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Well Done


Ukraine is miffed that the G20 Summit in New Delhi has not condemned Russia for the ongoing war between the two nations. There has been condemnation on many other forums – what has that achieved? That those who strongly support either of the two countries could arrive at a common ground means a dialogue has begun. If intelligently conducted, it could lead to a resolution of the conflict. The direction it would take has been determined by the resolve to ease the negative impact the war has had on the economies of many less developed countries. While Ukraine may be hoping for an outright victory with the help of its western partners, it would be more realistic to keep the door open for a negotiated settlement, which would require give and take.

This was just one of the several achievements of the Modi helmed New Delhi Summit. It definitely changed the balance within this economic grouping more favourably towards what is described as the South. Future development will be much less prescribed by the developed nations and the monetary institutions under their control. Much of this will be patterned on India’s experience.

Of course, there are many specifics stated in the Delhi G20 Declaration apart from the larger goals of managing climate change, working for peace, energy transition and sustainable economic growth. These will have to be followed through, in doing which, the G20 will become a more globally relevant institution than many others that have gone comatose.

Importantly, Modi used the occasion to further India’s goals and promote its positioning in the global power structure. Rooting of the entire event in India’s civilisational values expressed aptly in the theme, ‘One World, One Family, One Future’, showed that the ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ philosophy inspires its present and future objectives. The Prime Minister put in much effort to explain to the guests the various motifs set up at the ‘Bharat Mandapam’, almost like a tourist guide, thereby evoking curiosity among those who would have been watching the event from other parts of the world. It was also an excellent opportunity to acquaint the world’s prominent leaders with the ancient name, Bharat.

It was thought there would not be enough agreement among the participants on a Leaders’ Declaration. This was successfully achieved and the credit is being given for this to India’s leadership. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s absence was expected to throw a spanner in the works. That did not happen. The Presidency has passed on to Brazil and the best compliment is President Lula Da Silva’s announcement that he would like to hold the next Summit on the India pattern.