Bali G20 Summit to focus on food, energy security

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to meet ‘several’ leaders at the meet in Bali, likely to invite them to the 2023 summit under India’s presidency

November 13, 2022 04:00 pm | Updated November 14, 2022 08:04 am IST - New Delhi

An officer stands guard ahead of the G20 summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia on November 13, 2022.

An officer stands guard ahead of the G20 summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia on November 13, 2022. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for Bali on November 14 to attend the G20 summit on November 15-16. Food and energy security, and post-COVID-19 health issues will be at the top of the agenda in sessions at the summit in the Indonesian city.

Officials said that during the visit, Mr. Modi will meet with “several” G20 leaders but wouldn’t confirm which ones. He will also address the Indian community in Bali, and visit a mangrove forest. Mr. Modi will also use the opportunity to invite all other G20 leaders to the next summit due to be held in India in September 2023.

“This G20 summit is particularly special because India will hold the presidency of the G-20 summit from December 1, 2022 for a one-year period, and the presidency handover will take place during the summit in Bali,” said Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra at a briefing ahead of the visit. Mr. Modi will discuss plans for India’s presidency of the G20, including environment and gender issues and a “greater voice for the global south in issues of international economic cooperation, [and] the need for reformed 21st century institutions,” he said.

When asked about the possibility of Mr. Modi meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping or Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who had to cancel his visit to India on Sunday at the last minute due to “scheduling difficulties”, Mr. Kwatra said “bilateral engagements with the other leaders are still in the process of being scheduled. This is something which remains under evolution.”

Ahead of a possible meeting between Mr. Modi and U.S. President Joseph Biden, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met in Cambodia on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit (EAS) on Sunday, and discussed the war in Ukraine, Indo-Pacific strategy, energy issues, the G20 and Indo-U.S. bilateral relations, Mr. Jaishankar tweeted. “The U.S. supports India’s G20 presidency,” Mr. Blinken said in a tweet, adding that their discussions focussed on “ongoing efforts to expand our partnership & mitigate the effects of Russia’s war on Ukraine.”

Mr. Modi will reach Bali on Monday evening, skipping the B-20 business forum being concluded that day at which Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will give keynote addresses and several global business leaders, including Twitter head Elon Musk, will speak.

Diaspora meet

On November 15, he will attend two working sessions on food and energy security and “Health Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment” followed by a dinner for all G-20 leaders. He will also meet with the Indian community that evening and give an address to the diaspora living in Bali. On Wednesday, the leaders will visit the Indonesian mangroves of Taman Hutan Raya, venerated by Balinese Hindus, which has been restored over a 30-year project covering nearly 700 acres today. They will hold a third G20 session on digital transformation, and PM Modi is expected to leave Bali on the November 16th afternoon itself.

G20 Sherpas are in the midst of several rounds of talks on a “Joint Communique”, which has, according to sources, run into trouble over paragraphs that deal with the Russian war in Ukraine and the Western sanctions against Russia that have led to food and energy shortages.

When asked, Mr. Kwatra said the final communique would have full consensus “whether [it is] the conflict itself or the knock-on effects, in what way it emerges finally in the communique I think remains to be seen because it is still under discussions and negotiations in Bali.”

The G20 is a forum of the 20 most advanced economies that represent 85% of the global GDP, 75% of global trade and 66% of the world population. The summit in Bali will be attended by leaders of Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the U.K. and the US. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has also invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to address the summit virtually, while Russian President Vladmir Putin, and leaders of Brazil and Mexico will not attend the summit.

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