Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Saturday said that India will work with the G-20 to address serious such as debt, food, and energy security.
India assumes the presidence of G-20 in December. Between assuming presidency and the Summit, India will hold over 200 meetings across the country, including the G-20 Leaders Summit which include the participation of heads of government or state of the member countries.
The G20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world's major developed and developing economies. The Group of 20 has three stated objectives, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
- Policy coordination between its members in order to achieve global economic
- stability, sustainable growth
- To promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises
- To create a new international financial architecture
"As we begin the G20 presidency this December, we are sensitive to the challenges faced by developing countries," Jaishankar said in his address to the high-level UN General Assembly session in New York on Saturday.
Jaishankar told the 193-member UN General Assembly that India will work with other G20 members to address serious issues of debt, economic growth, food and energy security and particularly, environment.
"The reform of governance of multilateral financial institutions will continue to be one of our core priorities," said Jaishankar.
Jaishankar also noted that the Indo-Pacific region too witnesses fresh concerns about its stability and security. His remarks came amidst China's aggressive actions in the strategically important region. Notably, China has been accused of predatory lending to developing countries that plunges these countries into "debt trap".
Noting that while the global attention has been on Ukraine, India has also had to contend with other challenges, especially in its own neighbourhood, in an apparent reference to the unresolved standoff with China in Eastern Ladakh and strained relations with Pakistan.
"Some of them may be aggravated by the Covid pandemic and ongoing conflicts; but they speak too of a deeper malaise. The accumulation of debt in fragile economies is of particular concern," said Jaishankar.
Jaishankar asserted that India believes that in such times, the international community must rise above narrow national agendas. India, for its part, is taking exceptional measures in exceptional times "When we fill the gap in humanitarian needs left unaddressed by political complexity".
Jaishankar highlighted that India had sent 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and multiple tranches of medicines and vaccines to Afghanistan, extended credits of $3.8 billion to Sri Lanka for fuel, essential commodities and trade settlement, supplied 10,000 metric tons of food aid and vaccine shipments to Myanmar.
"Whether it is disaster response or humanitarian assistance, India has stood strong, contributing particularly to those nearest to it," said Jaishankar.
The G-20 comprises 19 countries —Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the USA— and the European Union. Collectively, the G-20 accounts for 85 per cent of global GDP, 75 per cent of international trade and two-thirds of the world population, making it the premier forum for international economic cooperation.
India is currently part of the G20 Troika (current, previous and incoming G20 Presidencies) comprising Indonesia, Italy and India.
"During our Presidency, India, Indonesia and Brazil would form the troika. This would be the first time when the troika would consist of three developing countries and emerging economies, providing them a greater voice," said the Ministry of External Affairs in a press release earlier this month.
(With PTI inputs)