G-20 News

Union Min Piyush Goyal Attends Two-Day G20 Sherpas Meeting; highlights India’s progress

India’s Trade and Industry Minister and Indian G20 Sherpa Piyush Goyal attended the two-day G20 Sherpa meeting in digital format on September 15-16, Foreign Ministry said (MEA ) on September 17th. This was Piyush Goyal’s first G20. meeting since his appointment as G20 Indian Sherpa.

“Ambassador Luigi Mattiolo, the Italian G20 Sherpa, chaired the meeting and welcomed Piyush Goyal to the G20 family,” the statement said. The meeting’s program included a discussion and exchange of ideas on the draft Rome Declaration, which could be accepted by G20 leaders at the Rome summit on October 30-31.

The main themes of the Declaration were health and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, sustainable development, environment, climate and energy, gender equality, education, work, employment, tourism, tradition and the digital financial system.

Goyal praised Italy for its leadership of the G20 this year, as well as its efforts to prepare a compelling document for leaders that covered a wide range of topics. He said New Delhi would play a proactive role in formulating a major and balanced statement for leaders, highlighting India’s progress on each of these points.

What is the G20 summit?

The G20 is a large multinational organization that brings together 19 of the world’s most powerful economies and the European Union, with its members representing over 80% of global GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the world’s population.

Since 2014, Prime Minister Modi has headed the Indian delegation to the G20 summits.

The role of the Sherpa at the top

A personal representative of the leader of a member country at an international summit, such as the G20, G8 or the Nuclear Security Summit, is known as the Sherpa. The word comes from the Sherpas of Nepal, who act as mountain guides in the Himalayas.

Throughout the summit, the Sherpa is involved in the planning, negotiation and implementation of ideas. They help negotiate the positions of their leaders by coordinating the agenda, seeking consensus at the highest political levels and participating in a series of pre-summit discussions. Sherpas are diplomats or senior officials appointed by the head of their country. Each member country has only one Sherpa at the top.

The Sherpas meet well before the start of the summit to iron out conflicts on a variety of topics. The Finance Track and the Sherpas’ Track are the two main work streams of the G20 Summit. The Sherpas, in collaboration with the delegates from the Finance section, produce the Leaders’ Declaration or “Communiqué”, which is the end result of the G20 Summit.

Image: PTI