As leaders from around the world assembled for the start of the G20 Summit on Saturday, India reaffirmed on Friday that the forthcoming New Delhi Declaration would serve as “the voice of the Global South and the developing nations.”
Speaking at a press conference on the eve of the two-day Summit, India’s G20 Sherpa, Amitabh Kant, stated, “The New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, which many of you will have the opportunity to review after the Summit, will resonate with the perspectives of the Global South and the developing nations. No document on the global stage will carry the same weight for the Global South and the developing nations as the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration.”
He added, “We launched our Presidency with a meeting that represented the voice of the Global South. We collected input from 125 leaders and have remained dedicated to understanding the viewpoints of the Global South and the requirements of developing nations.”
Kant underscored the inclusive and action-oriented character of India’s presidency and indicated that the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration is nearing completion. However, he refrained from providing specific details, noting that the declaration would be presented to the leaders, and discussions regarding its tangible achievements would follow.
He emphasized Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for India’s G20 Presidency, highlighting its inclusive nature and the extensive scope of the Presidency’s initiatives. India hosted 19 G20 countries, the European Union, 29 specially invited countries, three regional organizations, and 11 international organizations, all of which actively participated in the 220 meetings held in India.
Kant acknowledged that India assumed the G20 Presidency amid a global backdrop of slowing growth and productivity. He highlighted the substantial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed many individuals below the poverty line, led to widespread job losses, and posed challenges to achieving sustainable development goals. Kant also emphasized the pressing issues posed by the climate crisis and the urgent need for climate action.
In response to a question about the Summit declaration, Kant indicated his preference for providing insights after the conclusion of the Summit, as the process towards the joint declaration was still ongoing.
Additionally, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Chief Coordinator (G20) Harsh Vardhan Shringla, and Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth addressed the press conference. Kwatra outlined the structure of the official conference program, featuring sessions on “One Earth,” “One Family,” and “One Future,” along with sideline events and social activities.
Kwatra also mentioned specific events, including a dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu for Summit leaders, a visit to Rajghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi, and a program for the spouses of the leaders.
He highlighted Prime Minister Modi’s plans for multiple bilateral meetings and discussions on the sidelines of the Summit with visiting heads of state, government representatives, and other leaders.
Kwatra underscored the extensive engagement of Indian citizens in G20 events throughout the country, with approximately 15 million citizens directly participating in various G20-related activities. He lauded this as a noteworthy example of cooperative federalism and a unified national effort to ensure the success of India’s G20 Presidency.