The two-day G20 summit under India’s presidency commenced in New Delhi on Saturday morning. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the inaugural address after receiving world leaders attending the event.
Leaders from the 19 largest economies of the world and the European Union are present at the summit.
Notably, the nameplate in front of Modi at the meeting read Bharat, and not India. Last week, a controversy broke out after a dinner invitation from the president’s office sent to G20 summit delegates described Droupadi Murmu as the “President of Bharat” instead of the usual “President of India”.
The African Union, a body of 55 countries, formally joined the G20, after Modi proposed its entry to the grouping and other leaders agreed to it.
In his speech, Modi flagged a “big crisis of trust deficit” among countries which, he said, had deepened due to the war between Russia and Ukraine. He stressed that India sought to mitigate the trust deficit and further an atmosphere of trust and confidence.
“It is a time when years-old problems are seeking new solutions from us,” the prime minister said. “Therefore, we have to move forward by discharging our every duty with a human-centric approach.”
The first session of the G20 summit titled “One Earth” started at 10.30 am. The session will focus on climate action through increased mitigation and strengthening the agenda of global net zero emission as soon as possible, PTI reported.
After lunch, a second session titled “One Family” will commence around 3 pm. The delegates will also attend a dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu later on Saturday.
Ahead of the summit, Prime Minister Modi met US President Joe Biden on Friday evening. The two leaders welcomed the settlement of the last outstanding World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute between India and the US.
Biden also appreciated the completion of the notification process in the US Congress for an agreement between General Electric Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to manufacture GE F-414 jet engines in India, according to a joint statement issued after the meeting.
Among other matters discussed in the meeting were a partnership between the Indian Space Research Organisation and NASA, a memorandum of understanding for 6G technology and India’s procurement of 31 remotely piloted military aircraft from the US.
Biden also reiterated the US’ support for India’s bid to a permanent membership in the US Security Council.
Before their meeting, the White House had said that India had dismissed its requests for better access for the media. New Delhi’s denial meant that reporters traveling with Biden for the G20 summit will not get an opportunity to ask questions to him or Modi, CNN reported.
New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration almost ready, says India
The leaders’ declaration for the G20 summit is “almost ready” and will be recommended to the leaders of the grouping during the conclave, India’s G20 sherpa Amitabh Kant said at a press conference on Friday evening. The declaration will carry the voice of the global south and developing countries, he said.
“Prime Minister Modi had asserted India’s presidency should be inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive,” Kant added. “These are the four principles on which we have worked. We have lived up to his vision...”
However, there are concerns on whether the world leaders would agree on a joint communique at the Delhi summit over contentious matters like the Russia-Ukraine war and China’s ambitions in the Indo-Pacific and the South China Sea.