• Thursday, February 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

G20 summit ends, Macron confirms Russia’s isolation

G20 and Nigeria’s search for respect

The G20 summit in New Delhi ended on Sunday as India handed over the bloc presidency to Brazil, while both the U.S. and Russia praised a consensus that did not condemn Moscow for the war in Ukraine but called on members to shun the use of force.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the group’s leaders to hold a virtual meeting in November to review progress on policy suggestions and goals announced at the weekend.

“It is our responsibility to look at the suggestions that have been made to see how progress can be accelerated,” he said in a statement.

On Saturday, the group adopted a Leaders’ Declaration that refrained from explicitly condemning Russia for the ongoing conflict while emphasising the humanitarian toll the war has exacted. The declaration also urged all nations to refrain from using force to annex territories.

Read also: G20 Summit: Countries agree to speed up progress towards SDGs

This consensus was a surprising turn of events. In the weeks leading up to the summit, deep divisions over the war threatened to disrupt the meeting, with Western nations pushing for a condemnation of Moscow’s actions and Russia vowing to block any resolution that did not align with its stance.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who led the Russian delegation, described the summit as a success not only for India but also for the Global South, representing the world’s developing nations.

The Global South’s position in the talks helped prevent the G20 agenda from being overshadowed by Ukraine, he told a press conference. “India has truly consolidated G20 members from the Global South.”

Reuters said that White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters the summit declaration “does a very good job of standing up for the principle that states cannot use force to seek territorial acquisition or to violate the territorial integrity, sovereignty, or political independence of other states”.

Germany and Britain have also praised the resolution, but Ukraine said “it was nothing to be proud of”.
French President Emmanuel Macron remarked on Sunday that while the G20 was originally established to address international economic matters, it might not be the primary forum for achieving diplomatic breakthroughs regarding the conflict in Ukraine. Nonetheless, he emphasised that the G20 declaration should not be viewed as a diplomatic triumph for Russia.

“This G20 confirms once again the isolation of Russia. Today, an overwhelming majority of G20 members condemn the war in Ukraine and its impact,” Macron told a press conference after the closing ceremony of the summit.