Development and enhanced co-operation on critical challenges along with a review of the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration from September are expected to be the key focus areas on the agenda of the virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit to be held Wednesday before the end of India’s Presidency.
G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant, while speaking at a curtain raiser briefing for the Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit Tuesday, said development will be the core agenda, while leaders may discuss many other issues.
“Since our successful hosting of the G20 Leaders’ Summit on September 9-10 and the unanimous adoption of the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, the world has actually witnessed a succession of events and several new challenges have emerged. While development will be the core agenda and we will focus on the development issue, the leaders may discuss many other issues and the virtual summit will provide an opportunity not only to discuss the implementation of the Leaders’ Declaration but also for leaders to share views and enhance cooperation on critical challenges that we confront and address gaps in global governance, reaffirm our existing commitments towards the Sustainable Development Goals, and move towards a reinvigorated multilateral system that is better positioned to positively impact people’s lives,” he said.
When asked if the Israel-Hamas conflict will be discussed, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said he “didn’t want to prejudge what issues would be raised by the leaders”. He also said that the Summit’s attendance is not expected to be any different in terms of participation seen at the New Delhi Leaders’ Summit held in September. Certain Russian media reports stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the virtual G20 Summit, who had skipped the previous G20 Leaders’ Summit in September.
As the New Delhi Summit had drawn to a close in September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed a virtual session in November before the end of India’s presidency – Brazil will take over the G20 presidency from December 1.
Accelerating Progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a push towards reforming multilateral development banks (MDBs), addressing debt vulnerabilities, climate finance, and the use of digital public infrastructure for financial inclusion were among the key features in the declaration from the G20 Leaders’ Summit summit.
As per the 2023 G20 New Delhi Update released on November 13 that reviewed 34 ongoing G20 development commitments — two are assessed as being “completed”, 31 are assessed as being “on track”, and one commitment recorded as “no update received”.
The completed ones included G20 support for Covid-19 response and recovery in developing countries, known as the ‘Pandemic Fund’ along with the initiative for rural youth employment in developing countries.