PM Modi calls for consensus at G20 foreign ministers’ meeting

PM Modi calls for consensus at G20 foreign ministers’ meeting

Inaugurating G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting, Mr. Modi says post-World War II global governance has “failed”

The international order created after the end of the World War II has failed to deliver its goals and the crushing impact of this failure is being felt mostly by the developing world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday while delivering the inaugural speech at the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM) in New Delhi through a video feed. The Prime Minister urged the delegates to “rise above differences” to address the challenges confronting the world.

“The architecture of global governance created after the World War II was to serve two functions. First, to prevent future wars by balancing competing interests; second to foster international cooperation on issues of common interests. The experience of the last few years – financial crisis, climate change, pandemic, terrorism, and wars clearly shows that global governance has failed in both its mandates,” said Mr. Modi. He urged the G20 to build consensus and resolve differences saying, “We should not allow issues that we cannot resolve together to come in the way of those we can.”

The Foreign Ministers Meeting, second in the list of ministerial meetings under the Indian Presidency of this year’s G20 summit, is being presided by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar who began the proceeding by observing a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the February 6 earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

During his speech, Mr Modi highlighted the developmental goals of the developing countries and said the “food and energy security” are among the most important issues before the Global South and added, “No group can claim global leadership without listening to those most affected by its decisions.”

He highlighted the debt problem facing the least developed countries and reminded the grouping of its responsibility in dealing with “growth, development, economic resilience, disaster resilience, financial stability, transnational crime, corruption, terrorism, and food and energy security.” The Prime Minister of India urged for consensus among the attending countries and said, “I am sure that today’s meeting will be ambitious, inclusive, action-oriented, and will rise above differences.”

The meeting in the Rashtrapati Bhavan Cultural Centre was preceded by the arrival of the foreign ministers of the member nations with the exception of the foreign minister of Japan who was delayed because of his “parliamentary commitments”.

In his remarks, Dr. Jaishankar highlighted the economic difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, disrupted supply chains, and the “knock-on affects of ongoing conflicts, anxiety of debt crises and the disruption of climate events.” He urged the G20 member countries to strengthen multilateralism and strengthen it deal with the “changing world”. Mr Jaishankar mention the need to reform the United Nations which has remained unchanged since 1945.

“Since 2005, we have heard sentiments for reform being expressed at the highest level. But as we all know, these are not materialized. The reasons are no secret either. The longer we put it off, the more the credibility of multilateralism stands eroded. Global decision making must be democratized if it has to have a future,” he said.

Dr. Jaishankar echoed the opening statement by PM Modi and said, G20 member countries “must be sensitive to the priorities and economic concerns of all our partners, especially those most vulnerable.”

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