How difficult it was to get consensus on the New Delhi Declaration can be understood from Prime Minister Modi’s statement. The Prime Minister first said that good news has just arrived. What he said after this was about difficulties. The Prime Minister said, “With the hard work of our teams and your cooperation, a consensus has been reached on the announcement of the New Delhi G20 Summit…”.
In his statement, Prime Minister Modi’s emphasis on the “hard work of the team” to build consensus and the strategy adopted for this was very important. This is because the situation regarding the Ukraine war was very complex. Last time, consensus could not be reached at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, on much the same issue.
The Bali Declaration contained UN resolutions strongly condemning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and demanding its complete and unconditional withdrawal from Ukrainian territory. It also said “the majority of members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine”. But at the G20 summit in New Delhi, steps were taken slowly and a special strategy was made for this.
Four Indian Foreign Service diplomats had to work hard with the member countries for several months. From the 3rd of September until the result was reached on Saturday, we had to stay awake all night and put up a last fight. In the declaration prepared by New Delhi, a team was given responsibility for the paragraph relating to the Ukraine war.
The Indian team thought to take the support of Brazil and South Africa in organizing the next G20 summit. It also helped that they were all from developing countries and represented the Global South. Along with this, Indonesia was also added. Last week’s phone call between Prime Minister Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin and bilateral talks with US President Joe Biden on Friday helped build consensus.
During the conference in New Delhi, the differences were acknowledged, and the resolution was couched in language that promoted equality rather than bickering over controversial issues.
India on Saturday completed the diplomatically challenging task of reaching a consensus between the G7 group and the Russia-China bloc on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
When the G20 leaders adopted the document, the leaders were seen clapping and pounding on the table. The Prime Minister thanked his team, including ministers, G20 sherpas and all officials, for their hard work.
Speaking at Session-2 on ‘One Family’ during the G20 Summit in Delhi. https://t.co/tj1jrzelBA
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 9, 2023
According to The Indian Express report, there were seven paragraphs in the Delhi Declaration compared to two paragraphs in the Bali Declaration on the conflict in Ukraine. It neither mentioned Russian “aggression” nor “condemned” the Russians for the war in Ukraine. The communique began with: “We express our deep concern at the enormous human suffering around the world and the negative effects of war and conflict.” The last line is – “Today’s era should not be an age of war” which is taken from the Bali Declaration. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told the same thing to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It emphasized that all countries should act in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. In accordance with the UN Charter, all countries must refrain from the threat of territorial acquisition or the use of force against any country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence. “The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is unacceptable,” the declaration said.
On reaching a consensus on the Ukraine issue, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said: “It is an 83-paragraph declaration, it covers a lot of topics, but obviously because of the ongoing conflict and different views on it. It has taken time.” Asked which countries helped build consensus on the Ukraine conflict, he said: ‘Really… everybody helped. Everyone came together to create a consensus.