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G20 reaffirms India’s global ascendency as a Great Power

by Balaji Chandramohan - 12 September, 2023, 12:00 575 Views 0 Comment

As India wishes to take over the mantle of Global leadership which includes having a seat as one of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the recently concluded G20 summit has reaffirmed the range and scope of India’s leadership in the world. 

With India’s G20 presidency ensuring several tangible outcomes, world leaders at the two-day summit here hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “decisive leadership” and for championing the voice of the Global South, according to News reports. 

The world leaders also hailed India’s hospitality and praised Prime Minister Modi for presiding over a successful summit, while noting that the country’s message of ‘one earth, one family, one future’ resonated strongly with all the delegates. 

Under India’s leadership, we have demonstrated that we can come together, at a time when it really matters. When you walk around in ‘Bharat Mandapam’ and see the displays, we can see what PM Modi, the digital initiative and technology can do –delivering service to people in remote corners of our nations,” a source quoted British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as saying at one of the meetings.

During the summit, while Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hailed Prime Minister Modi for providing “great leadership” of the G20, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for strengthening G20 cooperation based on “the foundation created by the Indian presidency”, sources said.

Several leaders also praised the prime minister for “championing the voice of the Global South” and hailed, in a unanimous voice, the key decision to make the African Union (AU) a member of the G20, according to sources.

Hailing Modi, US President Joe Biden was quoted by a source as saying, “The African Union is a critical partner. You (Modi) are bringing us together, keeping us together, reminding us that we have the capacity to tackle challenges together.”

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, said, “Let me congratulate you (Modi) on your wisdom to bring AU to this table.”

Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina thanked Prime Minister Modi for inviting her to the summit and for “raising the voice of the Global South”.

Praising the G20 theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, she said it upholds the value of all lives and the importance of working together for a better future.

Beyond an obvious need to be patient and take a long-term view, but not a Chinese-chequered one, the reality is that any semi-objective assessment of India’s presidency, the summit and the events over the last year, would be a no-brainer: the benefits overwhelm the downside. In sum, the Presidency of the G20 has given New Delhi the weight and influence that India has rarely experienced in its contemporary history. Contrarians can often miss the tree for the forest: 

For example, Oman’s delegation, perhaps, should have been greeted with a shehnai rather than the Garba or we didn’t have enough haute culture, but these awkward moments pale into insignificance if you move from the granular detail to a view with greater perspective. India seems to have demonstrated both wisdom and cleverness (bordering on the crafty), and fortunately, in increasing its gravitas, it has still not lost its soul. 

In conclusion, India’s ascendency as a Global Power is a continuation of India’s readiness to stake claim at the high tables of the UNSC.

Balaji Chandramohan
Author is a member of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses. He has worked as a journalist in India and New Zealand.
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