Divisions over Ukraine, climate are the highlight of G20 Summit
Leaders of the G20 stress that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be abided by, especially regarding the war, noting that the forum is not the platform to "resolve geopolitical and security issues."
At the New Delhi Summit Declaration on Saturday, the G20 leaders released a statement with different views on the war in Ukraine, but they jointly called for respect for the UN Charter.
Leaders of the G20, the world's biggest economies, stressed that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be abided by, especially regarding the war, noting that the G20 is not the platform to "resolve geopolitical and security issues."
"In line with the UN Charter, all states must refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state," the declaration read, adding that "today's era must not be of war."
Meanwhile, the leaders of G20 nations said they are against using nuclear weapons or respective threats, according to a final declaration of the New Delhi summit of the group.
"The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible," the document read.
Simultaneously, a reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was urged "to improve all its functions through an inclusive member-driven process" and create "a fully and well-functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all members by 2024."
A report by CNN yesterday pointed out how Chinese President Xi Jinping's no-show at the G20 summit, which marks his first absence since becoming President, is raising concerns among Western leaders that China is transmitting a clear message about its ambitions to reshape global governance. His decision to skip this year's summit has been met with speculation, but no official explanation has been made.
Failure to agree on fossil fuel phase-out
The convened leaders also failed to agree to a phase-out of fossil fuels, despite a UN report a day earlier deeming the drawdown "indispensable" to achieving net-zero emissions.
However, they did back, in a first, the target of tripling global renewable energy capacity, a goal that the chief of the COP28 climate talks that begin in November advocated for.
The much-debated G20 statement also acknowledged the necessity of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by slashing greenhouse gases 43% by 2030 from 2019 levels.
It also includes a reference to the need for emissions to peak before 2025.
"Increasing renewables must be backed by phasing down fossil fuels –- both are indispensable for just transitions and a net-zero world," said Madhura Joshi, senior associate at climate think tank E3G.
"We need stronger bolder action from leaders," she added.
Backing the Black Sea Initiative
The African Union was also welcomed as a new permanent member as the declaration expressed hope that the Union will facilitate solving global problems after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the joining of the African Union earlier.
"We welcome the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 and strongly believe that inclusion of the African Union into the G20 will significantly contribute to addressing the global challenges of our time," the statement continued, as it supported the African Union's aspirations under Agenda 2063 and ensuring industrialization in Africa.
A Bloomberg report published on September 7 explained that this transition would elevate the African Union, comprising 55 member states, to a standing equivalent to that of the EU, replacing its current categorization as an "invited international organization."
Regarding the Black Sea Initiative under the Russia-Ukraine context, the leaders called for the effective implementation of the deal to ensure the supply of Russian fertilizers.
"We appreciate the efforts of Turkiye and UN-brokered Istanbul Agreements ... and call for their full, timely and effective implementation to ensure the immediate and unimpeded deliveries of grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizers/inputs from the Russian Federation and Ukraine," the declaration said, stressing the leaders' commitment to fortify global food security and affordable nutrition for all.
Ukraine slams G20 statement as 'nothing to be proud of'
Kiev criticized the G20 leaders' statement on Russia's operation, which denounced the "use of force for territorial gain" but refrained from direct criticism of Russia by name.
"Ukraine is grateful to the partners who tried to include strong wording in the text. At the same time, in terms of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, the Group of 20 has nothing to be proud of," said Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.
Nikolenko posted a photo of a part of the statement edited in red, changing "the war in Ukraine" to "the war against Ukraine" and adding references to Russia.
G20 adopted a final declaration. We are grateful to the partners who tried to include strong wording in the text. However, in terms of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, G20 has nothing to be proud of. This is how the main elements of the text could look to be closer to reality pic.twitter.com/qZqYluVKKS— Oleg Nikolenko (@OlegNikolenko_) September 9, 2023
The document called on "all states" to "refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state."
Downplaying the impact of the declaration, Nikolenko said, "It's obvious that the Ukraine's participation (in the meeting) would allow the participants to better understand the situation."