G20 meet shows a deepening crisis in multilateralism

Source– The post is based on the article “G20 meet shows a deepening crisis in multilateralism” published in The Indian Express on 4th March 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Global groupings

Relevance: Issues related to G20

News- Group of Twenty foreign ministers, who met in Delhi this week were not able to agree on a final statement.

What are the factors behind lack of consensus in G20 meetings?

It shows the deepening great power conflict and worsening crisis of multilateralism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to the G20 foreign ministers recognised the profound crisis in multilateralism today.

The principal reason for the diplomatic failure at Delhi was the decision by Russia to walk away from the Bali consensus and China’s decision to support Russia.

Three months ago, when the Bali summit took place, the Russian invasion was facing challenges in Ukraine. It rapidly lost ground in the areas that it had occupied.

Since then Russia has reinforced its defensive lines in Ukraine. It is now ready for renewed military offensive. Moscow has also successfully consolidated its expansive strategic partnership with Beijing.

Putin appears confident that time is on his side. A prolonged war would exhaust Ukraine, divide the West and allow Moscow to prevail, if at a massive cost to Russia.

US President Joe Biden has reaffirmed that the US and the West will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.

What is the scope for India as G20 President?

The diplomatic room for Delhi, which led the effort in Bali to produce a consensus had clearly shrunk in recent times.

The PM has underlined India’s twin ambitions — to continue the campaign to reform multilateralism and to get the world to take into consideration the challenges faced by the “Global South”.

Foreign minister S. Jaishanker acknowledged the difficulties in producing a consensus on Ukraine.

He pointed to agreement among the foreign ministers on a number of issues of interest to India and the developing world. These include food and energy security, cooperation to counter terrorism, climate change, global health and disaster management.

India should be optimistic and committed to a sustained effort to make the G20 summit in September a success.

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