Right Place & Time
India's G20 presidency came at a critical juncture when global geopolitics and economics were undergoing transformation. This period was characterized by the Russia-Ukraine war and the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diplomatic Timing and Global Dynamics
- Geo-Political Churn: India's G20 presidency occurred during a time of significant geopolitical shifts, primarily influenced by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and its consequences, as well as the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Voice of Global South Summit: India leveraged its presidency to convene the Voice of Global South summit, bringing together around 120 countries disproportionately affected by the war, reflecting their concerns on the G20 platform.
- African Union's Inclusion: India's proposal to include the African Union (AU) as the 21st member of the G20, with support from key global players like the US, France, and China, aimed to enhance the representation of the Global South in the group.
Strategic Diplomacy and Outcome
- Mutually Reinforcing Moves: The Voice of Global South summit and the AU's inclusion complemented each other and allowed India to craft a diplomatic approach addressing the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the New Delhi G20 Leaders' Declaration.
- Global South's Key Role: The concerns of the Global South, represented by the AU and other nations, became pivotal in bridging differences between the G7-led western group and the Russia-China bloc, leading to a consensus in the joint communique.
- Comprehensive Outcome: The joint communique not only addressed the economic impact but also delved into the political implications of a powerful nation invading a smaller neighbor, emphasizing the diplomatic success achieved during India's presidency.
Diplomatic Success and Global Impact
- Long-term Significance: India's diplomatic initiatives during its G20 presidency, including the AU's inclusion and the Voice of Global South summit, have the potential to shape future global discussions and enhance the representation of emerging powers in international forums.
- Enhanced Representation: The AU's inclusion and the Global South's role in the G20 summit highlighted the importance of representation and gave a voice to countries disproportionately affected by global events.
- Diplomatic Nuance: India's diplomatic approach, strategically timed and articulated, not only reflected the concerns of the Global South but also played a key role in balancing the interests of major geopolitical players in shaping the joint communique on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.