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Development to be core agenda of G20 virtual summit : Amitabh Kant

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NEW DELHI : Development will be the core agenda of Wednesday’s virtual G20 summit in which all major G20 leaders who attended the New Delhi summit in September will participate, G20 sherpa Amitabh Kant said.

Speaking at a pre-summit press conference on Tuesday, Kant said world leaders will take forward the guidance provided in the Delhi declaration and give impetus to its implementation.

“Since our successful hosting of the leaders summit on 9-10 September, the world has witnessed a succession of events and several new challenges have emerged. While development will be the core agenda—we will focus on developmental issues—the leaders may discuss many other issues,” Kant said.

“The virtual summit will provide an opportunity not only for implementation of the leaders’ declaration, but also for the leaders to share views and enhance cooperation on critical challenges,” he added.

The G20 New Delhi summit was attended by world leaders including US President Joe Biden, France President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minster Rishi Sunak, Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz, President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau , Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, President of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol and Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

“We don’t expect tomorrow’s summit to be any different in terms of participation seen at the New Delhi leaders summit,” said foreign secretary Mr. Vinay Kwatra.

While the Ukraine war loomed over discussions at the New Delhi summit, the Israel-Hamas conflict, which started early October, now threatens to destabilize world economies.

On 9 September, the G20 adopted the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration where consensus was achieved on all issues, including the divisive Ukraine war, making it a historic accomplishment for India’s presidency.

The declaration followed the inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20.

On development, the declaration or joint communique issued on the first day of the two-day summit in the national capital, spoke about strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth, accelerating progress of sustainable development goals, reforms of multilateral development institutions and reinvigorating multilateralism.

Consensus on the joint declaration marked a significant diplomatic breakthrough amid intense negotiations to settle disagreements.

Among the highlights of the declaration were the G20 leaders’ pledge to triple renewable energy sources by 2030, reforming financial institutions including Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), managing debt vulnerabilities of low and middle-income countries and the start of exchange of tax-relevant information on crypto assets by 2027.

“Throughout the G20 presidency, India has worked to ensure that the concerns of the global south received due cognizance,” Kant said.

“The virtual summit will provide an opportunity not only for implementation of the leaders’ declaration, but also for the leaders to share views and enhance cooperation on critical challenges that will confront and address gaps in global governance, reaffirm our existing commitments towards sustainable development goals,” he added.

Kant said progress has been made on several issues since the G20 Leaders Summit in September, which include consensus on tripling of renewable energy capacity globally by 2030, and doubling the global rate of energy efficiency by 2030, which are expected to be key outcomes of COP28.

Mr. Ajay Seth, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), said he expected strong momentum of the developing world agenda to continue as Brazil takes up the G20 presidency.

Foreign secretary Kwatra said India is working closely with Brazil, which takes up the G20 presidency after India, in shaping up priorities of the G20 nations.

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