Headline: G20 Summit Struggles to Reach Consensus on Ukraine Conflict in Draft Declaration
The recent G20 summit saw negotiators grappling with disagreements over the wording of the summit declaration regarding the war in Ukraine, according to a draft seen by Reuters. Despite agreeing on other crucial topics such as climate change and reforms in multilateral development banks, negotiators were unable to bridge their differences on the “geopolitical situation” paragraph.
The ongoing war in Ukraine has proved to be a major stumbling block, resulting in G20 sherpas struggling to find common ground on the language to be used in the declaration. The aim was to garner Russia’s support and achieve a unanimous agreement on a communique.
India’s G20 negotiator, Amitabh Kant, remarked that the “New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration is almost ready” and will be presented to the leaders for their consideration. However, it remains uncertain whether a joint declaration will be reached. In such a scenario, India would release a chair statement, breaking a tradition that has stood for the past two decades.
Apart from the war in Ukraine, the G20 draft also addressed critical issues like debt vulnerabilities, reforms in multilateral development banks, tighter regulations on cryptocurrencies, and the need for low-cost financing for energy transition. However, any mention of a fossil fuel phase-down was noticeably absent from the draft.
The G20 summit attracted attention as Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin were absent, leaving the summit to be dominated by Western countries and their allies. This has further complicated negotiations and hindered the possibility of a communique being agreed upon.
As the host of the summit, India aimed to showcase its rapidly growing economy and its rising position in the geopolitical landscape. However, the deadlock on the Ukraine conflict has overshadowed this opportunity to spotlight India’s achievements.
Adding further tension to the summit, more than 100 Tibetan refugees staged a protest, demanding that the “occupation” of their country by China be discussed during the gathering. This additional issue added to the complexities faced by negotiators.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed willingness to collaborate with India in crafting a communique but acknowledged the challenges involved. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on G20 leaders to reshape global financial rules and address the escalating climate crisis, describing it as “spinning out of control.”
With the declaration still hanging in the balance, the G20 summit faces the prospect of concluding without a unanimous agreement for the first time in 20 years. The world will await the final outcome and the potential impact on global cooperation and addressing pressing challenges.
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