The G20 Foreign Ministers meeting got underway on March 1 in New Delhi, India with the arrival of ministers from almost all G20 countries, except a few. The event kicked off with a welcome reception and gala dinner on day one.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, China’s Qin Gang, UK’s James Cleverly and European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell Fontelles are among the few attending the event.
The main meeting will be held on March 2, 2023 with two sessions on "Strengthening Multilateralism and Need for Reforms, Food and Energy Security, Development Cooperation" and "Counter-Terrorism: New and Emerging Threats" chaired by Indian External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also address the ministers during the event.
While the Russia-Ukraine conflict will be a key issue discussed during the meeting, Russian news agency TASS reported that Moscow would bring up the Nord Stream pipeline explosions and seizure of Russian cargo ships with fertilisers during the meeting.
Japan, South Korean ministers skip meet
While all of the G20 countries will be represented by their ministers during the meeting, Asian heavyweights Japan and South Korea ministers will not be participating in the event.
According to a statement from the Japanese government, who also hold the annual chair of the G7 group this year, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi will be unable to attend the meet due to conflicting “parliamentary business.” However, the statement added that Hayashi will attend an in-person meeting of representatives from the Quad countries - the United States, India, Australia and Japan - in India to be held on March 3.
Reacting to the news, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said in a press meet, “We understand that the Japanese foreign minister himself is not able to come because of domestic compulsions. But we are looking forward to a very active participation, active support, active discussions and consultation with the Japanese delegation.”
Meanwhile, South Korea’s foreign office announced that its minister, Park Jin, would not participate due to involvement in “domestic affairs”. Both countries will be represented by junior ministers.
The Foreign Ministers meeting will be the second ministerial meeting organised under India's presidency. The G20 meeting of finance ministers and Central Bank governors took place in Bangalore on February 24.