G20: ‘Working Together And Build A Better Future’ (Practice What You Preach) – OpEd


Meeting of G 20 nations at Bali after a long period was unique in the existing tense global environment along with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine Conflict. Bali takes the credit to have become a meeting place between the East and the West. The participating countries had a number of multilateral and bilateral meetings with few hugs and long-awaited handshakes. It did reflect a picture of happy atmosphere of the international community leaders prepared to work together for a better Global future.

On 15 November at the 17th G20 Summit held in Bali, Indonesia a confident and assertive President Xi Jinping spoke under the title “Working Together to Meet the Challenges of Our Times and Build a Better Future”. President Xi Jinping underscored the need to make global development more inclusive, beneficial to all, and more resilient. He said that it is imperative that all countries advocate peace, development, and win-win cooperation. All countries should replace division with unity, confrontation with cooperation, and exclusion with inclusiveness. Xi also expounded the Chinese Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative. China will stay committed to the path of peaceful development, stay committed to deepening reform and opening-up, and stay committed to promoting national rejuvenation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Other Highlights of his speech:

  • Global governance is seriously inadequate. Food and energy crises are compounded with one another. All this poses formidable challenges to human development. All countries should join hands together to answer the question of our times — “what is wrong with this world, what we should do about it” — so as to tide over difficulties and create a better future together.
  • Solidarity is strength, but division leads nowhere. Living in the same global village, we should stand with each other in the face of risks and challenges. “No one should engage in creating closed and exclusive clubs.” 
  • Prosperity and stability cannot be possible in a world where the rich become richer while the poor are made poorer. Every nation aspires for a better life, and modernization is not a privilege reserved for any single country. 
  • Unilateral sanctions must be removed, and restrictions on relevant scientific and technological cooperation must be lifted. 
  • China supports the African Union in joining the G20. 

President Xi Jinping’s speech was quite repetitive on broader issues like global development a win-win situation for better future, replace division with unity and confrontation with cooperation. Most world leaders spoke on similar lines with the West condemning Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.

“Preach What You Practice” Or “Practice What You Preach”

It’s about time someone flipped this common expression on its head. Growing up we heard a very important sayings “Practice what you preach”, “lead by your own example” and “Treat others the way you want to be treated”, and so on. Few nations keep preaching other nations but never practice themselves. But now it is high time that we reverse this common expression “Preach What You Practice” to “Practice What You Preach”. So all this mean is to start  with yourself, you need to be the first practitioner before you can preach it. It’s not just about practicing what you preach, but preaching what you practice.

Strong Condemnation of the War in Ukraine

Extracts from the G 20 Bali Declarations:

  • This year, we have also witnessed the war in Ukraine further adversely impact the global economy. There was a discussion on the issue. Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks. There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions. 
  • It is essential to uphold international law and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability. This includes defending all the Purposes and Principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and adhering to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and infrastructure in armed conflicts. The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible. The peaceful resolution of conflicts, efforts to address crises, as well as diplomacy and dialogue, are vital. “Today’s era must not be of war.” 
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who headed the Russian delegation to the summit in the absence of President Vladimir Putin, condemned “politicisation” of the meeting. However, he did not attend the last day of the summit!

Key Takeaways from the Bali Summit:

  • Russian Aggression Condemned. The joint statement includes India’s message to Russia: “Today’s era must not be of war” this is a message, which is the result of India’s constructive, cooperative and consensus-building approach.
  • Bilateral meeting between US President Biden and China’s President Xi at a time when the ties between them have been strained, their meeting is seen as an incremental step towards rebuilding the fractured relationship. The first time the two had met since Biden became president. 
  • Meeting between US President Biden and China’s President Xi was overall said to be a positive meeting after relations between the superpowers have plunged to near historic lows. Positive outcome is that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken now plans to visit to China early next year, the highest-level US visit to China in more than four years. Biden and Xi agreed to resume cooperation on climate change.
  • Chance hand shake between Indian PM and Chinese President, first since the India-China border standoff began in 2020.No bilateral meeting had been planned.
  • The Black Sea grains initiative was applauded.
  • On climate change G20 leaders agreed to pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius – confirming they stand by the temperature goal from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • President Xi in just his second visit overseas since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Xi extended his outreach to hold bilateral meetings with many US allies, signalling a willingness to mend ties with critics. Xi held talks with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron.

G20 presidency for India is an opportunity to assume leadership of the Global community to build a global consensus on reforming multilateral organisations such as the UN and other world bodies. This is the first time the country will be holding  the G20 Presidency. The Indian Prime Minister stated that India’s presidency will be inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented, as represented by India’s G20 chairmanship theme “One Earth, One Family, One Future.”

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam is a Sanskrit phrase 

which means “The World is One Family”.

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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