Foreign minister S Jaishankar today said the ongoing G20 meet is crucial is a world hit by an economic and environmental crisis and a war. The state of world is far more “worrisome”, he said in a conversation with NDTV’s Editor-in-Chief Sanjay Pugalia that’s part of NDTV’s mega conclave “Decoding G-20”.
So though the G20 started with a narrow mandate, it had to evolve as the problems grew. “2023 is a far more complicated place. We have had the pandemic and its impact has been horrific,” he said.
Moreover, the “conflict in Europe is having an impact on fuel, food. Climate events with economic consequences happening more frequently. The situation in the world more worrisome than it ever was,” Mr Jaishankar said.
“G20 is about Food-Energy-Climate… Unless we change our daily lifestyle, and bring about climate-friendly changes, nothing will change,” he said.
This message, he added, has to be taken to the common man. “We are aiming for jan-bhagidaari (people’s participation)… It is our collective responsibility, this is the message,” he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he added, “wanted to take G20 to the country and not confine it to conference halls and Delhi”.
But for the common man, politics is a “faraway world” and the government is trying to raise issues at the G20 they can understand. It is also essential in view of the steps that need to be taken to control the situation.
Citing an example, the minister mentioned the Centre’s drive to popularize millets as a staple. “If the production of millet can be increased, you will increase nutrition, reduce climate impact,” he said.
Asked about the United Nations in view of the expanding role of G20, the foreign minister said: “G20 will pursue its mandate which is global growth and development. UNSC will continue doing its job… One cannot be a substitute for the other. Each has a place and its own contribution You can’t fix the UN by going somewhere else. Members of UN have to realise it’s time for reforms”.
India’s presidency of the G20 is marked by over 200 events held across the country ahead of the big Summit in Delhi on September 9 and 10.