'We must not allow the world to fall into another Cold War': Indonesia's Jokowi at G20 summit
The G20 Leaders' Summit opened on Tuesday in Bali amid geopolitical tensions.
NUSA DUA, Bali: Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo told leaders of the world’s biggest economies on Tuesday (Nov 15) that they should not divide the world into parts and must not allow the world to "fall into another Cold War".
Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, made the comments as host of the Group of 20 (G20) Leaders’ Summit which kicks off in the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
In his opening remarks, Jokowi said the world is still trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic amid increasing world rivalries and war.
“We all have responsibilities, not only for our people but for the people of our world.
“Being responsible means respecting international laws and principles of the United Nations Charter consistently,” he said.
Jokowi added that they must create win-win solutions and also end the war.
“If the war does not end, it will be difficult for the world to move forward. We should not divide the world into parts. We must not allow the world to fall into another Cold War.”
The annual economic summit takes place in the midst of global food, energy and economic crises largely driven by the war in Ukraine which broke out earlier this year.
“The impacts of these various crises on food, energy and financial pressures are being felt by the world, especially developing countries,” said Jokowi, the current rotating president of the G20.
Jokowi said they should not underestimate the problem of fertiliser scarcity.
“If we don’t immediately take steps to ensure sufficient availability of fertiliser at an affordable price, then 2023 will be a more dismal year.
“To me, the G20 must be successful and cannot fail. Indonesia will try its best to bridge the gap, but success will only be achieved if there is a commitment," he noted, adding that collaboration is needed to save the world.
The theme of this year’s summit is "recover together, recover stronger" as countries around the globe are hoping to bounce back from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leaders will discuss the food and energy crisis as well as global health issues on Tuesday.
They will then start the day on Wednesday by planting mangroves, an important shrub in the fight against climate change. The plant can absorb up to five times more carbon emissions than a tree in an upland area.
The war in Ukraine, which western countries have blamed on Russia, will most likely be a talking point during the summit.
Indonesia has largely taken a neutral stance on the conflict by not taking sides.
Jokowi visited Ukraine and Russia about four months ago and invited the respective presidents to attend the Leaders’ Summit.
But Russia’s President Vladimir Putin opted to not attend. Instead, he is being represented by the country’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to attend virtually.
The two-day summit also comes amid other geopolitical tensions - notably between the world’s two largest economies, the US and China.
On Monday, US President Joe Biden met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the first time since the former took office almost two years ago.
US-China relations have deteriorated in recent years due to growing tensions over issues ranging from Hong Kong and Taiwan to the South China Sea and trade practices.
During the three-and-a-half-hour talk, Mr Biden and Mr Xi spoke about the situation in Taiwan, North Korea and the war in Ukraine and both leaders seemed hopeful their relationship could improve.