Indian PM urges G20 unity to resolve geopolitical tensions

A worker carries flags of participating countries to be placed at the opening session of the G20 foreign ministers meeting in New Delhi, India, March 2, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

NEW DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appealed for unity to resolve prevailing geopolitical tensions, as he inaugurated a G20 foreign ministers' meeting in the Indian capital, New Delhi.

Modi said the world looks upon G20 to deal with challenges of development, economic resilience, financial stability, corruption, terrorism and food and energy security.

India has selected the theme of "One Earth, One Family, One Future" for its G20 presidency, which signals the need for unity of purpose and unity of action, he said.

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"I hope that your meeting today will reflect this spirit of coming together for achieving common and concrete objectives.”

The future of multilateralism depends very much on our ability to strengthen it in a changing world.

S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, India

"You are meeting at a time of big global divisions. Naturally this foreign ministers' meeting will be affected by geopolitical tensions of the day. We all have our positions and perspectives as to how this tension should be resolved," said the Indian premier.

As the chair of the meeting, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said "as we look ahead, there are both pressing and more systemic challenges that we all confront. The future of multilateralism depends very much on our ability to strengthen it in a changing world."

He identified food and energy security as “the immediate anxieties” and said: “But they do have long-term repercussions and solutions. And development cooperation is part of that larger solution that we are deliberating upon today.”

The meeting will focus on challenges of food, fertilizers and fuel security, and such issues should not be relegated to the periphery of the international discourse, Jaishankar said, adding that they are crucial to the global economy and must be treated as such.

"Indeed, we urge that they be central to any decision making. Along with that, the world must also strive for more reliable and resilient supply chains," he said.

The foreign ministers' meeting comes days after a meeting of the G20 finance chiefs in India, which holds the presidency of the bloc this year. That meeting ended with India issuing a "chair's summary and outcome document".

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The New Delhi meeting is being attended by 40 delegations, including those headed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang.

With Reuters input