G20 leaders agree on draft communiqué rejecting ‘war era’

World leaders will declare at the G20 summit in Bali that today’s era “must not be war,” according to a draft communiqué agreed by diplomats, which also condemns threats to use nuclear weapons.

The draft statement, presented to the Financial Times and endorsed by two delegations, read: “Most members have strongly condemned the war in Ukraine, stressing that it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing vulnerabilities in the world economy.” The draft is coming after days of negotiations between officials from Western countries and Russia and China.

The language in relation to the war and Moscow’s repeated use of nuclear rhetoric is stronger than Western officials predicted and underscores the growing concern in non-Western nations about Vladimir Putin’s invasion and its far-reaching implications.

“The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is prohibited. The peaceful resolution of conflicts, efforts to manage crises, and diplomacy and dialogue are crucial. Today’s era must not be marked by war,” the draft statement reads.

The communiqué was agreed by country delegates on Monday evening but has yet to be signed by G20 leaders at a two-day summit that started Tuesday morning.

Officials had previously warned that Russia’s objection to condemning the war and China’s support for Moscow could mean the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, could risk being the first to fail to agree on a joint statement, as Western Leaders tried to rally support for Kyiv and condemnation of Moscow.

The G20 “will make clear that Russia’s war is devastating people everywhere,” said a senior US official, adding that there is a growing trend of “countries from different parts of the world, large and small, low- and middle-income.” . speak out against the conflict.

According to two officials with knowledge of the negotiations, the Indian delegation played a major role in reaching consensus among member states on the language criticizing the Russian invasion. The language of the draft statement echoed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words to Putin in September when he said, “Now is not the time for war.”

An Indonesian official said discussions on the draft statement are “still dynamic” and could change.

In a special video address to leaders Tuesday morning at a session devoted to the war and its impact on global food and energy markets, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy specifically addressed the “leaders of the G19”, to snub Russia, and repeated calls for Moscow to withdraw its troops from its country.

“I want this aggressive Russian war to end justly and based on the UN Charter and international law,” he said. Zelenskyy added that Ukraine should not be offered any peace deals that would endanger its “conscience, sovereignty, territory and independence.”

“If Russia opposes our peace formula, you will see that it only wants war,” he added.

The draft communiqué said the war in Ukraine “has stunted growth, increased inflation, disrupted supply chains, heightened energy and food insecurity and heightened risks to financial stability.”

It added: “There were different views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions.” Moscow has blamed Western sanctions for driving up global food and energy prices.

In his opening speech at the summit, host Joko Widodo, the Indonesian President, warned his colleagues: “If the war does not end, it will be difficult for us to take responsibility for the future.”

“We must not divide the world,” Widodo added. “We should not allow the world to fall into another cold war.”

Tuesday afternoon’s debate among G20 leaders will focus on global health, followed by a formal evening reception.

Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, has faced immense international criticism for refusing to condemn the invasion of Ukraine or to use his deep personal relationship with Putin to persuade the Russian leader to reverse course.

Xi, who met his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, reiterated China’s calls for peace talks and a ceasefire in Ukraine.

The Chinese leader also urged France to respect China’s “core interests,” a reference to rising international concerns over Beijing’s claims on Taiwan.

In a thinly veiled reproach to the US, Xi said he hopes France will encourage the EU to pursue an “independent” policy towards China, echoing a message he conveyed to Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, earlier this month .

Additional coverage by Maiqi Ding in Beijing, Edward White in Seoul and Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington

https://www.ft.com/content/4a3197fd-cd9d-4517-9ac2-bce69dce5e0b G20 leaders agree on draft communiqué rejecting ‘war era’

Adam Bradshaw

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