205285029 205284086 5fdceb445fa54b058e975f3934851e49 The Pearl Dream Inc

G20 adds African Union, talks Ukraine, climate

em {
display: contents !important;
label em {
display: none !important;
.photo {
width: 100%;
max-width: 50rem
a.fr-file {
color: #0274b7 !important;

NEW DELHI — The Group of 20 top world economies added the African Union as a member at their annual summit Saturday, and host India was able to get the disparate group to sign off on a final statement, but only after softening language on the contentious issue of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

In the months leading up to the leaders’ summit in New Delhi, India had been unable to find agreement on the wording about Ukraine, with Russia and China objecting even to language that they had agreed to last year at the G20 summit in Bali.

The final statement, released a day before the formal close of the summit, highlighted the “human suffering and negative added impacts of the war in Ukraine,” but did not mention Russia’s invasion.

It cited the U.N. charter, saying “all states must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state. The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible.”

By contrast, the Bali declaration had cited a U.N. resolution condemning “the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine,” and said “most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine.”

Nazia Hussain, an associate research fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said the statement showed a “softening of the language on the war in Ukraine.”

“However, for New Delhi, getting out a joint statement with some reference to Ukraine, or a joint statement at all — especially with both the United States and its western allies, as well as China and Russia, toughening their stance on the war — is a win.”

Many had been skeptical that there would be a final communique, which would have been the first time one was not released — and a blow to the prestige of the G20.

Western delegations applauded the agreement, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz calling it a “success of Indian diplomacy.” He told reporters it was significant that in the end Russia had “given up its resistance” and signed on to the agreement that mentioned the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

A senior European Union official, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to be candid about the discussions, said the EU had not given up any of its position, and the fact that Russia had signed on to the agreement was important.

“The option we have is text or no text, and I think it’s better text,” he said. “At least if they don’t implement, we know once more that we cannot rely on them.”

Russian negotiator Svetlana Lukash described the discussions on the Ukraine-related part of the final statement as “very difficult,” adding that the agreed text had a “balanced view” of the situation, Russian media reported.

She said Ukraine wasn’t the only point of contention in reaching a statement, and charged that Western powers had tried to enforce the idea that “it’s the Ukrainian conflict that provokes all the crises in the world now.”

By contrast, there was widespread support for adding the African Union to the G20, making it the second regional bloc to become a permanent member after the EU and adding momentum to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive to give a greater voice to the Global South.

The continent was thrust into the spotlight as well by the earthquake in Morocco, which happened while most of the delegates gathered in New Delhi were asleep. Modi offered condolences and support in his opening remarks.

“The entire world community is with Morocco in this difficult time, and we are ready to provide them all possible assistance,” he said.

He told leaders they must find “concrete solutions” to the widespread challenges that he said stemmed from the “ups and downs in the global economy, the north and the south divide, the chasm between the east and the west,” and other issues like terrorism, cybersecurity, health and water security.

Modi addressed the delegates from behind a nameplate that listed his country not as India but as “Bharat,” an ancient Sanskrit name championed by his Hindu nationalist supporters.

India had made directing more attention to addressing the needs of the developing world a focus of the summit — though it proved impossible to decouple many issues, such as food and energy security, from the war in Ukraine.

The summit came just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin said a landmark deal brokered by the U.N. and Turkey allowing Ukraine to export grain safely through the Black Sea will not be restored until Western nations meet his demands on Russia’s own agricultural exports.

The G20 urged the resumption of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizer shipments from Russia and Ukraine, saying it was necessary to feed people in Africa and other parts of the developing world.

Russia has been attacking Ukrainian port facilities, and the G20 in its final statement also called for an end to attacks on infrastructure related to the grain exports, and expressed “deep concern” about the effect of conflicts on civilians.

The G20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. Spain holds a permanent guest seat.

Putin and China’s leader Xi Jinping opted not to attend this year, ensuring no tough face-to-face conversations with their American and European counterparts.

The G20 agenda featured issues critical to developing nations, including alternative fuels like hydrogen, resource efficiency, food security and developing a common framework for digital public infrastructure.

Leaders agreed Saturday to triple renewable energy and try to increase the funds for climate change-related disasters, but maintained the status quo with regards to phasing out carbon spewing coal.

At a news conference shortly after the G20 leaders announced the agreement, Amitabh Kant, a senior Indian government official leading some of the G20 negotiations, called it “probably the most vibrant, dynamic and ambitious document on climate action.”

While most climate and energy experts were not as ebullient, they agreed that the G20 leaders had put out a strong message on climate action, even as the world is seeing increasingly frequent natural disasters such as extreme heat.

Even at the last meeting of the G20 climate ministers before the summit, disagreements had remained.

Global leaders and climate experts say the declaration had largely taken the conversation forward, setting the stage for an ambitious climate agreement when they meet at the global climate conference in Dubai later this year.

“These 20 countries account for 80% of global emissions, so this declaration sends a powerful signal for climate progress,” said Sultan al-Jaber, who will preside over the climate summit in Dubai.

Some climate activists said more could be done.

“While the G20’s commitment to renewable energy targets is commendable, it sidesteps the root cause — our global dependency on fossil fuels,” said Harjeet Singh of Climate Action Network International.

According to a report by Global Energy Monitor, an organization that tracks a variety of energy projects around the world, the G20 countries are home to 93% of global operating coal power plants and 88% of new proposed coal power plants that don’t have carbon capture technologies.

“It’s high time for rich nations in this group to lead by example, turn their promises into actions, and help forge a greener, more equitable future for all,” said Singh, who has tracked international climate negotiations for over two decades.

Information for this article was contributed by Sibi Arasu, Krutika Pathi, Sheikh Saaliq, Aamer Madhani, Josh Boak and Jill Lawless of The Associated Press.

    Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, left, U.S. President Joe Biden, right, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talk on the day of the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, Sept. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Evelyn Hockstein, Pool)
  photo  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shows a mural of Konark Sun temple wheel from Indian state of Orissa to U.S. President Joe Biden upon his arrival at Bharat Mandapam convention center for the G20 Summit, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci,Pool)
  photo  Tibetan youth activists shout slogans against the visit of the Chinese delegation to participate in the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
  photo  U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres interacts with the gathering after a press conference ahead of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, Friday, Sept., 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
  photo  President Joe Biden arrives at Indira Gandhi International Airport to attend the G20 summit, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
  photo  U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses a press conference ahead of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, Friday, Sept., 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
  photo  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, shakes hand with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina upon her arrival at Bharat Mandapam convention centre for the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)
  photo  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks to Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz upon his arrival at Bharat Mandapam convention center for the G20 Summit, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci,Pool)
  photo  A dog lies by a man resting under a tree at a deserted market area as traffic restrictions and diversions are placed ahead of the weekend’s G20 Summit, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *