G20 Summit Turns Attention To Global South Amid Muted Response To Ukraine Conflict

Zinger Key Points
  • The G20 summit avoided direct mention of Russia's invasion in Ukraine.
  • Modi emphasized "concrete solutions" to global challenges at the summit.

The Group of 20 (G20) summit, hosted this year in New Delhi, India welcomed the African Union (AU) as a new member but was less direct on Russia's war in Ukraine.  

What Happened: The summit's final statement exhibited a restrained response to Russia's actions in Ukraine, steering clear of directly mentioning the invasion and instead encouraging nations to uphold the principles of the U.N. Charter, which opposes the forceful acquisition of territory and the employment or threat of nuclear weapons.

Compared to the stern tone adopted in the previous summit in Bali, this year's statement, released a day before the summit concluded, demonstrated a consensus among member nations despite divergent views on the Ukraine crisis, the Associated Press reported

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took the opportunity to stress the necessity for "concrete solutions" to global issues including economic inequalities, terrorism, and cybersecurity threats. He also conveyed India's readiness to assist Morocco, which was recently hit by a severe earthquake.

In a bid to accentuate the voice of the Global South amid the AU's addition to the G20, Modi referred to India by its ancient Sanskrit name, "Bharat", during his address. The AU is the second regional bloc to become a permanent member of the G20 following the European Union, according to the Associated Press. 

While the summit endeavored to center discussions around the concerns of the developing nations, the Ukraine conflict and its impact on food and energy security globally could not be sidelined. 

Also Read: G20 Summit: Why Are India’s Best Hotel Chains Working On Special ‘Millet’ Delicacies For World Leaders?

The agreement on the wording regarding the conflict was reached after prolonged resistance from Russia and China, albeit with a softer stance compared to the previous summit where Russia's aggression was outrightly denounced.

As the summit unfolded, a significant portion of the G20 leaders, including the leaders of Russia and China, chose not to attend, averting possible confrontations with Western leaders.

Despite the summit's focus on issues critical to developing nations, international disagreements cast a shadow, with Human Rights Watch urging the leaders to remain focused on urgent matters such as combating gender discrimination and racism.

Before the summit began, U.S. President Joe Biden and Modi held a meeting. The leaders explored the possibility of a groundbreaking infrastructure agreement aimed at improving ship and rail connectivity between India and the Middle East, extending even to Turkey.

The proposal, seen as potentially "earth-shattering," received India's backing, marking a departure from its previous hesitancy towards large-scale multilateral initiatives.

Despite the progress made during the summit, it drew criticism for excluding Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy from the list of speakers, a move that U.S. administration officials downplayed.

Now Read: G20 Summit: President Biden, UK PM Rishi Sunak To Dine On Silver, Gold Plates

This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo: Shutterstock

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