G20 Summit: Indonesian minister stresses importance of peace for development
By Benedict Mayaki
The recently-concluded G20 summit which held from 15-16 November in Bali, Indonesia brought together leaders of the world’s largest economies to discuss international economic and financial stability and coordinate policy on common paths to development.
This year, the meeting focused on the theme “Recover Together, Recover stronger”, against the backdrop of geopolitical and economic tensions spurred the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine and other global challenges, including food and water security, climate and biodiversity, healthcare and education, digital transformation among others.
The summit, which also sported many side events ended with a declaration from the world leaders and Indonesian president Joko Widodo handed over the presidency of the next summit to India, represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Vatican News spoke with Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investments, Luhut Pandjaitan, who shared his reflections of the event.
Minister Pandjaitan has had a long career of service to his country. He is a retired 4—star General and has previously held positions as Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs and Presidential Chief of Staff to President Joko Widodo, among other things.
Bringing world leaders together in Bali
Pandjaitan highlights that this is the first time the G20 is hosted by his home country, and in spite of tensions and challenges in many places in the world, Indonesia was “able to manage global expectations about this G20.”
He expressed general satisfaction about the event which was able to bring together 17 heads of states from around the globe, and also hailed the success of the other side events.
Recovering stronger together
The coordinating minister explained that the theme of the event was deeply reflected upon in cabinet meetings and was inspired by the desire that “we do not want to see anyone left behind.”
He notes that Indonesia, with its growing economy that is considered one of the best globally, seized the opportunity to invite other countries to “work together” and to “fix this together”, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that dealt a heavy blow to countries all over the globe, and the world has not fully recovered from its effects.
“So, the theme is also to bring solidarity among the members of the G20, as well as globally,” said Pandjaitan.
Peace, not conflicts and wars
A central theme during the international economic summit was peace. Several world leaders underlined the importance of embracing peace on the path to development, and the final declaration deplored “in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine.”
In this regard, Pandjaitan joined his voice to the appeals for peace, stressing that war only causes millions of people to suffer.
The minister then recalled Pope Francis' words when he said, “war benefits whom? Nobody! War only creates poverty and suffering.”
“We have to stop the war, end the war, but we have to respect each other, don’t humiliate other parties. Let’s bring peaceful minds and peaceful solutions to this issue,” he said.
Pandjaitan also called for attention to be given to combatting poverty in developing countries as well as ensuring food security and energy production.