Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reiterated his call for a return to the path of ceasefire and diplomacy in Ukraine, saying the members of the G20 should show "concrete and collective resolve" to ensure peace and security in the world.
Addressing the first working session of the G20 Summit in Bali that focused on food and energy security, Modi also said the onus of creating a new world order for the post-Covid-19 period has fallen on the grouping of the world's 20 largest economies as multilateral institutions such as the United Nations (UN) have been unsuccessful.
The G20 leaders have gathered for a two-day meeting in the Indonesian resort of Bali amid deep divisions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Western leaders such as US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have said they will use the summit to denounce Russia's actions and to strengthen international support to oppose the war.
"I have repeatedly said that we have to find a way to return to the path of ceasefire and diplomacy in Ukraine," Modi said in his address, speaking in Hindi.
He emphasised that finding a solution to the Ukraine crisis will be a focus of India's presidency of the G20, which begins in December.
"The need of the hour is to show concrete and collective resolve to ensure peace, harmony and security in the world. I am confident that next year when the G20 meets in the holy land of Buddha and Gandhi, we will all agree to convey a strong message of peace to the world," he said.
India has refrained from publicly criticising Russia's invasion and consistently called for an end to hostilities and a return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue. Modi, who has spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy several times, has also suggested direct talks between the two leaders.
Noting that world leaders had made a serious effort to take the path of peace after World War 2, Modi said, "Now it's our turn. The onus of creating a new world order for the post-Covid period lies on our shoulders. The need of the hour is to show concrete and collective resolve to ensure peace, harmony and security in the world."
The G20 should "not hesitate to acknowledge that multilateral institutions such as the UN have been unsuccessful" in dealing with the global problems associated with climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and the developments in Ukraine, he said.
"And we have all failed to make suitable reforms in them [multilateral institutions]. Therefore, today the world has greater expectations from the G20, the relevance of our group has become more significant," he added.
Modi congratulated President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, the current G20 president, for giving effective leadership to the grouping in a challenging global environment, with the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis causing havoc around the world.
"Global supply chains are in ruins. There is a crisis of essentials, essential goods all over the world. The challenge for the poor citizens of every country is more severe. Everyday life was already a struggle for them. They do not have the financial capacity to deal with the double whammy," he said.
Modi said India ensured food security for its 1.3 billion citizens during the pandemic and also supplied food grains to many countries in need. However, the current shortage of fertilisers is a "huge crisis" for food security.
"Today's fertiliser shortage is tomorrow's food crisis, for which the world will not have a solution. We should build mutual agreement to maintain a stable and assured supply chain for both manure and food grains," he said.
India is promoting natural farming, and re-popularising traditional food grains such as millets for sustainable food security. "Millets can also solve global malnutrition and hunger. We all must celebrate the International Year of Millets with great enthusiasm next year," he added.
Energy security too is important for global growth and for India, the fastest growing economy, Modi said.
"We must not promote any restrictions on the supply of energy, and stability in the energy market should be ensured," he said.
India is committed to clean energy and environment, and half of the country's electricity will be generated from renewable sources by 2030. Time-bound and affordable finance and sustainable supply of technology to developing countries is essential for inclusive energy transition, Modi said.
"During India's G20 presidency, we will work for global consensus on all these issues," Modi said.
India will host the next G20 Summit in New Delhi in September 2023.
Modi is expected to hold several bilateral meetings with leaders of G20 members and guest countries on the margins of the summit on Wednesday.
People familiar with the matter said he is expected to meet French President Emmanuel Macron over lunch.
He is also expected to meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez Perez Castejon.