2023 G20 agree upon a joint statement: African Union joins G20, India-Middle East-Europe-USA Corridor, declaration on Ukraine War

Leaders from the world's 20 largest economies concluded a summit in the Indian capital of New Delhi on Sunday, surmounting significant divisions regarding the Ukraine conflict to produce a consensus document.

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The Group made progress on the global financial architecture reforming institutions like the World Bank, and formally admitted the African Union into the bloc in a bid to enhance its representativeness.

Regarding the Ukraine conflict, G20 nations reached an agreement that states should not acquire territory through force and expressed concern for the suffering of the Ukrainian people. However, they avoided directly criticizing Russia for its role in the war which marked a notable shift from the G20’s stance the previous year when it had condemned Russia’s actions and called for its withdrawal from Ukraine. Diplomats explained that a direct condemnation of Russia would not have been accepted, and they viewed the outcome as successful since all members, including Russia, committed to not seizing territory by force.

India, alongside Brazil, Indonesia, and South Africa, played a pivotal role in preventing a fracture within the G20 over the Ukraine conflict, underscoring the increasing influence of developing nations from the Global South within the group.

The African Union, comprising 55 member states, officially became a permanent member of the G20, placing it on equal footing with the European Union. Previously, only South Africa had been a G20 member. This inclusion of the African Union is aimed at amplifying the voice of the Global South within the G20, where G7 countries have historically held dominant roles.

Leaders from the United States and India, among others, announced plans to establish rail and port connections between the Middle East, South Asia, and ultimately Europe. U.S. President Joe Biden described this initiative as a significant development. The Biden administration is positioning itself as an alternative partner and investor to China’s Belt and Road initiative in global infrastructure development within the G20 framework. However, specific details regarding financing and the timeline for this project, which involves laying railway lines in the Middle East and connecting them to India via ports, were not provided.

On the topic of climate change, G20 leaders agreed to work toward tripling global renewable energy capacity by 2030 and acknowledged the necessity of phasing out unabated coal power. However, they did not set specific, nor ambitious climate targets. The group did not outline a plan to amend existing policies and targets to achieve the renewable energy goal, nor did they specify a pathway to secure the required $4 trillion per year for a green energy transition.

During the closing ceremony of the annual G20 summit, India officially passed the G20 presidency to Brazil. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried out the transition by handing over the symbolic gavel of the presidency to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Modi also put forward the idea of convening a “virtual summit” for the G20 at the conclusion of November. The purpose of this summit would be to evaluate the status of the suggestions and proposals presented by member countries and explore ways to expedite their implementation.

At the conclusion of the mega G20 Summit, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced three primary priorities for his country’s presidency of the G20: social inclusion and hunger eradication, energy transition to more sustainable and cleaner energy sources and sustainable development and reform of global governance institutions.

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