Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi called on top diplomats from the Group of 20 major economies to help end Russia’s war in Ukraine “sooner than later,” so the world can confront global challenges.
Opening a two-day G-20 foreign ministers’ summit in Bali that ends on Friday, Marsudi acknowledged the global fallout from the war has made it “more difficult for the world to sit together” and caused people to “lose faith in multilateralism and its capacity to respond effectively to global challenges.”
Marsudi noted how the war is severely compounding the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by disrupting crucial food and fuel exports along with global supply chains.
“So it is our responsibility to end the war sooner than later and settle our differences at the negotiating table, not at the battlefield,” she said. “The ripple effects are being felt globally on food, on energy and physical space.”
Among the attendees were Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. This year’s presidency by Indonesia includes a G-20 leaders’ summit planned for November in Bali.
Today's @g20org Foreign Minister's Meeting takes place in a particular grave context following Russia’s appalling war against Ukraine.
In first session, I underlined that the multilateral system is under pressure like never before, at a time when we need it most. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/TMjEovsa8Z
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) July 8, 2022
An assasination and resignation
Blinken went to the meeting intent on signaling the United States’ commitment to “working with international partners to confront global challenges, including food and energy insecurity and the threat Russia’s continued war against Ukraine presents to the international order,” according to the U.S. State Department. He also held separate talks with Marsudi and Wang.
Lavrov and Wang met on Thursday, but Lavrov stormed out of one meeting and described Western nations as resorting to “frenzied Russophobia.” Several G-20 nations including Brazil, China, India and South Africa, however, have not joined the mainly European nations and the United States in sanctioning or condemning Russia for invading Ukraine.
The meeting coincided with a couple of major shocks from abroad. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation on Thursday just hours before the meeting began; Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who traveled to Bali, quickly returned to the U.K. to drum up support to succeed him.
Then on Friday, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe died after being shot at a campaign event. The assassination of Japan’s longest-serving prime minister in a nation with some of the toughest gun laws stunned the nation and the world two days ahead of Japan’s elections for the upper house of parliament.
Police said a lone gunman opened fire from behind with a handmade weapon, killing Abe with two gunshot wounds to the neck while he was giving a campaign speech for a fellow member of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
The G-20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United States and European Union. Spain is invited as a permanent guest and some international and regional organizations also participate.