India emerged as a “friend” and “consensus builder” in the world following its successful G20 presidency, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday, describing it as a “notable period” in the country’s diplomatic history.

In an address at a book-launch ceremony, Jaishankar especially referred to New Delhi managing to produce a leaders’ declaration at the G20 Summit in September last year, overcoming divisions over the Ukraine conflict.

“We had a particularly exciting last 48 hours before we came to that consensus,” he said in an oblique reference to the hectic negotiations that went on to bridge the differences over the text to describe the Ukraine conflict in the declaration.

Jaishankar was speaking at the launch of a book titled “India and the Future of G20: Shaping Policies for a Better World”. The event was organised by the National University of Singapore’s Institute of South Asian Studies.

“From an Indian perspective, the G20 for us was a test of our ability to emerge as a vishwamitra, a friend, a kind of a consensus builder, a bridge builder in the world today,” Jaishankar said.

The external affairs minister said India’s G20 presidency was a “notable period” in the country’s diplomatic history.

From getting multilateralism back on track to fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s guarantee to Africa, there is much that India should be proud of, he added.

The induction of the 55-nation African Union (AU) as a permanent member of the G20 was seen as a major milestone of India’s presidency of the grouping of the world’s 20 big economies in 2023.

The book delves into a diverse array of insights and perspectives from distinguished scholars, policy practitioners and G20 sherpas on India’s presidency of the bloc.

The contributors focus on key themes, such as the digital economy, resilient supply chains, environmental standards, climate finance, gender empowerment, the future of multilateralism and the role of the Global South.