World leaders, meeting in the Indian capital for the annual G20 summit, reached agreement by consensus this afternoon on the declaration, which covers issues ranging from climate change and green growth to gender equality and countering terrorism.
Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said the UN particularly welcomed the declaration’s language about accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Re-energize and re-invest in SDGs
“We’re especially happy to read about the commitments there, and how we must all re-energize and re-invest in the Goals if we are going to come even close to achieving them by their target date of 2030,” he said.
Mr. Dujarric said the adoption of the declaration by consensus after lengthy negotiations – especially in an era of global polarization — was a tribute to the efforts of India, which currently holds the G20 presidency.
“It also reflects India’s role as a leader of the Global South and developing countries. This highlights India’s capabilities as a bridge-builder, politically and geographically.”
Simple but urgent appeal
UN Secretary-General António Guterres had arrived in New Delhi with what he described as a “simple but urgent appeal” to G20 leaders: come together to solve humanity’s biggest challenges.
He stressed that global leadership was especially necessary on climate action and sustainable development.
Earlier on Saturday, Mr. Guterres addressed the summit session dedicated to climate and environmental issues, urging leaders to demonstrate greater ambition on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting climate justice. G20 members presently account for 80% of the world’s emissions.
Meanwhile, the G20 also agreed today to admit the African Union (AU) as its newest member, a decision welcomed by the UN.
“This is a reflection of Africa’s growing influence and importance on the global stage,” said Mr. Dujarric. “When much of the existing international multilateral architecture was built, most of Africa was still colonized and did not have an opportunity to have their voices heard. This is another step towards correcting that imbalance.”