India will make G20 a catalyst for global change, assures PM

India will make the G20 a “catalyst for global change” and its presidency of the group in 2023 will be inclusive and action-oriented, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday amid persisting differences among the world’s largest economies over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As the G20 presidency was handed over to India by Indonesia, Modi said the country will work for collective action on global challenges such as food and energy security. Indonesian President Joko Widodo banged a gavel to mark the change of presidency at the closing session of the G20 Summit in Bali. In an address at the closing session, Modi noted India is taking charge of the G20 at a “time when the world is simultaneously grappling with geopolitical tensions, economic slowdown, rising food and energy prices and the long-term ill-effects of the pandemic”. He congratulated Widodo for his “efficient leadership” of the G20 in difficult times.

Speaking in Hindi, he said: “At such a time, the world is looking at the G20 with hope. Today, I want to assure that India’s G20 presidency will be inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented.”

He added, “Together, we will make the G20 a catalyst for global change.”

In an apparent reference to global tensions and divisions triggered by the Ukraine conflict, Modi said future generations won’t be able to take advantage of economic growth without peace and security. “The G20 has to convey a strong message in favour of peace and harmony. All these priorities are fully embodied in the theme of India’s G-20 chairmanship—‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’,” he emphasized.

India will formally begin its presidency on 1 December and host the next summit in New Delhi in September 2023. Modi said India will strive to ensure the G20 “acts as a global prime mover to envision new ideas and accelerate collective action”. The benefits of development should be universal and all-inclusive, and extended to everyone with compassion and solidarity, he said.

Highlighting the role of women in global development, he said, “We have to maintain priority on women-led development even in our G20 agenda.”


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