Indian FM Nirmala Sitharaman discusses food security and energy challenges at G20 meeting

This year's forums on global issues are being hosted by India

Nirmala Sitharaman arrives for the G20 meeting in Gandhinagar on Monday. AFP
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India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday appealed to members of the G20 for a co-ordinated effort to navigate the challenges relating to food, energy insecurity and climate change.

Finance ministers of G20 nations are meeting in Gandhinagar city in Gujarat for a third summit on the global economic outlook, economic risks and key policy responses to support recovery.

Ms Sitharaman and Dr Shaktikanta Das, the governor of the Reserve Bank of India are leading the two-day forum.

“We need ... co-ordinated international efforts to navigate this challenging period,” Ms Sitharaman said. "In this context, the G20 framework working group explored the issue of tackling macroeconomic challenges related to food and energy insecurity, and those related to climate change and transition pathways.

"The policy lessons that have emerged from these issues clearly underpin the need for enhanced international economic co-operation," she said.

The G20 is an intergovernmental assembly of the world’s major economies – 19 countries and the European Union – that addresses major issues related to the economy, financial stability, climate change mitigation and sustainable development.

India took over the annual presidency from Indonesia in December. It will host more than 200 meetings across the country during its year-long tenure.

The leaders discussed debt restructuring deals, multilateral bank reforms and finance to tackle climate change and boost the global economy.

Several economies have struggled following the double blow of the coronavirus pandemic and fallout from the war in Ukraine, which hit global fuel and commodity prices.

China is a major creditor in some of these cases and has faced criticism for its stand on nations' debt restructuring.

The group will also discuss multilateral development banking reform, cryptocurrency regulations and making access to finance to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change easier.

Ms Sitharaman also met US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on the sidelines of the meeting and the leaders discussed wide-ranging issues including harnessing opportunities presented by crypto assets.

“The world is looking to the G20 to make progress on key challenges like climate change and pandemics as part of our work to strengthen the global economy,” Ms Sitharaman said.

The first two G20 finance ministers' meetings took place in February and April, when members discussed global economic challenges, health and international taxation.

Updated: October 16, 2023, 11:43 AM