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22 Feb, 2023 14:22

G20 president says now not ‘an era for war’

India’s information minister called for collective action to solve the world's problems
G20 president says now not ‘an era for war’

India has urged the G20 members to pursue consensus and unity in tackling the multiple global challenges facing humanity, rather than sticking to “contentious issues.”   

The country is hosting the G20 foreign ministers and governors and deputies of the central banks of participating states, marking India’s first hosting of a major international event since it took over the rotating presidency in December.  

“Today’s era is not for war. Democracy, dialogue and diplomacy is the way forward,” Anurag Thakur, India’s information minister, told a news conference on Wednesday, as quoted by Reuters. He was welcoming foreign delegates to the Nandi Hills summer retreat for a G20 event which will last through Saturday, 

“The global economy is facing the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, food and energy insecurity, broad-based inflation, heightened debt vulnerabilities, worsening climate change, and geopolitical tension,” the minister outlined.  

Thakur called on the visiting officials to embrace “the spirit of multilateralism” to tackle the problems.  

Previous G20 events, hosted by Indonesia, were overshadowed by the crisis in Ukraine, as those members backing and arming Kiev against Russia used the platform to advocate for the Ukrainian cause and condemn Moscow. Ukraine is not a member of the group, but Russia is.  

During the G20 leaders summit in December, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky unveiled what he termed a “peace formula” – a demand for Russia to withdraw troops from territories claimed by Kiev and pay reparations. Moscow rejected the proposal as detached from reality.  

India is among the nations that have distanced themselves from the conflict in Ukraine and rejected the US-led campaign to punish Russia with economic sanctions. It has also become a leading buyer of Russian hydrocarbons amid Moscow’s standoff with the West.  

Reuters cited Indian sources as saying that New Delhi didn’t want suggestions of anti-Russian restrictions to be floated during this week’s summit. The existing punitive measures “have had a negative impact on the world,” one official explained.  

Moscow says the Ukraine conflict is a proxy war against Russia waged by Western elites, who want to preserve their global dominance and continue to extract a “hegemon’s rent” from the world.