Russia’s G20 Sherpa Hopes Next Summit Will be Held in Person


Russia’s G20 Sherpa Svetlana Lukash expressed hope on Monday that the next summit of the world’s major advanced and emerging economies will be an in-person, not a virtual event, TASS reported.

This year the G20 summit was held on November 21-22 virtually via a video conference.

“We hope that the next summit will be [held] in person,” Lukash said.

According to the Sherpa, if by this time the countries manage to “return to normal economic activity and normal operations, then certainly, there won’t be any obstacles for personal meetings of the leaders.”

“Everyone expressed readiness to make every effort to make sure that the next summit of the Group of Twenty is held live in a traditional format,” she said.

Lukash noted that during the pandemic everyone learnt how to work in a new remote format. “But certainly, the effect of live communication is lost,” she noted. “Especially, probably, this is regrettable mainly for the events of these level.”

When the countries’ leaders have the possibility to discuss issues in person, this is “absolutely invaluable,” she explained. According to the Sherpa, the G20 summits “are also important by personal and informal cooperation and live discussions.”

“This time, certainly, this did not happen, unfortunately. But on the other hand, this was in fact a finishing touch in an effort that lasted the entire year,” she pointed out. “We remember that the first G20 summit this year was held in March and there the heads of state agreed to launch this joint work.”

The final declaration

The final declaration of the G20 summit was worked out amid disputes but it showed that the countries are determined to jointly combat the pandemic and the crisis, Svetlana Lukash said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel on Monday.

“All essential things became part of the declaration,” Russia’s Sherpa said. The process of coordinating this document is not easy because each country wants to do its part and put its emphasis. However, “this year everyone was determined to demonstrate joint efforts and show that they are ready to fight the crisis altogether.”

Among challenging issues when drafting the declaration Lukash named climate change and the role of international organizations. She noted that the crisis caused by the pandemic only aggravated current global problems, such as that states have less trust in multilateral mechanisms of cooperation. In this regard, Lukash noted that at the peak of the pandemic even the role of the World Health Organization came under criticism.

“Certainly, there were many disputes around this: how on the one hand to highlight the need for single rules of the game – that’s why these international organizations such as the WHO, the World Trade Organization or the International Monetary Fund are needed – and at the same time to ensure that they become more effective and fit international situation and modern realities,” she noted.

It was most important to send a key message in this declaration that all G20 countries are ready to jointly combat the crisis, restore the economy and defeat the pandemic. “It seems to me that this was a success,” Russia’s Sherpa said.

The Group of Twenty summit was held on November 21-22 via a video conference under Saudi Arabia’s presidency. The key topics were pandemic-related problems and revival of the global economy. The declaration was adopted after the forum.