In the world of international diplomacy and global cooperation, the term “G20 Sherpa” holds significant importance.
These individuals, often handpicked by their respective country’s leaders, play a crucial role in shaping the discussions and negotiations leading up to the annual G20 Leaders’ Summit.
In this blog post, we will delve into the world of G20 Sherpas, their roles, and why the G20 Summit is a matter of global significance.
What is G20 Sherpa 2023?
The G20 Sherpa for 2023 is a high-ranking official designated by a G20 member country to represent their leader, typically the head of state or government, in preparations for the annual G20 Leaders’ Summit.
The term “Sherpa” draws its inspiration from the Nepalese Sherpa people, known for their expertise in guiding mountaineers through the treacherous terrain of the Himalayas.
Just as Sherpas guide climbers to their destination, G20 Sherpas navigate the complex landscape of international diplomacy.
G20 Sherpa Roles and Responsibilities
G20 Sherpas are the driving force behind the scenes, responsible for several critical tasks:
- Leadership Role: They are the principal representatives of their country’s leader in the G20 process, providing strategic guidance and overseeing their country’s engagement in the G20.
- Pre-Summit Preparations: Sherpas ensure that their leader is well-prepared for the G20 Leaders’ Summit, briefing them on key issues, potential agreements, and diplomatic strategies.
- Negotiations: Engaging in negotiations with counterparts from other G20 member countries to advance their country’s positions on various topics such as economic policy, trade, finance, and climate change.
- Coordination: Sherpas work closely with relevant government ministries, agencies, and experts to align their country’s policies with G20 objectives and commitments.
- Policy Recommendations: They provide policy recommendations and proposals to address global challenges and promote international cooperation, driving economic growth, stability, and development.
- Summit Documentation: Overseeing the drafting of summit documents, including the final communiqué and action plans, and working to build consensus among member countries.
- Engagement with Stakeholders: Sherpas engage with various stakeholders, including business leaders, civil society organizations, and think tanks, to gather input and foster dialogue on G20 priorities.
- Follow-Up and Accountability: Ensuring that commitments made at the G20 Leaders’ Summit are followed through by their respective countries and participating in the review of progress on these commitments.
- Representing the Leader: During the summit, Sherpas may represent their leader in meetings and discussions, allowing the leader to focus on high-level interactions.
- International Diplomacy: Engaging in international diplomacy to build consensus and cooperation beyond the G20, working to address global challenges collectively.
India’s G20 Sherpa 2023: Amitabh Kant
India’s G20 Sherpa for 2023 is Amitabh Kant, a distinguished figure in Indian bureaucracy and policy-making.
Kant assumed this role well in advance of India’s G20 Presidency and took on the task of building a team to navigate India’s interests on the global stage.
His extensive experience includes contributions to initiatives like Startup India, Make in India, and significant roles such as CEO of NITI Aayog.
Challenges in the G20 Summit
The G20 Summit is not without its share of challenges.
Recent objections from countries like Saudi Arabia, China, and Russia have sparked debates over language regarding fossil fuel reduction and considerations of the Ukraine war.
Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 Sherpa, remains optimistic about resolving these issues and ensuring that the G20 Summit fulfills its role in addressing global challenges.
Meetings and Preparations
The preparations for the 2023 G20 Summit have involved several sherpa meetings, emphasizing priorities like inclusive growth, Sustainable Development Goals, and Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) implementation. These meetings serve as crucial platforms for discussions and planning.
Why G20 Matters for India
The G20 Summit is a critical forum for international economic cooperation. India’s role as the 2023 G20 Presidency provides an opportunity to contribute to global economic recovery, particularly for developing nations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed the need for international cooperation on issues like climate change, terrorism, and pandemics.
The Path to Becoming a G20 Sherpa
While becoming a G20 Sherpa is not a direct entry position through the UPSC examination, a background in civil services, international affairs, and diplomacy can lead to such roles.
Individuals with experience in the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) or the Indian Economic Service (IES) are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of international diplomacy.
In conclusion, G20 Sherpas play a pivotal role in shaping global discussions and policies, representing their countries on the world stage, and contributing to international cooperation. Their expertise and dedication are vital for addressing the pressing challenges of our times.