War condemnation, China-US relations and Climate Change: outcomes of the G20 Summit in Bali

25 November 2022 /

5 min

The leaders of the richest countries held a two-day summit in Bali, Indonesia. Topics included the war in Ukraine, food and energy security, and climate change as well as a personal meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping.  

Bali hosted a G-20 meeting at the annual summit on November 15-16, which took place on the background of the war in Ukraine and the inflationary crisis. Traditionally, the summit was attended by 19 countries plus the European Union, representing about two-thirds of the world’s population and 85 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.  

Despite the shadow of the Russian leader hovering at  the last G20 meeting, President Vladimir Putin did not come to the meeting, neither in person nor by video call. Instead, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was sent to the summit. It is also noteworthy to mention the online intervention of the Ukrainian Presidente Volodymyr Zelensky, even though  Ukraine is not a member of the Group of Twenty. In general, the summit was not only about the war in Ukraine, with several current international challenges being evoked, such as food and energy security as well as climate change. Read below about the key results of the meeting. 

Declaration of Condemnation of Russian Aggression 

At the meeting, the leaders of the Group of Twenty states adopted a declaration condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and demanding an unconditional withdrawal of the Russian troops, Reuters reports. The Heads of State also confirmed that although most of the government leaders condemned the military actions of Russia, there were other opinions and assessments of the sanctions imposed on Russia. The leaders also condemned the threat of using nuclear weapons, hinting at the position of the Russian Federation.

Ukrainian political scientist Igor Reyterovich remarked in an interview for Ukrinform that, based on the final communiqué of the summit, the position of some leaders has changed for the better for Ukraine. 

‘I won’t say that official Beijing and New Delhi were shocked, but certainly irritated by Moscow’s actions (massive missile attacks). Because Russian representatives tell them one thing and do something completely different. Therefore, what the Russian Federation did was simply a huge disadvantage for it’, Igor Reyterovich said. 

It should be noted that on the very first day of the summit, Russia launched a massive missile attack on Ukraine, using around 90 missiles. At the same time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was absent from the summit on the very first day before the end of the formal part, allegadly due to health reasons, an information that was not confirmed by the Kremlin

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping meeting

Moreover, the G20 served as the stage for the first in-person  meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping since the start of Biden’s term at the head of the United States. Expectations for a change in U.S.-China relations ahead of the leaders’ meeting were low, according to CNN, with both sides expressing differences in interpretations over human rights, technology and trade.

On the other hand, both the US and China have committed to keep the lines of communication and diplomatic channels open as well as to work together on challenges regarding climate change, health and food security. Many attribute this outcome as  the result of US Secretary of State Blinken’s diplomatic trip to China. 

In turn, Joe Biden confirmed that the meeting did not achieve much success in resolving the hindrances  of  US-China relations. At the same time, Biden stated that both countries  would continue to compete economically, but there shouldn’t be any place for conflict. 

Food and energy security 

According to the report of the European Council on the meeting of the G20, the leaders of the group are concerned about food security problems, which are exacerbated by conflicts. In particular, politicians support initiatives to keep food supply chains functioning, and also welcome the work of the UN and Türkiye to create a humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea. However, according to Reuters, civil society groups have criticized G20’s lack of action on this issue.

‘Fifty million people are at the brink of starvation as we speak. There is no time for the G20 to issue calls to action – they are the ones who have to act’, said Friederike Roder of the group Global Citizen.

Additionally, the leaders of the G20 also discussed the need to increase the stability of the energy market and to ensure that demand matches the available energy sources. 

Climate change

The representantes of the G20  agreed to continue fighting rising global temperatures by limiting increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. According to a communiqué of the Financial Times a Group of 20 nations stated that they were determined to move in this direction. Following this, German Climate Ambassador Jennifer Morgan stressed that the 1.5º C clause in the final G20 document “sent an important message – to ministers and negotiators here at COP27, and to the whole world.”

To sum up the results of the G20, the  war in Ukraine and Russian aggression are still a topic on the agenda at meetings of international leaders. Through its inconsistent actions, Russia is undermining the confidence of its traditional allies such as China and India. In addition, the unwillingness of the leaders to conduct any negotiations with the Russian Federation, coupled with  the position of the Russian president, indicates that the G20 may become the G19 in the end. The long-awaited dialogue between Chinese and American leaders did not bring much success, but negotiations will continue in order to avoid an escalation of tensions and conflict. Finally, the G20 expressed that it will also continue to support energy and food security and continue to fight climate change.

Share and Like :