After officially greeting world leaders and dignitaries for the first day of the G20 Summit in New Delhi's International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) complex, also known as Bharat Mandapam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the inaugural session of the leaders summit on Saturday, 9 September.
"India's G20 Presidency has become a symbol of 'Sabka Saath' inside and outside of the country," PM Modi said in his address during the inaugural session of the leaders summit.
"Today, as the president of G20, India calls upon the world together to transform the global trust deficit into one of trust and reliance. This is the time for all of us to move together. In this time, the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas' can be the torch bearer for us.Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Over the course of his address as the President of the G20 Group, PM Narendra Modi extended his condolences for the massive earthquake in Morocco that killed more than 600 and further underscored India's message advocating for global welfare and happiness.
Notably, PM Modi's nameplate read "Bharat" instead of India, amid the controversy over the use of both names for the country.
'Move Towards Concrete Solutions For Challenges': Highlights from the Inaugural Session
Modi also called for unity and transformation of trust on a global scale in the face of post-COVID crises and said, "After Covid-19, trust deficit has been a big challenge for the world. War has exacerbated this trust deficit."
"But if we can defeat Covid, we can also beat this lack of mutual trust. Today, as the President of the G20, India calls on the whole world to work together to turn this global trust deficit into belief and faith. The time is for us to walk together," he added/
"Whether its a turbulent global economy, or the North-South divide, or the distance between East and West, Management of Food, Fuel, and Fertilizer, Or dealing with Terrorism and Cybersecurity, Or ensuring Health, Energy, and Water Security, We must move towards concrete solutions for these challenges, not just for the present but also for future generations."PM Narendra Modi
He also reiterated India's key points, highlighted throughout the presidency and advocated for the African Union's permanent membership in the G20 for greater inclusivity and collaboration.
Moreover, he went over India's G20 presidency and called it a "symbol of inclusion", both within the country and beyond, representing the spirit of 'Sabka Saath'.
It has become a 'People's G20’. Millions of Indians have engaged with it. Over 200 meetings have been held in more than 60 cities across the country. It was in the spirit of 'Sabka Saath' that India proposed permanent membership for the African Union in the G20."
Inclusion of African Union
During the Leaders' Summit commencement, India's proposal to grant the African Union a permanent seat in the G20 was officially endorsed and PM Modi concluded his opening remarks by extending an invitation to African Union Chairperson Azali Assoumani to occupy a permanent position at the G20 forum.
With 55 member states, the African Union now holds a status akin to the European Union, distinguishing it from its previous classification as an "invited international organisation."
Highlights from Bilaterals With Sunak, Meloni, Kishida
Talks with Rishi Sunak: Rishi Sunak congratulated Modi on India's presidency of the G20 and the two leaders reflected on the close and growing ties between the UK and India. The pair agreed it was important to build on the past and focus on the future, cementing a modern partnership in cutting-edge defence technology, trade and innovation and discussed a number of consular issues as well.
Importantly, the leaders had a productive conversation about negotiations on a UK-India Free Trade Agreement and they agreed that ministers and negotiating teams would continue to work at pace towards an FTA.
Talks with Fumio Kishida: PM Modi and PM Kishida met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi and the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further bolster the India-Japan cooperation in key sectors like connectivity and commerce.
They also agreed to boost people-to-people linkages.
Talks with Giorgia Meloni: PM Narendra Modi and PM Giorgia Meloni held a meeting today on the sidelines of the G20 Summit and deliberated on bolstering the India-Italy partnership in domains such as trade and investment, commerce, defence and security.
"I had excellent meeting with PM Giorgia Meloni. Our talks covered sectors such as trade, commerce, defence, emerging technologies and more. India and Italy will keep working together for global prosperity," Modi said, following the meet.
Top Points from New Delhi Leaders Declaration
G20 in its Leaders' Declaration congratulated India on successful Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon.
Recognising G20 is not platform to resolve geopolitical issues, Declaration acknowledged these issues can have consequences for economy.
The grouping highlighted human suffering, negative added impacts of war in Ukraine with regard to global food and energy security.
The G20 Declaration referred to the negative impact of Ukraine conflict on supply chains, macro-financial stability, inflation and growth.
The members reiterated national positions and resolutions adopted at UNSC and UNGA on the Ukraine conflict
The grouping will pursue pro-innovation regulatory/governance approach that maximizes benefits, takes into account risks associated with AI.
G20 members resolved to work with private sector to devise pipelines of investible projects in developing countries.
The Declaration said that the Use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible.
G20 members resolved to work with private sector to promote ease of doing business and reduce cost.
G20 members recognised critical role of private enterprise in accelerating growth, driving sustainable economic transformations.
G20 committed to close gender gaps, promote full, equal, effective women's participation in economy as decision-makers.
The Declaration said that we have opportunity to build better future, no country should have to choose between fighting poverty and fighting for planet.
Highlights from Economic Corridor Meeting
Leading talks on Economic Corridor, PM Modi said that strong connectivity and infrastructure are the base of development of human civilisation.
"India has given highest priority to this topic. We believe connectivity between different countries increases not only business but trust between them. By promoting connectivity, we need to ensure we stick to philosophies - adhesion to international rules, respect for all nations' sovereignty, and regional integrity," he said.
During talks on the Economic Corridor, French President Emmanuel Macron said:
"With the European Commission here, we commit to invest alongside with you on this road. And this is a very important project from Asia through Middle East to Europe to offer big opportunities and connect people."
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said, "This is a real big deal. I want to thank PM. One Earth, One Family, One Future that's the focus of this G 20 Summit. And in many ways, it's also the focus of this partnership that we're talking about today. Building sustainable, resilient infrastructure, making quality infrastructure investments and creating a better future," Biden said.
"Last year, we came together as one to commit to this vision. And this afternoon I want to highlight the key ways in which the United States and our partners are working to make this a reality - rconomic corridor. You're going to hear that phrase more than once, I expect, over the next decade. As we work to address infrastructure gaps across low-middle-income countries, we need to maximise the impact of our investments. That's why a few months ago we announced that the United States will work with our partners to invest in economic corridors," he added.
Discussing the Economic Corridor, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called it a partnership for Global Investment and Infrastructure, while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said:
"More large-scale projects are seeing the light. We are presenting two of them today. First is the India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor. It will be the most direct connection to date between India, the Arabian Gulf and Europe. This is also the spirit of the second project we announce today the Trans African Corridor."