G20 Presidency India: In a world full of divisive powers trumpeting their own chorus, India is voicing the concerns of developing countries and members of the Global South. However, just like Arjun in the Mahabharata, India must accomplish its objectives without being deterred by which of its partners stand in the way.
There is one line in geopolitics that beautifully captures the soul of this dynamic trait. “There is no permanent friend or permanent enemy when it comes to geopolitics.” Keeping this pragmatic and only truth of diplomacy in mind, India is navigating through the incorrigible differences of two warring factions and pursuing its national interests.
At a time when smaller, voiceless nations around the world are placing their hopes on the Indian G-20 Presidency, it is imperative to examine how India is conducting its diplomacy. The latest remarks by PM Narendra Modi give a clear signal that India will not let any player compromise its G-20 presidency. It will focus on bringing tangible benefits to the world during its presidency.
PM Modi’s resounding message to the world
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently addressed the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the G20 via video conference. In his address, he explained the rationale behind choosing the theme ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ for India’s G20 Presidency. He stated that the theme signals the need for unity of purpose as well as unity of action.
PM expressed his belief that the Foreign Ministers meeting would reflect the spirit of togetherness to achieve the common and concrete objectives. PM Modi chastised multilateral forums like the United Nations for completely failing on both of its mandates. In a strongly worded criticism, PM Modi said, “We must all acknowledge that multilateralism is in crisis today.”
We must all acknowledge that multilateralism is in crisis today. The architecture of the global governance created after the Second world war was to prevent future wars by balancing competing interests & second to foster international cooperation on issues of common interest: PM pic.twitter.com/r3a1b2uBP2
He explained that there were two objectives for creating an architecture of global governance after the Second World War. First, it was to prevent future wars and, second, to develop international cooperation. On both these accounts, the UN and other multilateral organisations have completely failed, leaving the smaller and developing countries to their own peril.
PM Modi stressed that the financial crises, climate change, pandemics, terrorism, and wars of recent years are clear indicators of the gross failure of global governance.
In the last few years, financial crises, climate change, pandemic, terrorism and war clearly show that global governance has failed in both its mandates. We must also admit that the tragic consequences of this failure are being faced most by developing countries: PM Narendra Modi pic.twitter.com/ZZAmHYSykB
The world has paid a heavy price because of the failures of this architecture of global governance. PM Modi further remarked that it is important to acknowledge that developing nations are bearing the brunt of these failures. There is a great risk that years of progress made towards achieving sustainable development goals will be in danger.
I welcome you to India for G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting. It signals the need for unity, a purpose and unity of action. I hope that your meeting today will reflect the spirit of coming together for achieving common & concrete objectives: PM Modi at G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting pic.twitter.com/K970qI1cjI
It is noteworthy that PM Modi is the only major world leader who has been repeatedly calling out and chastising wealthy nations without hampering the growth trajectory of strategic ties with these nations.
It is a fact that the US and other western nations are guilty of committing crimes against the environment and polluting it. Rather than taking responsibility for their sins, they have been castigating developing nations. But PM Modi in his address minced no words and highlighted this fact. He remarked that developing nations are most affected by global warming ‘caused by richer countries.’
After years of progress, we are at risk today of moving back on the sustainable development goals. Many developing countries are struggling with unsustainable debt while trying to ensure food and energy security for their people: PM Modi at G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting pic.twitter.com/ZUCuH6ucY7
India’s G-20 Presidency: A Voice for the Global South
PM Modi reiterated that India will keep striving to achieve progress on issues of common interest and become the voice for the global south. While hitting at the fractured and incompetent multilateralism, he highlighted the vision of India’s presidency of the grouping.
PM Modi remarked that India’s G20 Presidency has tried to give a voice to the Global South. Attacking UN-like organisations, he added that no group can claim global leadership without listening to those most affected by its decisions.
He said, “The world looks upon the G20 to ease the challenges of growth, development, economic resilience, disaster resilience, financial stability, transnational crime, corruption, terrorism, and food and energy security.”
‘Genuine’ Concerns Raised from Countries of National Interest
Now there are two things simultaneously at play. Some nations, particularly Western nations, are trying to compromise India’s G-20 presidency. They want to limit it to only being a platform to criticise and lambaste Russia. While some nations like Japan are pursuing their national interests and issuing anti-Russia statements and registering their concerns without undermining India’s presidency. Some quarters are peddling agendas and rumours of an aggravated rift between the G7 nations and the G20 grouping.
Several foreign ministers decided to skip the customary “family photo” of all foreign ministers of G-20 countries. Through this, they displayed their anger against Russia amid the ongoing Ukraine conflict and increasing differences between the G7 countries and Russia. Similarly, France and a few other nations warned through official and unofficial channels that they would not sign the G-20 communiqué if it didn’t openly criticise Russia for the Ukraine crisis.
There are few instances that highlight their genuine concerns and statements driven by national interest. For example, France and Germany nudged India to speak out against Russian aggression. Italian PM Giorgia Meloni recently reiterated the concerns of the West during her India visit. Taking cue from Dr. Jaishankar’s famous remark, she said, “Unfortunately, Europe’s problems are becoming the world’s problem”.
The Western bloc has been using pressure tactics like skipping ‘Family Photo’ to nudge India into speaking out against Russia.
Even PM Modi highlighted that there are some genuine concerns of the Western nations. He underlined that the current meetings are taking place at a time of deep global divisions. So it is only natural for Foreign Ministers’ discussions to be affected by the geopolitical tensions of the day. He also added that every nation has its own positions and perspectives on how these tensions should be resolved.
However, it can’t be denied that there are unknown hands at play that are badly rattled by India’s growing global clout. They are upset that India is becoming the voice of the global south and other unrepresented countries at the global level. For this, they are using every dirty trick in the book to undermine India’s G-20 presidency, including planting baseless reports, rumours, and fake news.
A few days earlier, there was a planted rumour doing the rounds in the media circles. It was claimed that the Japanese Foreign Minister will skip the G-20 meeting and his deputy will attend the meeting. It was claimed that it was an arm-twisting manoeuvre by the Japanese. Reports claimed that India’s G-20 Presidency is feeling the heat for not openly discussing and criticising the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Some termed India’s move as “naive“.
However, such fake news died its own excruciating death. The Japanese Foreign Minister quelled all these rumours by attending the G-20 meeting in person. Going a step further, as the President of the G-7 grouping this year, he even extended the support of the entire G-7 nations to India’s G-20 Presidency.
He said, “2023 is a crucial year as Japan chairs the G7 and India chairs the G20. As the premier forum for international economic cooperation, the G20 is of paramount importance for responding effectively to issues facing the international community, such as food security and development”.
He also lauded India’s leadership, particularly for voicing concerns about the global south. The Japanese Foreign Minister added, “Given India’s outstanding leadership, including its hosting of the Voice of the Global South Summit in January, coordination with India is now even more vital. Japan looks forward to working hand in hand with India to lead responses to global challenges.”
In his address at the G-20 Foreign Ministers meeting, PM Modi also gave a clear roadmap on what would be the priorities of India as the President of the grouping. He remarked that the G20 has the capacity to build consensus and deliver concrete results in many key areas. For this, he categorically underlined that the focus should be on not letting divisive issues get in the way of other issues of global good that can have common understanding.
PM Modi said, “We should not allow issues that we cannot resolve together to come in the way of those we can.” Pressing the importance of Indian civilization, PM Modi urged their excellencies to draw inspiration from India’s civilizational ethos and focus on things that unify us rather than those that divide us.
Raising the debt crisis of several nations, PM Modi said, “The G20 has a critical role to play in finding the right balance between growth and efficiency on the one hand and resilience on the other.”
All in all, PM Modi has made it absolutely clear that India will not let any power meddle with India’s G-20 presidency, and its future is safe and sound. However, it does have to take proper measures to first quell the genuine concerns of several nations and not let G-20 become the boxing arena for G-7 members and Russia.
Second, it has to fight against the rumor-mongering and pressure tactics of other nations to coerce India’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and give their venting a place in the G-20 communiqué. Rather than diverting too much attention to Europe’s problem, India will keep striking unanimous agreement within the G-20, like it did in the Finance Minister meeting on debt management. India will take a stance in a way that best suits our national interest and show a mirror to the West on issues where they have been committing sins for centuries.
Support us to strengthen the ‘Right’ ideology of cultural nationalism by purchasing the best quality garments from TFI-STORE.COM