NEW DELHI: Brazil and South Africa are helping India forge a consensus text on the Ukraine conflict as sherpas were engaged in last-minute intense negotiations on the outskirts of the Capital, seeking to hammer out mutually acceptable formulations on the issue which has divided the group of 20 developed and emerging economies.
The sherpa-level talks, which will result in the final communique or outcome document, are stretching past the deadline.This is seen both as an indicator of the tough task in getting Russia and China to agree to a draft that is acceptable to others as well, and of the willingness to grapple with it. “It signals the difficulty before them, but the good news is that talks have not collapsed,” a source said.
A consensus on Ukraine eluded each ministerial meeting held under India’s presidency. While the member countries agreed on all issues, the differences proved unbridgeable on Ukraine. The divergence ensured that the deliberations could yield an “outcome document and chair’s summary”, reflecting the gaps in the footnote, as opposed to a communique showing agreement on all issues.

The same script seemed to be playing out at the last meeting of the sherpas, envoys of the respective leaders. However, that the members of the grouping agreed on all issues, including fresh initiatives proposed by India, has kept hopes of a “favourable outcome” alive as far as a communique is concerned.
A senior government official said it was for India to decide the nomenclature after choosing from options like “joint statement” or “communique” and that it could very well choose to accommodate a para or two reflecting the viewpoints of the minority in case they refuse to come around.
The Russia-Ukraine war has emerged as a deal-breaker with the G7 countries, including the US, insisting on a reference to the war in the communique and Russia and China opposing any such move. But the past few days have seen a lowering of temperature from these two countries, a source aware of the development said.

The source said India was successful in getting approval for the lifestyle for environment (LiFe), digital public infrastructure and women-led development themes that New Delhi has pushed under its presidency.

The source said several alternative formulations with regard to the Russia-Ukraine war were being explored and the troika of India, Brazil and South Africa would try and hammer out a compromise on the controversial issue. Climate change and energy transition are also themes on which discussions have been intense with differences visible among a few countries.

Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, discusses inclusive, ambitious and action-oriented G20 meetings


Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, discusses inclusive, ambitious and action-oriented G20 meetings

A majority of countries have expressed their strong support for India’s presidency and want it to succeed with its ambitious agenda for the leaders summit on September 9-10.

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