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.
The global fallout from the war has made it "more difficult for the world to sit together," she told a G-20 foreign ministers' summit in Bali that ended on Friday, causing people to "lose faith in multilateralism and its capacity to respond effectively to global challenges."
And the war is severely compounding problems from the COVID-19 pandemic, 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,” said Marsudi. “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.
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 have not joined the mainly European nations and 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 was killed by gunshot 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.