Russia, China in mind, G20 Sherpas to work on ‘new’ diplomatic … – Maharashtra News

The Indian Express | 16 hours ago | 02-04-2023 | 12:45 pm
The meeting of the G20 Sherpas is broadly coming to an agreement that they will work on a “new” consensus-based diplomatic language on the Russia-Ukraine war over the next five months, just in time for the G20 Leaders’ Summit in September this year, sources said Saturday.This was the broad takeaway after two days of meetings between top officials — named Sherpas and their deputies, the Sous-Sherpas — at the scenic Kumarakom in the Kerala backwaters.“We cannot agree on a language on the Russia-Ukraine war right now, since the leaders’ summit is some months away. So, the Sherpas will meet just before the summit and finalise a consensus new language, which will be different from the Bali Declaration. This has been necessitated because of the changed situation,” the sources said.The ground situation too, the sources said, may change over the next few months, and it makes more sense to negotiate a common language closer to the summit based on the battlefield situation.The second meeting of the Sherpas, the sources said, is like the “middle overs” in a cricket match. “These are not the opening overs or the slog overs, but the middle overs… So we are working on the text of the language on other issues,” the sources said.While the Bali Declaration, adopted after the G20 summit in Indonesia last November, was based on consensus between all the G20 countries, the meetings of the G20 Finance Ministers in Bengaluru and Foreign Ministers in New Delhi did not lead to a consensus document. Instead there was a Chair’s Summary, issued by India.India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant sounded hopeful that they will be able to agree on a joint communique by the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Delhi on September 9 and 10.Calling it a “positive, constructive and forward looking” meeting over two days, Kant said they have multiple strategies to reach a consensus.Stressing that there is agreement on 99 per cent issues, and work needs to be done only on one per cent, he said, “We will do our best. We are working on different options and I can assure you that we leave nothing to chance. We will work on everything, but what is not in your hand is not in your hand. What is in our hand, we will fully achieve. We are working with different strategies and I think everybody, whether the emerging markets or developing countries or G7, everyone wants the G20 to succeed.”In an interview to The Indian Express on the sidelines of the Sherpas meeting, US G20 Sous-Sherpa Christina Segal-Knowles echoed Kant: “I am hopeful that the countries that have walked away from that consensus will come back to it because I think we have the prospect of getting that done.”“The success of Prime Minister Modi’s G20 is very important to us. So the United States will not be walking away from the G20,” she said.The consensus paragraphs in the Bali Declaration have not been repeated in the recent meetings of G20. The G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting could not agree on the inclusion of two paragraphs.There was a footnote in the Chair’s Summary that Paragraphs 3 and 4, as taken from the G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration (November 15-16, 2022), were agreed to by all member countries except Russia and China.This formulation was similar to the one at the meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers in Bengaluru.This was because Russia did not want a reference to the Russia-Ukraine war at the Foreign Ministers’ meeting. Russia believes that the meetings are about economy, growth, development and other global challenges. China supports Russia’s contention. But the West views them as essential since the war has affected the global economy.
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