G20 virtual summit may discuss earlier pledges and fresh issues
While G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant declined to “pre-judge” what the leaders might discuss at the summit, he acknowledged that several new challenges have emerged since the New Delhi gathering of leaders on September 9-10.
The virtual summit is being held when the Israel-Hamas conflict has flared up, adding to uncertainties already caused by the Ukraine war and posing fresh risks to the global supply chains, especially of energy and food.
Addressing the media on the eve of the virtual summit, Kant said: “While development will be the core agenda and we will focus on developmental issues, the leaders may also discuss many other issues”. The virtual summit marks the second time when PM Narendra Modi will be hosting the G20 leaders, that too, within a span of just two-and-a-half months. “This is something rare and exceptional,” Kant said, adding that no other presidency has had a virtual meeting of G20 leaders after a physical summit. Kant said G20 leaders will not just deliberate on the implementation of the New Delhi declaration but they may choose to share views and enhance cooperation on critical challenges that the world confronts now. At the same time, the leaders may also like to “address gaps in global governance, reaffirm our existing commitment towards the sustainable development goals and move towards a reinvigorated multilateral system that is better positioned to positively impact people’s life”, the Sherpa said.
In September, the G20 leaders had endorsed the need to bolster multilateral development banks; firm up a globally-coordinated regulatory framework for crypto assets; and advance financial inclusion and productivity gains through the digital public infrastructure.
Economic affairs secretary Ajay Seth said the virtual summit will carry forward the momentum achieved by the September summit.Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra expected a “large majority” of G20 leaders to attend the virtual summit but didn’t intend to speculate on the leaders who are likely to give it a miss.India will be passing on its G20 presidency to Brazil at the end of this month. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping hadn’t attended the September summit.
When asked about their participation this time, Kwatra said: “Suffice to say at this stage that we expect a large majority of leaders to participate in the discussions tomorrow-as has been the case even in the summit in September this year… We don’t expect tomorrow’s summit to be any different insofar as that is concerned”.
China has now said that Premier Li Qiang will attend the virtual summit in place of Xi and reports suggest Putin may attend it.