The G20 has a pivotal role to play in maintaining a rules-based global order and upholding freedom of navigation, diplomats and experts said at a conference held to analyse the outcomes of the G20 summit in New Delhi.
The G20 Summit in New Delhi was “historic, productive and unprecedented in terms of outcomes,” said Muktesh Pardeshi, Special Secretary in charge of operations in the G20 Secretariat, Ministry of External Affairs, at a panel discussion on the summit in New Delhi.
“India converted a diplomatic event into a people’s movement. It was a Chandrayaan landing moment for the foreign service,” Pardeshi continued. “G20 has touched the hearts of people—that’s the real success of our Presidency.” Pardeshi played a pivotal role in organising around 200 preparatory meetings in the run-up to the New Delhi summit.
The panel discussion, titled, “India’s G20 Presidency: Rules-based Global Order and The Road Ahead,” was organised by India Writes Network and Centre for Global India Insights (CGII), a think tank focused on global affairs, at the India International Centre.
Besides Pardeshi, other experts on the panel included South Africa’s High Commissioner to India, Joel Sibusiso Ndebele, Ambassadors Lakshmi Puri (former UN diplomat and author), Mohan Kumar (India’s former Ambassador to France), and Srikanth Kondapalli (Dean, SIS, Jawaharlal Nehru University). The conference was moderated and chaired by Manish Chand, CEO, India Writes Network and Director, Centre for Global India Insights.
The Special Summit Edition of India and the World titled “India’s G20 Journey: Scaling a New Peak,” published by Inda Writes Network and TGII Media, was also unveiled.
Ndebele, South Africa’s High Commissioner to India, hailed New Delhi’s G20 presidency and the summit for Africa’s inclusion in the G20 and putting the interests of the Global South on the agenda. “The Global South ensured that the conflict in Ukraine did not derail the agenda of development envisioned by the Indian presidency,” said the envoy.
“The UN risks being irrelevant till the Security Council is reformed. Asia and Africa can no longer be bystanders in global decision-making,” he stressed.
“The New Delhi summit has been applauded around the world for bridging divides and igniting hope in a ceaselessly conflicted world,” said Manish Chand. “The New Delhi summit has replaced 3Cs—Crisis, Conflict and Chaos—which dominated the international landscape with 3H—Healing, Hope and Harmony.”
Against the backdrop of China’s aggression in contested geographies including the South China Sea, the role of the G20 in shaping an inclusive maritime order also figured prominently in discussions.
“China was the elephant in the room [at the G20 summit]. China holds the position of the largest trading partner for the majority of G20 nations, including the United States, the European Union, and several ASEAN countries,” Srikanth Kondapalli told the conference.
“China doesn’t want rules-based order but it wants global governance in which it is one of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council so that it can push through global governance-related matters,” said Professor Kondapalli, a well-known China expert.