• Saturday, March 02, 2024

Diplomacy

Foreign minister Jaishankar not to represent India at G77 plus China summit in Cuba starting today

The diplomat has to stay back in India for the special parliamentary session on September 18.

Indian foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIA has decided to make amends to its plan for the ‘G77 plus China’ summit which is taking place in Havana, Cuba, on Friday (15) and Saturday (17).

Originally, external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was set to captain the Indian delegation at the event but he has to stay back in the country for the special parliamentary session convened on Monday (18). All ministers need to be in New Delhi for the occasion.

According to a Financial Express report, Sanjay Verma, secretary (west), ministry of external affairs, will lead the delegation instead of Jaishankar who is yet to make a visit to the central American nation after taking over as the foreign minister in 2019.

The summit, which marks a gathering of developing nations, has grown over the years to include 134 countries currently. The G77 is an influential bloc in the United Nations and forms the biggest bloc of nations.

The presidency of the bloc rotates and India had its first chairmanship in 1970-71.

While China is not an official member of the bloc, it often aligns itself with it politically, leading to the usage of the term ‘G77 plus China’ in official statements on various international platforms.

According to the Financial Express, the change in schedule disrupted the Indian foreign minister’s plans since he had publicly expressed his desire to visit Cuba during a speech made at the CII India-LAC conclave last month. The gathering in Havana is particularly important since it is happening right after New Delhi hosted the G20 summit where its position as a key representative of the Global South was strengthened.

Representatives from across the world will gather in the Cuban capital for the summit in response to the call of president Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez who has highlighted the event’s importance in strengthening unity and addressing global challenges.

The theme of the summit is “Current Development Challenges: Role of Science, Technology, and Innovation”.

China will be represented at the summit by the chief of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, its anti-corruption watchdog, Li Xi.

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