There is consensus among G20 nations over sustainable development and food security but political navigation is required to address Ukraine debate.
As the Narendra Modi government gears up for the G20 Summit this weekend, the Indian Prime Minister will hold bilateral conversations with Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina followed by his scheduled meeting cum dinner with US President Joe Biden on Friday.
He will meet French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday and hold talks with Comoros President Azali Assoumani as chairperson of the African Union also during the summit weekend. It was at PM Modi instance that the African Union was invited to the G20 Summit with India focusing on economic growth and development of pandemic-hit Global South. African nations are reeling under Belt Road Initiative debt with Chinese EXIM banks swapping debt for equity in major infrastructure projects like ports, rail roads and highways in that continent.
Even though PM Modi will be hard-pressed for time as the host, there is a possibility of more bilateral meetings during the summit provided the travel schedules of the VVIP visitors match.
It is understood that the G20 Sherpa and secretariat briefed PM Modi about all the relevant issues of the summit and a briefing of the Union Council of Ministers is scheduled before the summit kicks off.
While work is in progress on the G20 communique, the leaders will have to navigate on geo-political issues like Ukraine and Climate Change even though the G-20 ‘s main charter is economic growth and development. The two issues that will be taken up for Ministers and summit leaders to negotiate and seal are Ukraine and the debate of phasing out coal versus other fossil fuels for addressing climate change.
Even though the coal versus other fossil fuels debate is the topic for COP28 in Dubai later this November-December in Dubai in UAE, the topic will be hotly debated with the summit expected to reach a green development understanding with defined green goals. There appears to be a broad consensus over focusing on sustainable development goals and promoting millets for global food security.
On his part, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to the economic upliftment of the global south with a special focus on Africa, which has been worst hit by the global pandemic and is in need of assistance from the G20 group to recover and counter political instability sweeping parts of the continent.