.

While the summit concluded with praise from Indian leaders regarding the success of their G20 presidency, controversies and controversies were not entirely absent. The use of the term “Bharat” on Prime Minister Modi’s placard ignited speculation about a possible change in the country’s name. However, Indian officials dismissed this as mere speculation. The extravagant display of Indian culture and hospitality during the summit aimed to showcase India’s global leadership and capabilities. The event’s controversies and successes serve as a reminder of the challenges and opportunities that emerge when major powers gather to address global issues.

In conclusion, the G20 summit in Delhi achieved a notable consensus on the Ukraine crisis, which garnered praise from Russia but led to criticism from Ukraine. The shifting power dynamics within the G20, with emerging giants gaining influence, raise questions about the future decision-making processes and priorities of the group. The summit also highlighted the commitment to addressing climate change through ambitious renewable energy and biofuel initiatives. Additionally, the multinational rail and ports deal reflected the geopolitical rivalries and competition for infrastructure projects. The controversies surrounding the event underscore the complexity and significance of global gatherings for shaping global governance and international relations.