India to build consensus within G-20: Meenakshi Lekhi

India’s policy on the Ukraine crisis has been ‘consistent and persistent’ and India will champion the voice of the global south in the G-20, says the Minister of State for External Affairs.

December 08, 2022 01:45 am | Updated 01:45 am IST - NEW DELHI

Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi

Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi | Photo Credit: PTI

India would try to build consensus regarding crucial global issues during the G-20 Presidency for the 2023 summit which was scheduled to be held here next September, said Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Informing the Lower House about the government’s international initiatives, she said that India’s policy on the Ukraine crisis had been “consistent and persistent” and that India would champion the voice of the global south in the G-20. Ms. Lekhi drew attention to the September 15-16, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand where Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and emphasised the need for peace.

“His statement was in the context of the Ukraine conflict, where our advocacy of dialogue and diplomacy has been consistent and persistent. It has a larger resonance as well. We have also extended support on specific concerns such as supply of food grains and fertilizers, as indeed on security of nuclear installations,” said Ms. Lekhi.

The Minister of State informed the House about Mr. Modi’s visit to Japan to attend the state funeral of the slain Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Describing the meeting between the Indian Prime Minister and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, Ms. Lekhi said, “In his meeting... the Prime Minister noted the invaluable contributions made by Shinzo Abe to strengthening India-Japan relations, as well as conceptualising the vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.”

Ms. Lekhi informed the Lok Sabha that Kashi had been designated as the SCO Cultural and Tourist Capital for 2022-’23. This initiative would help showcase the cultural heritage of India. She briefed the House about the G-20 related meetings that had already begun to be held in India.

“The G-20 is taking place in the larger context of a geopolitical crisis, food and energy insecurity, slow progress on sustainable development goals, mounting debt burden and challenges to climate action and climate justice,” she said.

Ms. Lekhi said India’s G-20 Presidency would be based on Jan Bhagidari (People’s Participation) which would draw participation from all sections of the people. She described India’s foreign policy as a means to serve the people of India and said, “we will do whatever it takes to discharge that responsibility”.

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