Crisis in multilateralism affecting developing nations most: Indian PM at G20 meet


Multilateralism is in crisis today and the failure of the global architecture of governance is affecting developing countries the most, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday in his address to the first foreign ministers’ meeting of G20 nations in 2023.

“The architecture of global governance created after the Second World War was to serve two functions: First, to prevent future wars by balancing competing interests; and second, to foster international cooperation on issues of common interests,” Modi said in a recorded message to the G20 ministers who are meeting in New Delhi.

The prime minister drew attention to the experience of the past few years, saying the financial crisis, climate change, pandemic, and wars clearly showed that global governance had failed in both its mandates.

He said the tragic consequences of this failure were being faced mostly by the developing countries, and the world was at risk of rescinding on sustainable development after years of progress.

The PM also noted that many developing countries were struggling with unsustainable debt while trying to ensure food and energy security for their people. It is developing countries that are most affected by global warming caused by rich countries, he said.

Modi also pointed out how global supply chains have broken down during times of stress and turmoil.

Focus on Global South

Arguing that no group could claim global leadership without listening to those most affected by its decisions, the Prime Minister said India had tried to give a voice to the Global South at the G20.

Modi underlined that today’s meeting was taking place at a time of deep global divisions and as a meeting of foreign ministers, it was only natural for the discussions to be affected by the geo-political tensions of the day.

“We all have our positions and our perspectives on how these tensions should be resolved,” the Prime Minister said. He emphasised that as the leading economies of the world, the responsibility towards those who are not in this room lay with the G20 nations.

“The world looks upon the G20 to ease the challenges of growth, development, economic resilience, disaster resilience, financial stability, transnational crime, corruption, terrorism, and food and energy security,” Modi said, noting that G20 had the capacity to build consensus and deliver concrete results in all these areas.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the knock-on effects of conflict and anxieties over a looming debt crisis had made the current G20 meet a consequential one.

While India has held over a dozen G20 meetings so far, this is the first time all foreign ministers have gathered. The outcome is set to establish a path towards the final G20 leaders’ summit in September.__Business Standard