G20 Summit in New Delhi: Impact on America’s Global Power


As the G20 Summit unfolded in New Delhi over the weekend, a seemingly innocuous photograph captured the attention of keen observers. In this snapshot, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood alongside Brazilian President Inacio Lula da Silva, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and US President Joe Biden. This photo symbolized a transition of power within the G20, with India hosting this year’s summit, followed by Brazil in 2024, South Africa in 2025, and the United States in the subsequent year.

Changing Landscape:

The G20 Summit is a pivotal global event, and this year’s gathering hints at significant transformations on the international stage, which will fully manifest three years from now when the US assumes the G20 presidency.

Key Developments:

White House officials accompanying President Biden have touted several accomplishments during the summit. Biden, in particular, celebrated the establishment of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor as a noteworthy achievement. This corridor is envisioned to rival China’s ambitious ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, aiming to enhance economic integration and connectivity across continents.

Challenges and Catching Up:

While the White House highlights these accomplishments, it’s important to acknowledge that the US faces a formidable challenge. China has invested over $67 billion in ‘Belt and Road’ projects over the past decade, putting the US in a catch-up position.

Diplomatic Tensions:

One point of contention during the summit was the diluted language regarding Russia’s conflict with Ukraine in the “Delhi Declaration,” an 83-point communiqué. The omission of specific criticism towards Russia, focusing instead on the “suffering” of the Ukrainian people, drew ire from the Ukrainian government. While US officials defended their stance, it was met with criticism from Ukraine.

Diplomatic Maneuvers:

Remarkably, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, under US sanctions for over a year, played a significant role in negotiating the declaration’s text with Indian officials. This development underscores the complexities of global diplomacy.

American Influence Wanes:

The G20 Summit in Delhi marked a potential acceleration of the United States’ diminishing influence on the global stage. Despite ongoing efforts to unite liberal democracies against Russia and China, the US faces challenges, particularly in Africa.

African Union’s Role:

The accession of the African Union (AU) to permanent G20 membership was a symbolic moment. While the White House has urged AU members to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine and reduce their reliance on Russian resources, resistance persists. There are allegations that South Africa provided weapons to Russia, further complicating matters.

Continuity in Priorities:

Indian Prime Minister Modi spent his G20 presidency emphasizing India’s rise and advocating for the Global South’s interests. As he handed over the reins to President Lula da Silva of Brazil, it became evident that Brazil intends to follow a similar path during its G20 presidency.

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