Heads of international organizations,
I welcome you to India for the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting.
India has selected the theme of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ for its G20 Presidency.
It signals the need for unity of purpose and unity of action.
I hope that your meeting today will reflect this spirit of coming together, for achieving common and concrete objectives.
We must all acknowledge that multilateralism is in crisis today.
The architecture of global governance, created after the Second World War, was to serve two functions.
First, to prevent future wars by balancing competing interests.
Second, to foster international cooperation on issues of common interests.
The experience of the last few years – financial crisis, climate change, pandemic, terrorism, and wars – clearly shows that global governance has failed in both its mandates.
We must also admit that the tragic consequences of this failure are being faced most of all by the developing countries.
After years of progress, we are at risk today of moving back on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Many developing countries are struggling with unsustainable debt, while trying to ensure food and energy security for their people.
They are also the ones most affected by global warming caused by richer countries.
This is why India’s G20 Presidency has tried to give a voice to the Global South.
No group can claim global leadership without listening to those most affected by its decisions.
You are meeting at a time of deep global divisions.
As Foreign Ministers, it is but natural that your discussions are affected by the geopolitical tensions of the day.
We all have our positions and our perspectives on how these tensions should be resolved.
However, as the leading economies of the world, we also have a responsibility towards those who are not in this room.
The world looks upon the G20 to ease the challenges of growth; development; economic resilience; disaster resilience; financial stability; trans-national crime; corruption; terrorism; and food and energy security.
In all these areas, the G20 has capacity to build consensus and deliver concrete results.
We should not allow issues that we cannot resolve together to come in the way of those we can.
As you meet in the land of Gandhi and the Buddha, I pray that you will draw inspiration from India’s civilizational ethos - to focus not on what divides us, but on what unites us.
In recent times, we have seen the most disastrous pandemic of a century.
We have witnessed thousands of lives lost in natural disasters.
We have seen global supply chains break down during times of stress.
We have seen stable economies suddenly overwhelmed by debt and financial crisis.
These experiences clearly show the need for resilience – in our societies, in our economies, in our healthcare systems, and in our infrastructure.
The G20 has a critical role to play in finding the right balance between growth and efficiency on one hand, and resilience on the other.
We can reach this balance more easily by working together. That is why your meeting is important.
I have full trust in your collective wisdom and ability.
I am sure that today’s meeting will be ambitious, inclusive, action-oriented, and will rise above differences.
I thank you and wish you all the best for a productive meeting.
March 02, 2023