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Delhi Declaration at G20 ‘undoubtedly a diplomatic triumph’ says Shashi Tharoor ‘but also an attempt…’

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor lauded the New Delhi Declaration of the G20 members, saying that it “undoubtedly” represents “a diplomatic triumph for India”.

In an exclusive interview with news agency ANI, Shashi Tharoor said, “The Delhi Declaration is undoubtedly a diplomatic triumph for India. It’s a good achievement because right until the G20 summit was being convened, the widespread expectation was there would be no agreement and, that, therefore, a joint communique might not be possible, and, that we might have to end up with a chairman’s summary.”

Moreover, the Congress MP also praised the Modi govt for bringing all member states to a consensus on the New Delhi Declaration.

“The main reason (for lack of a consensus on the statement) was the big gulf between those who wanted a condemnation of the Russian war in Ukraine and those, like Russia and China, who wanted no mention whatsoever of that subject. India was able to find a formula to bridge that gap and that is a significant diplomatic achievement because when there is a Summit without a joint communique, it is always seen as a setback for the chairman,” Tharoor added as quoted by ANI.

However, he also criticised the ruling party and said that it was also an attempt by the “ruling party” (BJP) to turn the mega huddle of world leaders into an “asset” for themselves. “But it was also an attempt by the ruling party to instrumentalize the G20 as something that would turn out to be an asset for them,” Tharoor said.

“Things that were remarkable about the government’s conduct of the presidency was that they did something that no previous G20 presidency has done. They actually made it a nationwide event, 200 meetings in 58 cities with huge amount of action, they converted the G20 into a sort of people G20. With public events, the university connect programmes, civil societies, all these things were done under our presidency. That is in some ways both a credit to India for taking a message of G20 to the entire people,” he said.

Speaking about PM Modi proposed to hold a virtual G20 session in November to review the suggestions and proposals made at the premier forum for international economic cooperation, Tharoor said, “They have every right to do that, they are the ruling party. Many countries have hosted the G20 event, but never a ruling party has celebrated its leadership in such a way, the whole Vishwaguru concept, the posters of Mr Modi every 50 meters in Delhi. All of these are advertising the G20 as if it was the personal achievement of Mr Modi and the BJP government and that I think has raised some eyebrows.” 

Earlier on Sunday, Tharoor lauded India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant for ‘200 hours of non-stop negotiations’ to deliver a consensus on the G20 declaration that was adopted at the Leaders’ Summit. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Tharoor wrote, “Well done ⁦@amitabhk87! Looks like the IFS lost an ace diplomat when you opted for the IAS! “Negotiated with Russia, China, only last night got a final draft,” says India’s G20 Sherpa on ‘Delhi Declaration’ consensus. A proud moment for India at G20!”

Meanwhile, the G20 leaders, meeting in New Delhi unanimously adopted the New Delhi Declaration. The declaration that was announced by PM Modi during the Day 1 of G20 Summit which focused on ‘war in Ukraine’ and geopolitical tensions, sustainable growth, creating an inclusive world among other points. This declaration, according to India’s G20 Sherpa, places a strong emphasis on several key priorities. These include fostering robust and sustainable economic growth, expediting advancements towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals, establishing a green development pact to promote environmental sustainability, and revitalizing the spirit of multilateralism. Notably, the G20 Declaration is being hailed as both historic and groundbreaking. 

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Updated: 11 Sep 2023, 09:38 AM IST


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