USA President Joe Biden will travel to New Delhi, India to meet with the world’s largest economies (the Group of 20) at the G20 summit and reassert himself as a top diplomat. The 18th G20 summit is scheduled in New Delhi, India on 9th and 10th September.
During his presidency, Biden preached the gospel of diplomacy and multilateralism, assuring America’s friends and rivals that the rule of law and alliances can be a bulwark against the rise of autocracy.
“America’s commitment to the G20 has not wavered, and we hope this G20 summit shows that the world’s major economies can work together in difficult times,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday.
The Group of 20 represents 85 percent of the gross domestic product of the world, 75 percent of international trade, and two-thirds of the world’s population. Russia’s war in Ukraine, climate change, the economy, and the success of developing countries are on the president’s mind as he meets with other world leaders, Sullivan said.
Biden nearly missed the event in person after his wife, first lady Jill Biden, tested positive for COVID-19 over the Labor Day weekend. The president will continue his trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, on Sunday before traveling to Alaska to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The leaders of two prominent members, Russia and China, will not be present at the G20 summit. Russian President Vladimir Putin will skip the event for the second year in a row, as will President of China Xi Jinping. Both leaders are sending other officers during their absence.
This is the first G20 summit that a Chinese president has missed since the opening event in 2008. He was almost involved during the coronavirus pandemic. The conference has long been touted as a potential meeting place for Biden and Xi, who last met at the G20 summit in Indonesia in November. Biden said Sunday that he was “disappointed” in Xi’s decision, but added that he “can see him” without elaborating. Xi attended the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, last month.
China has not said why Xi is not attending, but there are deep tensions between host India and China stemming from a 2020 incident on their Himalayan border that killed 24 people.
Putin has not left Russia since the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest in March over alleged war crimes in Ukraine. Even without a Russian leader at the summit, the country’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to remain at the forefront of discussions.
Like last year, Russia’s war in Ukraine is likely to cause divisions among members and make it difficult to sign the joint statement, especially if Xi misses it. Only in Indonesia did the group reach a consensus on a joint statement cautiously condemning the war. Failure to do so would be the first time the group has not made a joint statement.
Sullivan said Biden will again push for a peaceful resolution to the war.
“Russia’s illegal war has had devastating social and economic consequences, and the poorest countries on the planet are suffering,” Sullivan said. “As he has done in the past, President Biden will call calling a just and lasting peace based on respect for international law.”