The G-20 meeting in Bali did not fail. Whatever one says, this two-day meeting (November 15 and 16) is worthwhile and successful. “Please, don’t just come to quarrel,” Indonesia’s largest English-language daily, the Jakarta Post, told leaders arriving at the G20 meeting. It seems that the words entered the ears of the leaders. It was feared that the joint statement published at the end of the G-20 meeting based on the consensus of the leaders, may not be possible this time. Indonesian President Joko Widodo undoubtedly deserves credit for making it possible.
Acknowledgement is due to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Ministry of External Affairs. Efforts to keep everyone on the same page by avoiding conflict between leaders have been successful.
The claim of the Western countries
Western countries wanted a strong statement from the G20 meeting against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But India and China are supporters of Russia, it is not possible to publish such a statement unless they agree. Before the G-20 meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping made it clear in bilateral talks with American President Biden that China is concerned about the Ukraine war and wants to resolve it as soon as possible.
Over the past few months, Russia has repeatedly made vague statements about using nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war, without outright ruling out the possibility. But Xi strongly objected to the possibility of using nuclear weapons. Many thought that it was China’s condemnation of Russia.
Statement from Modi
At the September Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Uzbekistan, Modi made it clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin that this was not the time for war. For months, India has been talking about ending the war and returning to talks. But Indian diplomats in Bali had to play a bit of a balancing act.
As of late, the joint statement of the G-20 meeting strongly condemned the Ukraine war, citing its adverse impact on the global economy, but while blaming Russia for it, it did not directly condemn it. The statement adopted a strategy of quoting the criticisms of Russia by the G-20 member countries at the United Nations. The conflict has been avoided by arguing that the G20 is primarily a forum for discussing economic issues, not security contexts. However, the Russian president did not come himself, the foreign minister sent him to Bali.
Apart from protecting India’s image in the world, the Indian diplomatic team had another urge to make this meeting worthwhile. This year, India took over the presidency of the G20 alliance from Indonesia, and the 2023 summit will be held in Delhi. That task would have been much more difficult if the coalition had split over the Ukraine issue. Despite the various conflicts, the importance of the G20 alliance in the world economy and politics is immense. Now the G20 nations include Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Canada, France, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Britain, European Union and America.