G20 summit: Landmark Delhi Leaders Declaration adopted

G20 unanimously approves joint communique. Bali's declaration phraseology on the Ukraine war dropped. Leans on UN charter on territorial integrity. 

Published: 10th September 2023 09:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2023 09:29 AM   |  A+A-

Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a session on ‘One Family’ during the two-day G20 Summit, in New Delhi on Saturday | PTI

NEW DELHI: In a landmark decision, members of the G20 unanimously adopted the New Delhi Leaders Declaration on the opening day of their two-day summit here. 

“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. My gratitude to all fellow G20 members for their support and cooperation,’’ said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the 83-paragraph joint communique, the Delhi declaration dropped words from last year’s Bali Declaration that overtly condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The sentence on “most members strongly condemned the war” was among those that were dropped or amended.

Instead, G20 member states agreed to lean on the tenets of the United Nations charter on territorial integrity and against the use of force. “In line with the UN Charter, all states must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state,” the declaration read.

Besides, the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible, the declaration said. “Considerable time was spent — especially in the last few days — in regard to geopolitical issues, which really centred around the war in Ukraine. China, too, was very supportive of all outcomes,’’ said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, after the declaration was adopted.

“Regarding the change in language on the Russia-Ukraine conflict from the Bali Declaration,  Bali was Bali, New Delhi is Delhi. Many things have happened since the Bali Declaration,” Jaishankar said.

“One should not have a theological view of this. The New Delhi Declaration responds to the concerns of today just like the Bali Declaration responded to the concerns of that time,” he added. 

To underscore the need for sustaining food and energy security, the G20 leaders called for the “cessation of military destruction or other attacks on relevant infrastructure”.

Credit was also given to Turkiye and the UN-brokered Istanbul agreements that facilitated the Black Sea initiative to transport foodgrains from war-torn Ukraine. The G20 member states called for their full, timely and effective implementation to ensure the immediate and unimpeded Ukraine. “This is necessary to meet the demand in developing and least developed countries, particularly those in Africa,’’ the declaration read.

On the Black Sea grain transport initiative, Jaishankar said many discussions are going on. “It’s natural there would be discussions going forward. When the green corridor was created at Bali, we also contributed in our own way, at that time between Turkiye and Russia,” he pointed out. P7

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