The New Delhi Declaration, a significant diplomatic achievement amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, required extensive deliberation and consensus-building, according to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. He acknowledged the complexities surrounding the declaration, particularly in light of the strong opinions expressed by various nations regarding the conflict.
Responding to inquiries about China’s stance on the declaration, which has been viewed as a diplomatic triumph for India, Jaishankar noted that China had been “very supportive of the outcomes.” This statement holds significance in light of earlier speculations that Russia and China might abstain from signing the declaration. Speculation had arisen partly due to comments by a senior US official before the summit, suggesting that aligning the interests of all G20 member nations would be challenging amidst the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
John Kirby, the US National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, had noted the potential for the summit to conclude without a joint declaration due to differences stemming from the conflict. He highlighted that disagreements often revolved around language related to the Ukraine issue, as Russia and China were less inclined to endorse statements that other international stakeholders found acceptable.
China’s endorsement of the declaration comes at a time when India has expressed strong objections to China’s portrayal of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin region in its new “standard map.” The protracted border standoff in eastern Ladakh has further strained relations between the two countries.
In response to a question comparing the New Delhi Declaration with the G20 Summit’s Bali Declaration from the previous year and whether references to Russia and its actions had been omitted to secure Russia’s agreement, Minister Jaishankar emphasized that the geopolitical landscape had evolved significantly since Bali. He noted that the New Delhi Declaration’s geopolitical segment contained seven out of eight paragraphs focused on the Ukraine issue, addressing contemporary concerns and challenges.
Jaishankar emphasized the importance of adapting declarations to the current geopolitical context and cautioned against adopting a rigid perspective. He explained that the New Delhi Declaration was shaped by the prevailing circumstances, much like the Bali Declaration had addressed the situation a year prior.
In the Bali Declaration, there was a paragraph strongly condemning “the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demanding its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine.” In contrast, the New Delhi Declaration acknowledges discussions in Bali and reiterates national positions and resolutions consistent with the UN Charter regarding the Ukraine conflict, emphasizing adherence to the UN Charter’s Principles and Purposes in its entirety.
Sources By Agencies