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” is derived from the Sherpas, the ethnic group in Nepal renowned for their mountain-climbing expertise, symbolizing the guiding role of these officials in the complex negotiations and preparations leading up to the summit.

G20 Sherpa
G20 Sherpa 2023: A Sherpa is a designated envoy who represents the leader of a member country at international summit meetings like the G8, G20, and the Nuclear Security Summit. Their role involves strategic planning, negotiation, and implementation tasks throughout the summit process. Sherpas are responsible for coordinating the agenda, seeking consensus at the highest levels of political leadership, and engaging in a series of pre-summit consultations to advocate for their leaders’ positions.

Sherpas are typically career diplomats or senior government officials handpicked by their respective country’s leaders. The term “Sherpa” draws its origin from the Nepalese Sherpa people, renowned for their role as guides for mountaineers navigating the challenging terrain of the Himalayas.

G20 Sherpa 2023 Meaning
G20 Sherpa 2023: Sherpas play a pivotal role in the G20 summit as they serve as the designated envoys of the leader of each member country. Their responsibilities extend beyond the actual commencement of the meetings, encompassing pre-summit preparations, conflict resolution, and serving as indispensable contributors to the negotiation process.

G20 Sherpa of India Amitabh Kant
G20 Sherpa 2023: Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 Sherpa, has been instrumental in preparations for the upcoming G20 Leaders’ Summit. He assumed this role in July, well in advance of India’s G20 Presidency. Kant’s tasks included building a team, both domestically and internationally, to navigate India’s interests in a polarized world, especially concerning the Ukraine crisis.

His track record includes significant contributions to initiatives like Startup India, Make in India, and the coining of “Kerala: God’s Own Country.” When the Planning Commission transitioned to NITI Aayog in 2015, Kant became its CEO until June 30, 2022, overseeing critical issues such as the Aspirational Districts program and the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. His collaboration with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, a fellow alumnus of St. Stephen’s College and Jawaharlal Nehru University, has been instrumental in his diplomatic endeavors. Despite changing office locations, certain constants define Kant: a glass door in his office, a beloved playlist of ghazals, and a dedicated team of private staff working behind the scenes.

G20 Sherpa 2023 Roles and Responsibilities
G20 Sherpa 2023: Sherpas convene well in advance of a summit to address and resolve conflicts across various issues. As customary diplomatic procedure, the G20 typically issues a leaders’ declaration or communique at the conclusion of its summit. This statement is meticulously prepared by the representatives from various nations and finance track experts, collectively known as the sherpas.

Within the sherpa track, discussions encompass a broad spectrum of topics, spanning 13 working groups. These include areas such as energy, trade and investment, development, employment, tourism, agriculture, digital economy, health, education, culture, environment, and anti-corruption. Furthermore, India, during its presidency, introduced two new groups – the Disaster, Risk, and Resilience Group and the Startup20 Engagement Group – which have been given prominence.

Leadership Role: The G20 Sherpa is the principal representative of their country’s leader in the G20 process. They provide strategic guidance and oversee the coordination of their country’s engagement in the G20.
Pre-Summit Preparations: Sherpas are responsible for preparing their leader for the G20 Leaders’ Summit. This includes briefing the leader on key issues, potential agreements, and diplomatic strategies.
Negotiations: Sherpas engage in negotiations with their 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 coordinate with relevant government ministries, agencies, and experts to ensure that their country’s policies align with G20 objectives and commitments.
Policy Recommendations: They provide policy recommendations and proposals to address global challenges and promote international cooperation. These recommendations aim to drive economic growth, stability, and development.
Summit Documentation: Sherpas oversee the drafting of summit documents, including the final communiqué and action plans. They work to build consensus among member countries on these documents.
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: Sherpas ensure that commitments made at the G20 Leaders’ Summit are followed through by their respective countries. They participate 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: Sherpas engage in international diplomacy to build consensus and cooperation beyond the G20, working to address global challenges collectively.
India’s G20 Sherpa 2023: Who Represents India at the G20 Summit?
G20 Sherpa 2023: Amitabh Kant, the former CEO of NITI Aayog, now serves as India’s G-20 sherpa, replacing Piyush Goyal, the Minister for Commerce and Industry and Consumer Affairs, who held the position since September 2021. Several distinguished individuals, including Suresh Prabhu, Shaktikanta Das, Arvind Panagariya, and Montek Singh Ahluwalia, have previously served as India’s G-20 sherpas. After leading the government research group for nearly six years, Kant concluded his extended term in May.

Kant, a retired IAS officer from the 1980 batch (Kerala cadre), assumed the role of NITI Aayog CEO in 2016, receiving a one-year extension in June 2021.

G-20 Sherpa 2023 Challenges in the G20 Summit
G20 Sherpa 2023: The G20 Summit faces significant challenges due to a couple of major issues. Saudi Arabia and China have raised objections to language regarding the phasing out or reduction of fossil fuels. Additionally, Russia threatens to veto any communique that does not adequately consider its perspective on the Ukraine war. While some sherpas have attempted to accommodate China and Russia’s views on the Ukraine war, Western nations argue that the proposed language does not go far enough. If a communique fails to materialize, it would be a first in the history of the G20.

G20 sherpas have been engaged in lengthy discussions over the precise wording of the document for four days. A recent meeting in Nuh failed to break the deadlock.

However, Amitabh Kant, India’s G-20 sherpa, stated that the joint statement is almost ready, emphasizing that it would reflect the viewpoints of developing nations and the Global South. Nevertheless, Kant noted that he could not confirm the declaration until the final decision is made.

G20 Sherpa 2023 Meetings
The preparations for the 2023 G20 Summit have involved several sherpa meetings. The first sherpa meeting occurred in Udaipur in December 2022, followed by another in Kumarakom, Kerala, in March. The third Sherpa meeting took place from July 9 to 16 in the historic ruins of Hampi in Karnataka’s Vijayanagara district.

These meetings have focused on various priorities, including inclusive and resilient growth, Sustainable Development Goals, and Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) implementation.

Who is G20 Sherpa?
The term “Sherpa” in the context of the G20 (Group of Twenty) refers to a senior government official who serves as a personal representative of the leader (usually the head of state or head of government) of a member country. The role of a Sherpa is to prepare for and facilitate discussions and negotiations leading up to the G20 summit, which is an annual meeting of the leaders of the world’s major economies.

G20 Sherpa Origin
The term “Sherpa” is borrowed from the Sherpa people of Nepal, who are known for their expertise in guiding mountaineers in the Himalayas. In the context of the G20, the Sherpas guide their leaders through the complex terrain of international diplomacy and negotiations.

Each member country of the G20 appoints its own Sherpa, usually a senior government official with expertise in international affairs and diplomacy. The Sherpas work collectively to prepare the groundwork for the G20 summit, which is a significant forum for addressing global economic and geopolitical challenges.

Why G20 is Important for India?
The G20, comprising major developed and developing economies, is a crucial forum for international economic cooperation. India’s assumption of the presidency comes at a critical time, with global challenges such as the Russia-Ukraine war, rising crude oil prices, increasing interest rates, and a global demand slowdown. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized the need for international cooperation to address issues like climate change, terrorism, and pandemics.

Why G20 Summit 2023 Important for India?
India’s role in the G20 provides an opportunity to transition from being a “rule-taker to being a rule-maker” and to contribute to the global economic recovery, particularly for poorer nations. Experts suggest that India can play a significant role in this regard.

G20 Sherpa 2023 UPSC
The role of a G20 Sherpa is of significant importance in the field of international relations and diplomacy, and while it may not be a direct entry position through the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) examination, a strong background in civil services, international affairs, and diplomacy can lead to such roles. Here’s why a G20 Sherpa’s role is essential and how it can relate to a career through the UPSC:

International Diplomacy: G20 Sherpas are responsible for representing their respective countries at high-level international summits. They engage in negotiations, coordinate with other countries, and work to build consensus on critical global issues. A background in the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), which can be accessed through the UPSC examination, is particularly relevant for such roles.
Economic Policy: The G20 addresses critical economic and financial issues. Sherpas play a crucial role in shaping economic policies and agreements. A background in the Indian Economic Service (IES) or other economic-related services obtained through the UPSC exam can be valuable for understanding and contributing to these discussions.
Global Leadership: G20 is composed of major world economies, and decisions made during G20 summits can have a significant impact on global affairs. As a G20 Sherpa, you have the opportunity to represent your country and influence international policies and agreements, showcasing India’s leadership on the global stage.

Networking and Experience: Serving as a G20 Sherpa provides valuable exposure to high-level international negotiations and diplomacy. This experience can be invaluable for individuals aspiring to leadership roles within the Indian government and international organizations.
Multilateral Relations: G20 Sherpas engage in multilateral diplomacy and cooperation, which is an essential aspect of international relations. This aligns with the broader objectives of the Indian government in fostering global partnerships and collaborations.
Expertise in Global Issues: G20 Sherpas work on a wide range of global challenges, including economic stability, climate change, health crises, and more. Developing expertise in these areas, often through education and experience gained through civil services, is crucial.
To become a G20 Sherpa, one typically progresses through the ranks of civil service, gains relevant experience, and is chosen or appointed for the role due to their expertise and leadership qualities.

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