Monday, December 4, 2023

EAM Jaishankar Recounts India’s G20 Challenges Amidst East-West Polarization and North-South Divide

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External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, during his address on Saturday (local time), characterized India’s G20 Presidency as a substantial challenge, citing the “very sharp East-West polarization and a very deep North-South divide” the country faced. Speaking at the India-UN for Global South: Delivering for Development event in New York, Jaishankar commenced his speech by shedding light on India’s recent G20 Presidency and the G20 Summit. He underscored India’s unwavering commitment to steering its G20 Presidency back to its primary objectives.

“Your presence means a lot to us. It also expresses the sentiments that you feel for India and underlines the importance of South-South cooperation. We meet just a few weeks after the New Delhi G20 Summit, a summit which took place on the theme of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future,'” Jaishankar said.

Now, it was a challenging summit. It was actually a challenging presidency, and it was challenging because we were confronting a very sharp East-West polarization as well as a very deep North-South divide. But we were very determined as the Presidency of the G20 to make sure that this organization on which the world really had put so much hope and was able to get back to its core agenda,” he added.

Jaishankar reiterated that the core agenda of India’s G20 Presidency was global growth and development. He stated that India kickstarted its G20 Presidency by convening the voice of the Global South Summit.

“And its core agenda was of global growth and development. So it was appropriate that we started our G20 Presidency by convening the voice of the Global South Summit. An exercise which involved 125 nations of the south of which most of you in some capacity participated,” Jaishankar said.

Elaborating on the challenges faced by the Global South, External Affairs Minister underscored, “Now, during the course of that exercise and the deliberations which took place through the various ministerial tracks and engagement groups, it was very clear to us that the Global South, in addition to bearing the consequences of structural inequities and historical burdens, was plagued by the impact of… and economic concentration, was suffering from the devastating consequences of the COVID and was… by conflict, tensions and disputes which have stressed and distorted the international economy.”

Jaishankar emphasized that geopolitical calculations and geopolitical contests today are affecting very basic requirements of many nations, including their affordable access to food, fertilizers, and energy.

“With each passing day, in fact, it has become clearer to us that today geopolitical calculations and geopolitical contests are impacting very basic requirements of many countries, including their affordable access to food, to fertilizers, and to energy,” Jaishankar said.

Prior to this event, EAM S. Jaishankar, alongside United Nations General Assembly President Dennis Francis and foreign ministers from various nations, arrived to attend the India-UN for Global South: Delivering for Development.

Jaishankar’s presence in New York is part of his leadership of the Indian delegation during the UNGA session, during which he will address the United Nations General Assembly on September 26, as per an official statement from the Ministry of External Affairs. Following the conclusion of his engagements in New York, he will proceed to Washington, D.C., for further diplomatic meetings and discussions.

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