Business Standard

G20 Sherpas meet to take stock of work under India's Presidency

Kumarakom in Kerala to host 3-day meet from tomorrow

G20, G-20

Arup Roychoudhury New Delhi

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In the scenic backwaters of Kerala, Sherpas of the Group of Twenty (G20) nations) will meet from March 30 to April 1 to take stock of the work done under India’s Presidency so far, and the road ahead leading up to the Leaders’ Summit in September.

Chaired by India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant, the meeting will act as a platform for all the work that has happened so far in the Finance and Sherpa Tracks to G20. It will be hosted in Kumarakom, on the outskirts of Kochi.

“The Indian Sherpa’s (Kant's) job will be to brief everyone on the work being done in both tracks, across engagement groups, working groups, and the meetings of finance and foreign ministers held recently. The road map for the rest of the year will also be discussed,” a top government official told Business Standard.

The main agenda items under the Sherpa track that will be discussed include women-led development, green growth, lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE initiative), technological transformation, inclusive and resilient growth, multilateralism, tourism, and culture.

Agenda items under the finance track include sovereign debt resolution of poorer nations, reforms in multilateral institutions, digital public infrastructure, food and energy security, financing for resilient, inclusive and sustainable ‘cities of tomorrow’, and global taxation, among others.

There will also be separate sessions on the sidelines of the main Sherpa meet, on digital public infrastructure and green development.

Digital public infrastructure has been one of the successes so far in G20 under India’s stewardship. As reported earlier, a number of Commonwealth nations from the Caribbean and South Pacific, and some Latin American countries as well are interested in taking India’s help to develop their own payments systems.

There could be further discussions with other interested nations in the upcoming Sherpa meeting, the official quote above said.

Since this won’t be a ministerial meeting, there won’t be a communiqué or a chair summary issued at the end of it. However, there will be daily briefings and updates, including by Kant.

It is not expected to be all smooth sailing though. Since the Group of Seven nations on one hand and Russia-China on the other have expressed disagreements on the language of the official statements over war in Ukraine in previous meetings, similar concerns could be discussed among the Sherpas as well.

“Our aim, as the host, is to build consensus should any such discussions arise. It is to update, taking views forward, and to inform,” the official said, adding that G20 was not the forum to discuss geopolitical developments related to the war in Europe or further sanctions.

In the meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in February in Bengaluru, and in the Foreign Ministers’ meeting in New Delhi in March, there could be no communiqué issued as Russia and China were opposed to the language of condemnation of the former’s invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the G7 nations publicly stressed further sanctions against Russia.

The next meeting of the Sherpas, after this, will be in Hampi, Karnataka, in July.

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First Published: Mar 28 2023 | 9:20 PM IST

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