Today’s Start of Second G20 Sherpa Meeting to Address Global Issues

The G20 Sherpas are set to gather in Kumarakom village, located in Kerala, India, from March 30 to April 2 for the second Sherpas meeting under India's G20 Presidency.

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Second G20 Sherpa Meeting to Begin Today, Delegates to Discuss Issues of Global Concern

The meeting, chaired by India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant, will bring together more than 120 delegates from the world’s 20 largest economies, nine invitee countries, and various international and regional organisations. The aim is to discuss issues of global importance and to find solutions that benefit all. This includes topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, and the digital economy. Participants will also have the opportunity to exchange best practices and share experiences.

The gathering is a unique opportunity to bring together leaders from across the globe and promote collaboration and cooperation on global issues. It is also an excellent platform to discuss ways to build a better and more sustainable future.

This meeting will be an important step in the journey towards achieving global prosperity and is a testament to the commitment of the G20 to addressing the world’s most pressing challenges.

The event, according to an official statement, will focus on a broad range of issues of global importance. It is expected to serve as an effective platform to facilitate dialogue and cooperation between participants. The initiative aims to bring together governments, private sector organizations, and civil society actors to discuss solutions and strategies for tackling some of the world’s most pressing concerns. By bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders, the event hopes to foster collaboration and create meaningful change.

The delegates will engage in multilateral conversations regarding G20’s economic and developmental objectives, as well as tackling current global issues, throughout the four-day event.

The deliberations will focus on policy approaches and concrete implementation, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press release. The second Sherpas meeting will work on a range of issues of global concern and will encompass the work being done under the 13 Working Groups within the Sherpa track.

The deliberations of the Sherpa meetings will take forward the outcomes of various Sherpa Track and Finance Track meetings, forming the basis of the Leaders’ declaration slated to be adopted at the summit in New Delhi in September 2023. A press release revealed that this summit will be a pivotal moment in the history of the region and will bring together leaders from across the globe. Their aim is to foster collaboration and promote economic growth and prosperity.

The Sherpa meetings have been key in spurring the development of this important declaration, which is set to be a landmark moment in the region’s history. The summit will be an opportunity for leaders to come together, collaborate, and propel economic growth and prosperity in the region. All eyes are on the Leaders’ declaration, which is expected to be adopted at the summit.

Furthermore, eleven engagement groups and four initiatives — Research and Innovations Initiative Gathering (RIIG), Empower, Space Economy Leaders’ Meeting (SELM), and Chief Scientific Advisers Roundtable (CSAR) — are also making policy recommendations from the perspectives of the civil society, private sector, academia, women, youth, scientific advancement, and research.

It will be followed by a panel discussion on global governance of digital infrastructure.

The second G20 Sherpas meeting will begin on March 30 with two high-level side events on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and Green Development, according to a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Organised in partnership with NASSCOM, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), the Digital Public Infrastructure side-event will begin with an immersive digital experience for all G20 delegates. It will be followed by a panel discussion on global governance of digital infrastructure.

The Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) side event will explore the global challenges and opportunities for creating a growth-oriented and inclusive digital public infrastructure. Attendees of the event will be addressed by a panel of esteemed experts, including Infosys Technologies Limited Co-Founder and Chairman Nandan Nilekani, Commissioner for International Market of the European Union Thierry Breton, Digital Impact Alliance Managing Director and non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institute Priya Vora, as well as CTO of EkStep Foundation, and ex-Chief Architect of Aadhaar Pramod Verma. Through a series of panel discussions, attendees will gain an understanding of the current global landscape of DPI and the various strategies and solutions needed to create a more equitable and sustainable infrastructure. This event will provide an invaluable platform to learn about and discuss the global challenges and opportunities for creating a growth-oriented and inclusive digital public infrastructure.

The upcoming side event on Green Development will be organized in partnership with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in India (UNRC) and Observer Research Foundation (ORF). This event will provide an in-depth look into the global initiatives needed to implement a progressive vision of green development, one that maximizes the synergies between development and environmental objectives through a collaborative, updated international environment and policy framework that is adaptive, proactive, and tailored to the needs and challenges of developing countries.

The Green Development side event will be addressed by Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Centre for Sustainable Development, Columbia University; Avinash Persaud, Special Envoy to the Prime Minister of Barbados on Investment and Financial Services and member, Independent High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance and other panelists.

India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant will lead discussions with the G20 Troika, which comprises India, Indonesia, and Brazil. He will meet with G20 Sherpas and heads of delegations from G20 members, invitees, and international organizations, including the Emerging Market Economies (EMEs) to discuss matters important to the Global South, as well as topics from the Advanced Economies (AEs) on shared priorities and mutually beneficial ways forward.

The delegates will be hosted for Charchayum Aaharavum (Conversations over Dinner) and cultural programmes, a mini Thrissur Pooram experience, a traditional Onam Sadhya lunch, and Chaya Vallom (Tea on Boat) among other experiences. These experiences will give the G20 delegates a unique opportunity to enjoy the rich cultural heritage and diverse cuisine of Kerala, providing them with a truly unforgettable experience.

The MEA in the press release noted that India has carefully chosen its G20 priorities, taking into account the various global challenges of the day, the concerns of developing nations, and the need for greater momentum to move forward with the shared international agenda, especially in the areas of development and the environment.

India’s G20 theme “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – “One Earth. One Family. One Future” – encapsulates the shared vision of the G20 to galvanize wide support and achieve decisive, ambitious, inclusive, and action-oriented outcomes. By coming together and acting as one family, the G20 can instill hope and create a better future for all.

Ongoing deliberations during India’s G20 Presidency focus on Green Development, Climate Finance, and Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE). The goal is to accelerate inclusive and resilient growth, progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), technological transformation, digital public infrastructure, and the establishment of multilateral institutions for the 21st century. Additionally, the G20 is pushing for increased support for women-led development.

These priorities, as identified by 125 countries participating in the first-ever Voice of Global South Summit hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2023, demonstrate the needs of the Global South that were articulated during the event. According to a MEA press release, the summit focused on topics such as sustainable development, economic growth, and job creation. Additionally, the summit highlighted the importance of global collaboration and international solidarity in resolving the issues faced by the Global South.

Notably, the first G20 Sherpa meeting was held in Udaipur in December. The meeting witnessed active participation by G20 Members, nine guest countries and 14 international organizations.

The first G20 Sherpa meeting had set the tone for the upcoming meetings in 32 different G20 workstreams, including the Sherpa Track, Finance Track, and Engagement Groups, as per the MEA press release.

The substantive discussions on prevailing global challenges, and the warm hospitality with the motto ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’, resonated throughout the G20 Sherpas meeting and were highly praised by all delegates. The meaningful conversations concerning current worldwide issues, and the congenial atmosphere with the slogan ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’, echoed throughout the G20 Sherpas meeting and were greatly admired by all participants.

Tarah Nguyen