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India to work with G20 over food security

As we begin the G20 presidency this December, we are sensitive to the challenges faced by developing countries, says EAM Jaishankar

India to work with G20 over food security

United Nations: Ahead of India assuming the Presidency of the G20, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that New Delhi will work with the influential group's other members to address serious issues of debt, food and energy security and environment. The G20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world's major developed and developing economies. India will assume the Presidency of the G20 for one year from December 1, 2022 to November 30, 2023. Under its Presidency, India is expected to host over 200 meetings of the G20 across the country, beginning December 2022. The G20 Leaders' Summit at the level of Heads of State/Government is scheduled to be held on September 9-10, 2023 in New Delhi.

"As we begin the G20 presidency this December, we are sensitive to the challenges faced by developing countries," Jaishankar said in his address to the high-level UN General Assembly session here on Saturday. He told the 193-member UN General Assembly that India will work with other G20 members to address serious issues of debt, economic growth, food and energy security and particularly, environment. "The reform of governance of multilateral financial institutions will continue to be one of our core priorities," he said.

He also noted that the Indo-Pacific region too witnesses fresh concerns about its stability and security. His remarks came amidst China's aggressive actions in the strategically important region. Noting that while the global attention has been on Ukraine, India has also had to contend with other challenges, especially in its own neighbourhood, in an apparent reference to the unresolved standoff with China in eastern Ladakh and strained relations with Pakistan.

"Some of them may be aggravated by the Covid pandemic and ongoing conflicts; but they speak too of a deeper malaise. The accumulation of debt in fragile economies is of particular concern," he said. He asserted that India believes that in such times, the international community must rise above narrow national agendas. India, for its part, is taking exceptional measures in exceptional times "When we fill the gap in humanitarian needs left unaddressed by political complexity."

He highlighted that India had sent 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and multiple tranches of medicines and vaccines to Afghanistan, extended credits of 3.8 billion dollars to Sri Lanka for fuel, essential commodities and trade settlement, supplied 10,000 metric tons of food aid and vaccine shipments to Myanmar.

"Whether it is disaster response or humanitarian assistance, India has stood strong, contributing particularly to those nearest to it," he said. The G20 comprises 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the USA) and the European Union (EU).

Collectively, the G20 accounts for 85 per cent of global GDP, 75 per cent of international trade and two-thirds of the world population, making it the premier forum for international economic cooperation. India is currently part of the G20 Troika (current, previous and incoming G20 Presidencies) comprising Indonesia, Italy and India. "During our Presidency, India, Indonesia and Brazil would form the troika. This would be the first time when the troika would consist of three developing countries and emerging economies, providing them a greater voice," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release earlier this month.

Yoshita Singh
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