Testing the waters: G20 New Delhi Summit 2023

by Syeda Tahreem Bukhari
INDIA is going to host the G-20 Summit on 9-10 September, there are speculations whether this summit will be able to reach consensus or again fail to produce a joint communique, which was the dominant feature of these meetings. With the series of summits hosted by India under the G-20 Presidency, started with the finance ministers meeting in Bangalore, followed by the summit of foreign ministers in New Delhi in which the agenda of meeting set aside by Russia-Ukraine war. It cast a shadow on the summit that was occupied by the debate between the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs and the US Secretary of State. G-20 tourism group meeting in Srinagar drew criticism at the global level, voices raised at international forum against the rampant gross violation of human rights faced by Kashmiris in IIOJK and lower caste Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Muslims. Their summit in Srinagar faced a backlash as an attempt to save face and create façade of normalcy in Kashmir. The UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues highlighted India’s attempt to normalize its military occupation of IIOJK. It was also not joined by the five countries including China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Oman owing to India’s violation of international law by hosting a summit in disputed territory where gross violation of human rights is unrestrained under the Indian government. Amnesty International has written a timely letter to G-20 member States reminding them of human rights violations rampant in India ahead of the summit. The summit, India is going to host in the coming week, is on the theme” Vasundhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth, One Family, One Future. It is going to be a diplomatic challenge for India, as Chinese and Russian Presidents would not attend this presidential level summit. India is unable to bring G-20 family on one platform. It will also be a big challenge for India to keep the discussion focused on the agenda and not to get it override by the Russia-Ukraine war.
With the questions raised in India, about PM Modi in the BRICS Summit where he was not given the same welcome as of the Chinese President. Human rights activists held protest demonstrations near the venue of BRICS summit highlighting Indian atrocities in Kashmir. The slogans inscribed in banners were “Modi the Butcher of Gujarat”, “Free Kashmir” and “Release Yasin Malik”. Furthermore, it seems the meeting between Xi and Modi on the sidelines of the BRICS summit, on the latter’s request, wherein Modi raised concern over the Line of Actual Control, did not go well which is evident from the absence of the Chinese President. Chinese President’s absence from the summit also highlights that the sideline meeting did not go well. The recent G-20 meet will stir up a real hornet’s nest for India where it will be a challenge for it to make any potential development on Ukraine front. Owing to its defence relations with Russia, in absence of its President, India will be able to maintain neutrality and abstain from making comments on Russia-Ukraine war, whether India will be able to produce joint communique in this summit will be a test of India’s diplomacy. —The writer is a Research Officer at the Centre for International Strategic Studies, AJK.
Email: tahreembukhari1692@gmail.com  

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Center for International Strategic Studies AJK, King Abdullah Campus Chatter kalas Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir