A day after several top world leaders touched down in Delhi for the big G20 Summit being hosted by India over the weekend, they will gather at the event venue — the Bharat Mandapam, the newly inaugurated India Trade Promotion Organisation complex at Delhi’s Pragati Maidan — to kick off discussions on hot-button issues.
The first session, ‘One Earth’, expected to start at around 10:30 am, will focus on accelerating climate action through increased mitigation and strengthening the agenda of global net-zero emission as soon as possible — a contentious point among the leaders. In July, G20 energy ministers failed to even mention coal in their final statement, let alone agree a phase down roadmap, and there was no progress on the renewables’ goal.
The language of the climate commitment is a bone of contention, with the grouping divided on commitments to phasing down fossil fuel use, increasing renewable energy targets, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The first session will be followed by lunch, after which the second session — ‘One Family’ — would be conducted at 3 pm.
PM Modi will also host a “working lunch” for the leaders on Saturday at the Bharat Mandapam.
45 minutes — 4:45 pm to 5:30 pm — have been allotted for ‘pull-aside’ meetings between PM Modi and heads of states, after which they will proceed to the special dinner gala being hosted by President Droupadi Murmu.
Notably, the theme of this year’s G20 Summit, which is taking place under India’s presidency, is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth – One Family – One Future”, is drawn from the ancient Sanskrit text of the Maha Upanishad. Essentially, the theme affirms the value of all life — human, animal, plant, and microorganisms — and their interconnectedness on the planet Earth and in the wider universe.
Heads of states were on Friday welcomed by traditional dance performances.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden, at a private dinner later in the day, discussed ways to “deepen and diversify” the partnership between the two countries in a 50-minute discussion.
PM Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina also held a bilateral talk on Friday, where the two countries signed three memoranda of understanding (MoUs), including one on cooperation in digital payment mechanisms.
Several other bilateral meetings — including with the UK, Japan, Germany, and Italy — are also expected today.
More than 30 heads of state and top officials from the European Union, invited guest countries, and 14 heads of international organisations, are expected to attend the G20 Summit in Delhi.
US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida are among the key leaders who are going to attend the event in the country’s capital city.
Notably, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not take part in the weekend summit, but will send representatives — Premier Li Qiang, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.