Latest World News: G-20 Joint Communique | Russia accepts a paragraph on the war in Ukraine

Delegates attend the G-20 Energy Transition Ministerial meeting chaired by Energy Minister RK Singh in Goa on July 22, 2023.

Delegates attend the G-20 Energy Transition Ministerial meeting chaired by Energy Minister RK Singh in Goa on July 22, 2023. | Photo credit: ANI

India’s G-20 negotiators have made progress in reaching consensus, with Russia dropping its objections to one of two paragraphs on the war in Ukraine that were taken from last year’s Bali declaration at recent ministerial meetings.

While the two encounters that of G-20 labor ministers meet in Indore which ended on July 21, and the G-20 Energy Transition Ministerial Meeting in Goa July 22 again failed to issue joint statements, with the footnotes indicating Russia’s objections reduced to a single paragraph that criticizes Moscow’s role in the war in Ukraine. Russia accepted the second paragraph, which deals more generally with the need to uphold international law. However, objections from China and now South Africa have raised new concerns for negotiators.

According to the footnote of the President’s summary of the document released in Goa, Russia expressed its separate view on the situation in Ukraine, geopolitical tensions and sanctions during the meeting, indicating that while Russia withdrew objections to a paragraph, the differences in position were openly discussed during the ministerial meeting. The paragraph that Russia is now comfortable with includes Prime Minister Narendra Modis’ statement that today’s era is not one of war.

China, however, maintained its opposition to including any geopolitical issues in the statements, saying the war in Ukraine should not be mentioned.

China said the G-20 was not the right platform to address security issues and objected to the inclusion of content related to geopolitics, read the footnotes to the labor ministers’ meeting and the chairpersons’ summary of the energy transition meeting.

Another new concern arose when South Africa asked to include a footnote to the paragraphs regarding Ukraine at the meeting of labor ministers, indicating that the language on the war, which had been agreed at the Bali summit, may no longer be acceptable to all G-20 members.

South Africa’s position is based on the fact that the Sherpas did not conclude discussions on (paragraph on the war in Ukraine).

Sources at the G-20 secretariat said Russia’s changes in position were a positive step and meant there were still ways to negotiate a final communiqué to be released at the leaders’ summit in Delhi on September 9-10.

While Sherpa Amitabh Kant and his team of negotiators held talks with other Sherpas in Hampi last week, they indicated that the Ukraine issue would be left for the end, while other parts of the more than 50-paragraph leaders’ draft declaration are negotiated over the coming weeks. The Sherpas and their deputy under-Sherpas are expected to hold sustained talks from August 1-3 via video conference to consider what is called the Zero-Draft or the first full draft of the document circulated in Hampi.

If India fails to issue a leaders’ statement as the joint statement is called, it would be the first time since the start of the G-20 grouping of world economies in 1999, and was elevated to the leaders’ summit in 2008, that the countries are unable to agree on a common document. So far, no G-20 ministerial meeting under India’s presidency has been able to come up with a joint statement, given Russia and China’s objections to the Bali paragraphs, while G-7 countries, including the United States, Europe and Japan, have insisted on including Russia’s critical language.

However, the sources said it was encouraging to see that there was consensus on large parts of the rest of India’s G-20 agenda on development issues and that ambitious outcomes had emerged from each of the ministerial meetings.

Clean Energy Concerns

Meanwhile, the G-20 energy transition ministerial meeting in Goa ran into difficulties on issues such as the need to phase down rather than phase out fossil fuels, as well as climate finance in the document. While India and other developing countries want to limit fossil fuel phase-out demands as they still largely depend on coal-fired thermal power for their development, more advanced economies have been pushing for faster targets to end the construction of new coal-fired power plants and the use of fossil fuels.

Read also | War in Ukraine not a priority of G-20 presidency, says India

We did not fail to negotiate, Energy and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh said at a press conference in Goa on Saturday. If there is no unanimity, and even one country does not agree with the (statement), then the document becomes the chair’s summary, rather than a consensus document, he added, referring to questions on seven paragraphs where there were objections from various countries.

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An Overview of Global Events in 2023

In 2023, the world witnessed a myriad of events that left a lasting impact on global affairs. From political developments and economic shifts to environmental challenges and breakthroughs in science and technology, the year was marked by significant changes and a sense of urgency for collective action. Here’s an overview of some of the latest world news in 2023.

Political Unrest and Diplomatic Strides:
In the political arena, several regions experienced unrest and geopolitical tensions. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East continued to dominate headlines, with efforts towards peace and stability remaining elusive. However, there were also moments of diplomatic breakthroughs as nations engaged in dialogues to ease tensions and work towards lasting solutions.

Economic Transformations:
The global economy faced both challenges and opportunities. Trade disputes between major powers affected markets, while some countries grappled with debt crises. On the other hand, emerging economies showed resilience and promising growth, fueling optimism for a more balanced global economic landscape.

Technological Advancements:
Innovation surged forward in the tech industry, with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration. Quantum computing achieved milestones, promising radical transformations across industries. Renewable energy sources gained traction, with many countries setting ambitious goals to combat climate change.

Climate Crisis and Environmental Resilience:
As the climate crisis intensified, extreme weather events wreaked havoc in various parts of the world. Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods reminded humanity of the urgent need for climate action. In response, governments and communities across the globe doubled down on efforts to reduce carbon emissions, invest in sustainable infrastructure, and protect biodiversity.

Health and Pandemic Management:
Health remained a global priority as countries continued to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With the emergence of new variants, vaccination efforts and public health measures remained crucial to curbing the spread of the virus. There were also significant advancements in medical research and technology, offering hope for better preparedness in handling future health crises.

Sports and Cultural Milestones:
Amidst the challenges, the world found moments of joy and unity through sports and culture. International sporting events brought together athletes from diverse backgrounds, promoting solidarity and camaraderie. Cultural exchanges and celebrations showcased the richness of human diversity and fostered mutual understanding.

In conclusion, the year 2023 was a dynamic period filled with significant events that shaped the course of history. From political unrest to technological advancements and environmental challenges, the world witnessed the complexities of the global landscape. While obstacles remained, there were also encouraging developments and collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for all nations. As we move forward, the lessons learned from these events serve as a reminder of the importance of collective action and cooperation to address shared global challenges.