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The G20's Ambitious Agenda

(FILE) A general view of the venue for the G20 foreign ministers' meeting in New Delhi, India.

That agenda focused on solving some of the most important challenges the world faces including the trafficking of illicit drugs and climate change.

The G20's Ambitious Agenda
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The motto for this year’s G20 meeting, recently concluded in New Delhi, was “One Earth. One Family. One Future.”

At a press briefing at the meeting’s conclusion, Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised India, which currently holds the presidency of the G20, for their “ambitious agenda.”

That agenda focused on solving some of the most important challenges the world faces, including food security, global health, the proliferation and trafficking of illicit synthetic drugs, energy transition, climate change and bio-diversity loss, and barriers to women’s full participation in the economy.

The watchword for confronting these challenges was cooperation. On the issue of illicit synthetic drugs, for example, Secretary Blinken said, “No country can tackle this problem alone. Disrupting supply chains of precursors, preventing the diversion of legal chemicals to illegal uses, dismantling the transnational criminal groups that foster corruption and profit off of others’ suffering, these are challenges that demand a coordinated global effort.”

He noted that at the G20 and at other recent meetings, “Countries want to partner with the United States, because they see us showing up to solve shared problems, fostering inclusive economic growth, investing in our own competitiveness, and standing up for the international rules of the road that benefit all countries, including the right of every country to choose its own path, free from violence, coercion, and threats.”

Secretary Blinken praised the Indian presidency and Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar for securing G20 consensus on a broad set of issues, reflected in the Chair Summary Outcome Document, a first for G20 foreign ministers.

Secretary Blinken also expressed disappointment that two countries, Russia and the People’s Repubic of China, did not join the G20 consensus on two paragraphs that all 18 other members embraced. One relevant passage stated that most members “strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed that it is causing immense suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy.” The other reaffirmed that it is “essential to uphold international law and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability.”

Secretary Blinken declared, “Independent of what Russia does, we showed here in Delhi what we will do: deliver results on the problems most affecting our peoples’ lives. Our hosts,” he added, “are committed to doing this over the course of their G20 Presidency. For that and for their leadership and hospitality,” [I express] my gratitude to India.”