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No joint communique by G20 foreign ministers, Russia & China oppose 2 paras in ‘chair summary’

Russia and China opposed two paragraphs in the chair summary which referenced the Ukraine war. The same occurred in the document issued last week after the G20 finance ministers's meet.

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New Delhi: As predicted by experts, no joint communique was issued following the G20 Foreign Ministers Meet in Delhi Thursday and instead India, as G20 president, issued a chair summary.

Two paragraphs of the chair summary, which referenced the Ukraine conflict and had been lifted from last year’s G20 Bali Declaration, were opposed by Russia and China. The two countries had opposed the same paragraphs that had appeared in the chair summary following the meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Bengaluru last week.

Therefore, in two consecutive tracks, no joint communique was reached.

Both documents included a footnote that read: “Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this document, as taken from the G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration… were agreed to by all member countries except Russia and China”.

While paragraph three saw condemnations of the war in Ukraine and its impact on the global economy, paragraph four urged countries to uphold the UN Charter on international law.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had in a press briefing Thursday said it was significant that there was a consensus among member states on the “bulk of issues” that concerned the Global South and developing countries.

“There was a considerable meeting of minds,” he told reporters, adding that when it came to discussions on how to tackle issues like counter-terrorism, there was unanimous agreement from all member states.

Foreign ministers from across the globe have flown into the Indian capital to discuss multilateralism reforms, food and energy security, counter-terrorism and other critical issues as part of the G20 meeting held on 1-2 March.

Also readG20 presidency puts Modi’s India in global spotlight. Expectations are already high

Takeaways from outcome document

The main takeaways from the chair summary issued by India following the G20 Foreign Ministers meeting include a strong sentiment among member states to strengthen multilateralism, food and energy security, take action on setting up multilateral development banks in lieu of growing global debt distress, ensuring new technologies don’t end up in the hands of terrorists and more.

In view of the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria last month, the chair summary urged improved international cooperation when it comes to humanitarian assistance and disaster risk reduction.

“Global coverage of early warning systems as well as making infrastructure systems disaster and climate resilient will protect lives and livelihoods in vulnerable and disaster-prone developing countries,” read the document.

Counter-narcotics and the need to clamp down on illicit international drug supply chains also featured in the chair summary.

In a press briefing in Delhi Thursday night, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken talked about the issue of counter-narcotics and its importance by citing the US government’s challenges in tackling the current fentanyl epidemic in the country.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment was also a key topic in the document, which noted the disproportionate impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and “other crises” on women and girls.

There was, however, no specific reference to the Taliban’s ban on women’s higher education in Afghanistan.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

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