New Delhi Declaration adopted
- As the G20 chair, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the adoption of the New Delhi G20 Leaders’ Summit Declaration and thanked the leaders for their hard work in reaching a consensus.
- The New Delhi Declaration adopted by the G20 leaders focusses on strong and sustainable growth, accelerating progress on sustainable development goals, green development pact, and reinvigorating multilateralism.
- The G20 Declaration was historical and path-breaking with 100% consensus on all developmental and geo-political issues.
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The declaration deal was hammered after tough negotiations, reflecting the wide divergence between the G7 nations and Russia and China. This marks a major victory for India, which has been seeking a focus on development issues at the G20 instead of geopolitical issues dominating the agenda. In fact, the communique has strong language on the economic situation and the need to watch the developments closely due to a sharp slowdown in economic activity in Europe as well as China.
African Union made permanent member
- The African Union on Saturday joined the G20 after all member countries accepted PM Modi’s proposal to bring the key bloc of the Global South to the high table of the world’s top economies, a major diplomatic achievement of India’s presidency.
- In his inaugural remarks at the G20 summit, PM Modi asked the President of the Union of Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Azali Assoumani, to join other leaders at the high table, making the 55-member bloc the second multi-nation grouping after the European Union to be a permanent member of the G20.
- External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar then escorted Assoumani to take his seat at the G20 high table. Before taking his seat, Assoumani shared a warm handshake and hug with Prime Minister Modi.
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- In keeping with the sentiment of ‘sabka saath’ (with everyone), India had proposed that the African Union should be given permanent membership of the G20. I believe we all are in agreement on this proposal…,” Modi said.
- Before moving forward with the proceedings, I would like to invite the president of the African Union to take his place as a permanent member of the G20,” he said amid thunderous applause by world leaders gathered at the Bharat Mandapam, the venue of the Summit.
In the last few years, India has been positioning itself as a leading voice, flagging concerns, challenges and aspirations of the Global South, or developing nations, especially the African continent. “I would like to draw your attention to the theme of our G20 presidency — ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — One Earth, One Family, One Future’. It is not just a slogan but a comprehensive philosophy that is derived from our cultural ethos,” PM Modi had said.
India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor
- India, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the European Union on Saturday announced a historic agreement to soon launch a mega India-Middle East-Europe shipping and railway connectivity corridor.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement for the ambitious project on the sidelines of the G20 Summit and was flanked by US President US Biden, Saudi Arabia Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman and leaders of the EU.
- The Prime Minister further stressed respecting sovereignty and regional integrity and stated that connectivity between different countries not only increases business but also trust between them.
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- Strong connectivity and infrastructure are the foundation of the development of human civilisation. India has given this issue utmost priority during its course of development. Along with physical infrastructure, unprecedented investments are being made in social, economic and financial infrastructure as well.
- This is a big deal … This is a really big deal.
The mega joint infrastructure deal, which has been in the works for awhile, is a major highlight of the ongoing G20 meeting in Delhi. The plan is being seen as an ambitious effort by Washington and New Delhi to counter China’s Belt and Road initiative that sought to connect more of the world to the country’s economy. Of late, China’s BRI has been facing a series of troubles due to rising loan defaults and slowing down on investments.