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What happened at G20 finance meet?
Because Russia and China objected to the lines criticising Russia’s war on Ukraine, the first meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) in Bengaluru under India’s leadership issued a “Chair’s Summary and Outcome Document” instead.
The terms of the G20 Bali Leaders’ Statement (November 15-16, 2022) regarding the Russia-Ukraine war were kept in the Chair’s Report and Outcome Paper, which was otherwise agreed upon by all members.
When asked why there was a Chair’s Summary rather than a Communique, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman claimed paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Summary were “exactly what the Bali Leaders’ Summit had come up with… But, two countries, Russia and China, expressed reservations. Hence, without a footnote, a Communique cannot be issued. As a result, there had to be a Chair’s Summary and Result Paper”.
The two contentious paragraphs underlined the opinion of member nations about the ongoing war, and deplored “in the harshest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine” while demanding Russia’s “full and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine”.
“Peaceful resolution of conflicts, attempts to handle crises, as well as diplomacy and conversation, are essential,” and “Today’s era must not be one of war,” the paragraphs rejected by Russia and China emphasized.
According to Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth, Russia and China believe that finance ministers and central bank governors should avoid discussing geopolitical concerns, and that the FMCBG nations’ mandate is to discuss economic issues
The report emphasized the importance of strengthening international policy collaboration and leading the global economy toward strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth.
While noting that the global economic outlook had “modestly improved” since the previous meeting in October 2022, it also noted that global growth remained slow, and downside risks to the outlook remained, including elevated inflation, a resurgence of the pandemic, and tighter financing conditions, which could exacerbate debt vulnerabilities in many Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs).
The G20 members resolved to strengthen macroeconomic policy collaboration and emphasized the importance of well-calibrated monetary, fiscal, financial, and structural policies to boost growth and maintain macroeconomic and financial stability.
FM’s ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ During the lunch break, Nirmala Sitharaman looks after the delegates; her simple hospitality wins the Internet.
Among the many high-profile attendees at the G20 finance meeting in Bengaluru on February 25 were World Bank Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath, US Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen, and European Central Bank leader Christine Lagarde. And as host, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made certain they were well taken care of.
During the lunch break, Sitharaman was seen interacting to the guests as they sat at their tables to enjoy an extravagant Indian feast.
India held the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting under its G20 presidency, the topic of which is “One Earth, One Family, One Future”.
Following the summit, the participants released a unified declaration promising to strengthen international policy and drive the global economy toward “strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive” growth.
The delegates also emphasized their solidarity for Ukraine, which is commemorating one year since the Russian invasion.
India Assumed Its G20 Presidency for the first time since its inception under Prime Minister Narendra Modi