War in Ukraine, entry of the African Union… What the G20 declaration says

They failed to agree on Ukraine. If the final declaration of the G20 leaders denounces the “use of force” aimed at obtaining territorial gains, the text does not explicitly mention a “ Russian aggression in Ukraine. The expression had however been used in 2022 during the previous G20 summit in Baliin a reference to a Security Council resolution which had deplored “in the strongest terms the aggression committed by the Russian Federation against Ukraine”.

A French diplomatic source judged the language used in the press release to be “very satisfactory”, which “allows us to look forward to what should be (…) a just and lasting peace at the end of the war in Ukraine”. The American national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, also considered that the formulation of the text, particularly on Ukraine, was “a very good job”.

G20 adopted a final declaration. We are grateful to the partners who tried to include strong wording in the text. However, in terms of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, G20 has nothing to be proud of. This is how the main elements of the text could look to be closer to reality pic.twitter.com/qZqYluVKKS

— Oleg Nikolenko (@OlegNikolenko_) September 9, 2023

In the aftermath, kyiv criticized this statement. “Ukraine is grateful to the partners who tried to include strong wording in the text. At the same time, with regard to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the G20 nothing to be proud of,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said.

No agreement on the reduction of fossil fuels

Deeply divided over the future of oil, the G20 also failed to jointly call for an exit from fossil fuels in its final declaration. But for the first time he supports the objective of tripling renewables by 2030, a “bare minimum” three months before the 28th United Nations Climate Conference.

They stuck to the language used last year in Bali, calling for “accelerating efforts towards reducing coal-fired electricity production” without carbon capture or storage. This de facto excludes gas and oil. The question of a possible exit from fossil fuels, the essential cause of the increasingly severe climate crisis, is this year at the heart of international negotiations expected to culminate in December at the COP28 in Dubai.

“This is a terrible message sent to the world, in particular to the poorest and most vulnerable countries, which suffer the most from climate change,” lamented Friederike Roder, vice-president of the NGO Global Citizen.

Gesture for Africa

However, the leaders of the G20 on Saturday made a gesture for Africa. The summit officially welcomed into its ranks on Saturday the African Union (AU), a strong signal for Africa and a diplomatic victory for India, host this year of the summit, which appears as leader of the countries of the South.

The entry of the African Union into the G20 will offer “a voice and visibility” to Africa, the continent which today displays “the fastest growth”, and will allow it to ert its interests and its points of view. view within the body, according to Kenyan President William Ruto.

Based in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, the AU has 55 members (including six suspended), totaling three trillion dollars in GDP. The continent was until then represented at the G20 by only one state, South Africa, whose President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was “delighted” with the place offered to the AU. The President of the European Council, Charles Michelsaw it as an “important symbol of inclusiveness” and a “major step for the G20, for Africa, but it is not the last step”.

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