India got G20 back to its real business: Jaishankar

India's external affairs minister says the group's main focus is on economic and developmental matters concerning 200 countries in the world — not the war in Ukraine that had hijacked its agenda


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S.  Jaishankar, India's External Affairs Minister
S. Jaishankar, India's External Affairs Minister

Published: Wed 29 Mar 2023, 6:54 PM

India's external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar on Wednesday said the country has got the G20 back to its original agenda of global growth and development a year after it was seen grappling with the Ukraine conflict.

Addressing the 'Rising India Summit' of the Network18 Group, Jaishankar said the G20 was not the primary forum to debate international peace and security and India would want it to return to matters concerning roughly 200 countries of the world.

"I think our contribution was to get G20 back to the G20's real business. The G20 is not the UN Security Council. It is not the primary forum to debate international peace and security," the minister said.

He said issues such as international peace and security do matter, but there were serious issues such as food and energy security, green financing for nations to worry about.

"We actually got something novel for the G20 to look at — Global Skills Mapping. Where are the skills in the world and where is the demand in the world. They are in two different geographies. So how do we actually put that together? I think that is a very interesting avenue which we have opened up for G20," Jaishankar said.

The minister said the original mandate of the G20 was global growth and development.

"Last year, because of the Ukraine conflict, I think the conversations went in the direction of one issue. Without disrespecting that particular issue, we would like to see a return to what we believe matters to roughly 200 countries of the world," Jaishankar said.

He said the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting and the Foreign Ministers Meeting saw an agreement on 95 per cent of issues.

The minister praised India's efforts to become the "voice of the Global South" and highlighted the "hard work behind achieving the G20 presidency" and bringing something new to the organisation.

"I would take satisfaction in the fact that (with) the Finance Ministers' meeting in Bengaluru and our meeting in Delhi, we were able to get G20 back on track," Jaishankar said.

On the recent appointment of Eric Garcetti as the US Ambassador to India and reports about his views on human rights, Jaishankar said in Hindi "unko 100 per cent pyaar se samjha denge" (We will explain the situation to him, 100 per cent, with love)."

Garcetti, the former Mayor of Los Angeles, was officially sworn in as the US Ambassador to India recently. He has said in the past that he would bring up human rights and discrimination — among which he views India's Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) — as a 'core' piece of his engagement rather than as an obligation, once appointed.


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