Development will be the core agenda at the virtual G20 leaders’ summit to be held on Wednesday, along with discussions on enhanced cooperation on critical global challenges, G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant said on Tuesday.
“Since the unanimous adoption of the New Delhi Leaders Declaration, the world has actually witnessed a succession of events and several new challenges have emerged,” Kant told reporters.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the virtual summit, the Kremlin said on Tuesday. Putin did not attend the G20 Summit in person in New Delhi in September. He was represented by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Kant said the virtual summit would provide an opportunity not only to discuss the implementation of the leaders’ declaration but also address gaps in global governance, reaffirm the existing commitment towards the sustainable development goals, and move towards a reinvigorated multilateral system that is better positioned to positively impact people’s lives.
The G20 Sherpa said no other presidency had had a physical meeting of all the leaders and then a virtual meeting, and that it was rare and exceptional.
India is expecting “excellent” participation at the virtual summit with almost all the G20 world leaders in attendance.
“The leaders will build on the momentum and get further guidance, so that when India hands over the presidency, it will be a strong momentum to the agenda, which has been hugely influenced by the perspective of the developing countries,” said Ajay Seth, secretary, Department of Economic Affairs.
On whether the leaders would discuss the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that to the extent that development priorities and economic growth get impacted by happenings elsewhere in the world, they tend to come up for discussions. He, however, also said: “I don't think it would be correct for us to really prejudge what issues would be raised by the leaders at the virtual summit tomorrow.”
Talking about the substantive outcomes and areas of progress, Kant said that the G20 consensus on tripling renewable energy capacity globally by 2030 and doubling the global rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030 are expected to be the key outcomes of COP28.
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“What we decided on green development facts will drive the outcomes of COP28,” Kant said.
He also said that as a result of India's advocacy, a global initiative on digital health has been able to garner a commitment for a contribution of $44.5 million. A creation of a framework for artificial intelligence has also been initiated by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.