The Problem Solver: India lauded for leadership and negotiating successful outcome at G20  

Prime Minister Narendra speaking at the G20 leaders meeting which took place Sept. 9 and 10, 2023, in New Delhi. He is flanked by his advisors, including Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar, left. PHOTO: X @narendramodi

New Delhi, India: The recently concluded G20 Leaders’ Summit under India’s presidency has garnered international acclaim, particularly for India’s pivotal role in uniting G20 Leaders in the context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and facilitating the adoption of the New Delhi Leaders Declaration.

“History has been created with the adoption of the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration. United in consensus and spirit, we pledge to work collaboratively for a better, more prosperous, and harmonious future,” declared Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sept. 9, 2023, after days of grueling negotiations among parties to the consensus memorandum, not least because of New Delhi’s skilled leadership.

Global leaders, Indian diplomats, and prominent members in the Indian-American community, lauded the outcomes and noted Prime Minister Modi’s global standing, and his team, which helped hammer out the consensus document.

Indian Americans

Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of News India Times, and Chairman & CEO of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold, said, “India’s G20 Presidency proved to be exceptionally effective. Global leaders were highly impressed by PM Modi’s hosting skills, and the endorsement of the New Delhi Leaders Declaration represents a significant contribution to global peace and economic stability.”

India, now recognized as a formidable global power with a robust economy, is poised to play a substantial role in fostering worldwide economic growth, added Dr. Parikh.

Noting that “The G20 was a monumental milestone for India’s Presidency” President & CEO of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, Mukesh Aghi told News India Times “It showed diplomacy and consensus building can be achieved to solve bigger pressing problems in energy security, food security, gender empowerment, and digital and financial inclusion.”

The African Union became a member of G20 at the Summit held Sept. 9 and 10, 2023. PHOTO: X @narendramodi

About the inclusion of the African Union to the G20, Aghi emphasized that it is vital to involve the Global South in discussions to narrow the divide between the G7 countries and the rest of the world.

“While it would be ambitious to assume, that the G20 Summit could universally bring an end to the war, especially without the Russian President being there” Aghi said, “It did achieve an unprecedented consensus on the diplomatic language of the New Delhi Declaration on achieving a conflict-free world.”

Executive Director of Indiaspora, Sanjeev Joshipura described India as a “Global unifier in troubled times,” and the final declaration as a tremendous success for India and other participating countries and entities. He told News India Times, “The range of topics on which substantive agreements were arrived at is truly impressive,” adding, “Realistically, the fact that the G20 under India’s Presidency arrived at a carefully crafted declaration by painstakingly building consensus is more than what could have been hoped for.”


On his way back to Washington from New Delhi, at his stopover in Hanoi, Vietnam, US President Joe Biden thanked PM Modi for his leadership and hospitality at the G20 Summit, adding, “He [PM Modi] and I have had substantial discussions about how we’re going to continue to strengthen the partnership between India and the United States, building on the Prime Minister’s visit to the White House last June.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Joe Biden, right, President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, President of Brazil Inacio Lula da Silva, and World Bank President Ajay Banga, left, pose for a picture at the G20 meetings in New Delhi Sept. 9 and 10. PHOTO: X @narendramodi

Biden also noted how the G20 provided a platform to demonstrate Washington’s leadership and commitment to solving challenges facing most people around the world, and underscored the progress made on issues such as Multilateral Development Banks, debt relief, and the Global South.

 PM Modi’s Team

“PM @narendramodi’s vision gave the Summit a clear direction for growth and development in the years ahead,” India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted upon the consensus declaration being made public.

“The New Delhi Declaration shows that our Presidency was able to table ideas, shape global issues, bridge divides and forge consensus. We kept the focus on Global South. We showcased our civilizational heritage even as we highlighted contemporary achievements,” Jaishankar noted.

He identified the ‘landmark’ initiatives launched as the Global Biofuel Alliance and the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). And he noted the key outcomes as being – the Green Development Pact; the Action Plan on Sustainable Development Goals; High level principles of Anti Corruption; Support for Digital Public Infrastructure; Reform of Multilateral Development Banks; and the G20 membership of the African Union.

Similarly, attributing the success to PM Modi’s leadership and global stature, G20 Chief Coordinator, Harsh Shringla told News India Times how hurdles were resolved. “There were some differences within the G20 on geopolitical issues. And it needed in our view a different approach to resolve this” when asked about Russia and China’s opposition over the language pertaining to the Ukraine conflict in the Declaration. He pointed to sections of the outcome document which had a distinct imprint of India’s approach to geopolitical issues. (see longer interview).

Issues such as “Respect for the United Nations Charter, international law, sovereignty, territorial integrity of states, diplomacy and dialogue are the only option, and this is not an era of war,” were reflected in the adopted Leaders’ Declaration, Shringla noted.

G20 Special Secretary Muktesh Pardeshi told News India Times that, “India was able to elicit support and could count on support from each group.”

India is in a unique position. We were reaching out to all groups within the G20, whether it was G7 or Russia or China or whether the emerging economies. So, once we had distilled finer points from all of them, we were able to present a document reflecting in some manner, the viewpoints of all shades within the G20,” including those from the G7, emerging economies, and even Russia.

Former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Padma Shri D. R. Kaarthikeyan told News India Times, “The G20 Leaders’ Summit under India’s leadership has achieved significant success on multiple fronts. This achievement not only elevated India but also Prime Minister Modi’s standing on the global stage.” The widespread support for the Summit’s Declaration, would result in the effective execution of its initiatives, he said, which would in turn have a profound impact on fostering global peace and ensuring fairness for all.

Crediting PM Modi for his astute selection of individuals for the G20, especially G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant, Kaarthikeyan, who successfully investigated the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case, added “I have had the privilege of knowing Mr. Kant for the past four decades, during which he has consistently demonstrated dynamism, integrity, and a penchant for undertaking bold initiatives.”

In fact, during the G20 Presidency briefing, Kant while commending PM Modi’s vision also praised the brilliant work of four diplomats. They include G20 Sous-Sherpa and Additional Secretary Abhay Thakur, and G20 Joint Secretaries Nagaraj Naidu, Eenam Gambhir, and Ashish Sinha. Kant noted these three diplomats worked meticulously and that helped to reach consensus in the Leaders Declaration.

Naidu, the lead negotiator on the Russia-Ukraine paragraphs in the Declaration, most recently served as the Chef de Cabinet to the President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, a first for an Indian diplomat, and Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York.

Critic’s Praise

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, a fierce critic on most issues, commended India’s role in getting the G20 to adopt the Leaders Declaration. He told ANI “The Delhi Declaration is undoubtedly a diplomatic triumph for India. It’s a good achievement because right until the G20 summit was being convened, the widespread expectation was there would be no agreement and, that, therefore, a joint communique might not be possible, and, that we might have to end up with a chairman’s summary.”



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