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‘Not a single African leader who hasn't…’: Jaishankar on India's big G20 step

Feb 02, 2024 10:09 PM IST

Jaishankar was speaking at the book launch event for ‘India and the Future of G20: Shaping Policies for a Better World’.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Friday highlighted the significant role India played in advancing African interests and stimulating discussions on UN reform through its G-20 presidency.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.(PTI)

Speaking at a book launch event, the minister underscored the positive reception from African leaders, saying, “There's not a single African president or prime minister or foreign minister who's really not thanked us for what is seen truly as a big step in Africa's rise, a recognition today that Africa should have a voice.”

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He talked about the broader implications of India's initiatives, noting that they have sparked debates not only on multilateralism but also on UN reform.

“In fact, in a very interesting way, it has also spurred a debate on not just multilateralism, but even on UN reform. I mean, the feeling is that if a body like the G-20 could add a member, surely this should serve as an inspiration for other bodies, not least the United Nations,” he said.

Speaking about his discussions with the United Nations Secretary-General during the UN General Assembly in September, Jaishankar shared Antonio Guterres' appreciation for the outcomes of the New Delhi summit and the acknowledgement that the G-20 process had contributed to reinvigorating multilateralism.

“He was very, very appreciative of how the New Delhi summit had gone, how the G-20 process had gone, because for him, really, this presidency had helped to get multilateralism back on the right track,” the external affairs minister said.

According to Jaishankar, Guterres valued the work accomplished during India's G-20 presidency, which he believed had strengthened his efforts in advancing the UN's goals.

“He was very open about it, that the work which had been done at the G-20 had strengthened his hands...He really valued the work of the New Delhi summit and the G20 presidency.”

Jaishankar was speaking at the book launch event for ‘India and the Future of G20: Shaping Policies for a Better World’. The book -- curated by noted experts Iqbal Sevea, Dr Amitendu Palit and Vinod Rai -- showcases a diverse array of perspectives from distinguished scholars and policy practitioners.

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