The Group of 20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi ended on Sunday as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi passed on a ceremonial gavel to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose country will take the bloc’s presidency in December.
In his closing remarks, Modi proposed a virtual meeting of the G20 at the end of November to assess the status of the proposals put forth by members and determine “how their progress can be accelerated”.
Lula, in an implicit reference to wrangling over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said that the grouping cannot “let geopolitical issues sequester” the agenda of discussions. “We need peace and cooperation instead of conflict,” he added.
On Saturday, the G20 adopted a consensus declaration that did not condemn Russia for the war in Ukraine but called on all states to refrain from the use of force to seize territory.
India’s G20 representative Amitabh Kant, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that consensus on the war in Ukraine involved “over 200 hours of non-stop negotiations, 300 bilateral meetings [and] 15 drafts”.
Ukraine, however, said the G20 had “nothing to be proud of”. On the other hand, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who stood in for President Vladimir Putin at the meetings, on Sunday hailed the summit as a milestone.
The Global South, the foreign minister said, had helped prevent the West’s attempts to “Ukrainise” the summit to the detriment of discussing the urgent problems of developing countries.
French President Emmanuel Macron said that G20 declaration was not a diplomatic victory for Russia. “This G20 confirms once again the isolation of Russia,” he added. “Today, an overwhelming majority of G20 members condemn the war in Ukraine and its impact.”
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the country seeks the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. “We underscored our position that Russia’s nuclear threat, let alone its use of nuclear weapons, is absolutely unacceptable,” he said at a press conference.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that if it were up to him, the language used for Russia’s role in the Ukraine war would have been stronger, the BBC reported. “And if it were up to other leaders [in the G20], it would have been much weaker,” he added.