D C Pathak | 24 Oct, 2023
The tremendous global outreach achieved by India in the run-up to G20
under its Presidency, consolidation of India’s position in regional
groupings, acknowledgement of India’s leadership of the Global South,
further strengthening of bilateral and multilateral bonds that served to
counter India’s adversaries and above all the direct exposure of the
world to India’s inner strengths of indigenous skills, technological
potential and civilisational roots, all these should be listed as the
extraordinary and lasting advantages gained by India in the wake of this
highly successful world event hosted by the country under the direct
guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This was a G20 Summit
‘with a difference’ setting off positive geopolitical trends both for
global security and the world economy.
Nearly 200 conferences of
G20 Sherpas, Ministers of participating countries and specialists, held
in India and outside, generated information, graphical data and
opportunities for cooperation that would be now evaluated producing a
rare gift of knowledge for the participating countries. This is perhaps
the biggest legacy of G20’s Delhi Summit.
A singular achievement
of the Summit was the release of a joint statement - Delhi Declaration -
representing a consensus that had eluded it in the past because of
differences on geopolitical developments chiefly the Ukraine-Russia
military conflict, issues of environment and matters relating to equity
for the Global South.
India has firmed up its position as a world
power whose counsel on issues of war and peace would be respected and
whose voice of sanity turned the esoteric Indian concept of ‘one world
one family’ into a reality.
In fact what turned out to be an
epoch-making feature of the Delhi Summit was that G20, the most powerful
economic group, was made aware of the need to enlarge its ambit and
embrace a human-centric approach to the world at large.
P20 meet of the Parliament Speakers held on October 13-14 in Delhi as a
concluding part of the G20 put a seal of finality on the decision of the
democratic countries to work together to advance the agenda of the
Delhi Summit. Inaugurating this meeting, Prime Minister Modi described
India as the mother of democracy while Speaker Om Birla emphasised the
importance of Parliamentary contribution to G20 processes.
Delhi Declaration of G20 will go down in history as the first expression
of unanimity by member countries on a wide variety of global issues
beyond the traditional matters of economy and business, such as climate
change, the threat of terrorism and an equitable order addressing the
disparity between the North and the South.
Climate change has been the subject of acrimonious debates rather than decisions for ‘action’.
left its imprint at the G20 summit with Prime Minister Modi advancing
the concept of Mission LiFE (Lifestyle For Environment) as a part of the
larger vision of ‘One earth, one family, one future’.
upon every individual - not just countries and institutions - to become a
beacon of hope for humanity by consciously adopting a helpful approach
to the environment, supporting a switch over to renewable energy and
generally upholding the idea of a lifestyle that was in sync with
inclusivity and equality, the Delhi Declaration was breaking new
Another feature of this G20 summit was the consensus it
reached on the need to create a Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI),
define its principles and framework and make it an instrument of the new
vision for global prosperity. Prime Minister Modi with his impassioned
devotion to the cause of Digital India, drove this initiative and
secured the total backing of the participants.
A related idea of
encouraging ‘start-ups’ was brought to the high table and India’s
example as a lead player in that was successfully put forth, to
demonstrate India’s front-line role in advancing the cause of the global
India was projected as the fastest-growing economy with
the potential to become one of the three largest economies of the world
and the ‘ease of doing business’ was convincingly explained to lay the
ground for further foreign investments in India. India’s potential
across the spectrum - from Space to Sports - was well demonstrated.
Minister Modi has to be given credit for pushing India as an equal
partner and as a responsible stakeholder in the G20 group. Reaffirmation
of expeditious implementation of the 2023 Agenda on SDGs Goals in a way
that ‘no one is left behind’, the call for women-led development and
emphasis on the conceptual shift from a GDP-centric approach to
human-centric development, must be regarded as transformational ideas
voiced at Delhi Summit.
It is remarkable how the G20 Presidency
has put India on the global map in a manner that its voice of wisdom has
been acknowledged across the world. India’s security and economic
interests have been well served at the Delhi Summit.
will of the Modi regime has put the stamp of consistency and strategic
soundness on India’s foreign policy that basically favoured bilateral
and multilateral friendships which were mutually beneficial and were not
in conflict with the cause of global peace and advancement of the world
In the context of the Ukraine-Russia military
confrontation, India held its ground while calling for a peaceful
resolution through talks without naming either side in that combat and
highlighting in the Delhi Declaration the pronouncement of Prime
Minister Modi that ‘this is not an era of war’.
No voice of
dissent was raised by the US, Russia and China at the summit and India’s
policy of pushing the Indo-US relationship to a new height while
maintaining the country’s deep bonds with Russia was proceeding
India maintained its vocal advocacy of UN reforms on
the grounds that the world body had to be a representative one in
today’s global order and had to broad base its decision-making process.
appears that voices favouring India’s inclusion as a permanent member
of the UN Security Council are getting stronger every day as there is a
realisation that this was needed to maintain the very credibility of the
UN body as the arbiter of matters affecting global order and peace.
may be mentioned here that the Delhi Declaration of the G20 Summit gave
equal importance to issues of world security and global economic
development - this was because India had chosen to be upfront about
expressing concerns at all world forums that affected India’s security
and posed a danger to the world at large, as well.
At the G20
summit, India gave a clear message to China and Pakistan that it was
well-prepared to deal with them both and effectively counter their joint
mischief against this country.
After the G20 summit, India is
better prepared to deal with an aggressive China on the borders and
elsewhere and is in a position to inflict costs on Pakistan for its
cross-border misadventures. For all of that Prime Minister is rightly
relying on capacity building by India on the ‘mantra’ of
The gains of G20 have been unprecedented in terms
of the cultural richness, ‘soft power’ potential and new avenues of
exports of India’s enormous handicrafts and local products, to which the
world was given access during the extensive get-togethers and domestic
‘touring’ organised for the visiting dignitaries.
G20 events were
held in 60 cities across 28 states and 8 Union Territories. Foreign
guests literally emerged in the rich Indian culture - the gifts
presented to them ranged from Pashmina shawls and Khadi stoles to Indian
and Rosewood handcrafts and Kannauj perfumes. They all had once in a
lifetime experience on this visit to India. This will impact favourably
on India’s economic prospects and diplomatic advancement.
larger gain from G20 is that by hosting the summit on such a grand scale
of hospitality, providing for bilateral meetings with most visiting
heads and presenting India as the flag bearer of the Global South and as
a champion of humanitarian approach to economic development, India’s
Presidency has converted this group of developed countries into a world
forum where an unbiased view could be upheld on geopolitical
developments, issues of global economy with particular reference to the
lot of the developing countries and on crucial dimensions of ‘one earth
one family’ like climate change, disaster management and gender
India’s rise at the G20 summit as a world power was matched by its ascendancy in the region.
the run-up to the Delhi summit, Prime Minister Modi emerged as the
anchor of the ASEAN-India summit in Indonesia where he presented a
framework of cooperation between India and ASEAN on issues such as
connectivity, digital transformation, trade and economic partnership,
collective fight against terrorism and terror funding and cyber
Moreover, India defined the ASEAN stand on the
Indo-Pacific and Prime Minister Modi emphasised that the code of conduct
for the South China Sea should be effective and should take into
account the interests of countries not involved in it. Indian Prime
Minister has shown an exceptional ability to go into the security
concerns of India and actively lead strategic, diplomatic and political
initiatives to do what was best for this country.
The role of
India’s National Security Advisor in all of this stands out when one
looks back on what his predecessors did in moments of national crisis
like 26/11 and the radical onslaught of Pak ISI in Kashmir in the early
Prime Minister Modi’s justification of friendship with
the US is based not on any compulsion of humouring the latter as a
superpower but on a conviction that India and the US as the two largest
democracies with the proven credentials of their electoral systems, must
lead the democratic world against the dictatorial regimes - amongst
them the Marxist China and the ‘fundamentalist’ Pakistan - for the
larger good of the world.
India under the Modi regime has been
able to achieve convergence of thought with countries like the US, the
UK, Japan, Australia and even Saudi Arabia. The announcement of the
India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor in the presence of
representatives of the US, France, Germany, EU, Saudi Arabia, UAE and
Turkey, proved this.
Prime Minister Modi highlighted the need for
respecting the sovereignty of all nations implicitly conveying his
disapproval of the CPEC under China’s Belt& Road Initiative(BRI)
that cut through POK in the face of strong protests from India.
India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor is also meant to curb the
rise of Islamic Radicals with their faith-based terrorism, who were
evidently receiving support from the Sino-Pak axis.
large terrorist attack of Hamas on Israel is the outcome, among other
things relating to the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict, of a
constant spread of radicalisation in the Muslim world. The G20
Presidency has helped India to isolate its adversaries and widen the
area of support for its strategy of dealing with them.