India’s G20 summit negotiator, Amitabh Kant, expressed concern that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war is diverting the world’s attention from the pressing need to address global poverty. The conflict, which entered its second year last month, has overshadowed two back-to-back G20 ministerial meetings in India.
Despite India’s efforts to highlight the economic impact of the war, climate change, and poorer countries’ debt, Kant asserts that Europe cannot bring the world’s developmental issues to a standstill. He emphasized the far-reaching impact of poverty and the urgent need to address it, especially as 75 countries suffer from global debt, and one-third of the world is in recession.
Kant also pointed out the dire consequences of poverty on people’s nutrition, health, and learning outcomes, and called for Europe to find solutions to its challenges.
Meanwhile, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said Europe needs to grow out of the mindset that its problems are the world’s problems, but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems. India, which holds the bloc’s presidency this year, has declined to blame Russia for the war and has sought a diplomatic solution while increasing its purchases of Russian oil.
Regarding the upcoming G20 summit in New Delhi on Sept. 9-10, Kant said it’s premature to talk about whether U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend. The Kremlin has not ruled out Putin’s attendance, but he has not traveled beyond the former Soviet Union since sending his armed forces into Ukraine in February last year. The G20 includes the rich G7 nations, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and other countries.