Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Thursday for the G20 to bridge differences over Ukraine, telling the opening of a meeting in New Delhi that global governance has “failed”.
“The experience of the last few years -– financial crisis, climate change, pandemic, terrorism and wars — clearly shows that global governance has failed,” Modi said in a recorded statement opening the meeting of G20 foreign ministers.
“We are meeting at a time of deep global divisions… We all have our positions and our perspectives on how these tensions (can) be resolved. However, as the leading economies of the world, we also have a responsibility for those who are not in this room,” Modi said.
India had wanted its G20 presidency this year to focus on issues such as alleviating poverty and climate finance, but the Ukraine war has so far crowded out other agenda items.
The gathering will see US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the same room for the first time since July, but the two men are unlikely to hold talks.
The last time Blinken and Lavrov were in the same room, at a G20 meeting in Bali last July, the latter stormed out according to Western officials.
“If Russia — President Putin — were genuinely prepared to engage in meaningful diplomacy necessary to end the aggression, of course we’d be the first to work to engage, but there’s zero evidence of that,” Blinken said.
Blinken had a fiery encounter with Wang last month in Germany after the United States shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon over its east coast on February 4.
Lavrov intends to use his G20 attendance to lambast Western countries over the conflict, according to a Russian foreign ministry statement.
Western nations want to “take revenge for the inevitable disappearance of the levers of dominance from its hands”, the ministry said Tuesday.
“The destructive policy of the US and its allies has already put the world on the brink of a disaster,” it added.
Modi said Thursday that he was confident the meeting would “rise above differences” between its attendees.