‘Weapon of Mass Diplomacy’: Anand Mahindra's title for G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant
The ex-NITI Aayog CEO and his team led negotiations which resulted in the New Delhi Declaration, adopted with consensus of all the member states.
Amitabh Kant, the ‘Sherpa’ for last week's Delhi G20 Summit, is an ‘AK-87, a Weapon of Mass Diplomacy,’ industrialist Anand Mahindra quipped on Monday, joining the chorus of voices praising the ex-bureaucrat, the ‘chief architect’ behind the New Delhi Declaration adopted at the 2-day conclave.
“I hereby give @amitabhk87 the title of 'AK-87, A Weapon of Mass Diplomacy,” Mahindra wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
In a major diplomatic win for India, the New Delhi Declaration, unlike last year's Bali Declaration, made no mention of Russia in connection with the Ukraine war, on since Feb 2022. The declaration was worded as such in consensus with all member states, and, according to Kant, was reached after more than 200 hours of non-stop negotiations. Ukraine, on the other hand, was left unimpressed.
It was read out by Summit host, prime minister Narendra Modi, on September 9, the first day of the conference.
While the US-led western bloc has been vocal against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and imposed sanctions against President Vladimir Putin and his associates, India has refrained from taking any such action or criticising the Kremlin. That India continues to buy oil from Russia has also irked the West.
Incidentally, neither Putin nor Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, attended the G20 Summit. While foreign minister Sergey Lavorv represented Russia, China was represented by premier Li Qiang.
The Delhi G20 Summit was India's first as host, and the first in South Asia. Brazil will host next year's edition.