India has been trying to do a balancing act ever since Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on 7 October.
“Team G-20 is upbeat and ready for the show”, said G-20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant while talking to The Statesman at the end of the fourth and final Sherpa meeting under India’s G20 Presidency. The meeting took place at Manesar in Gurgaon in the National Capital Region (NCR).
G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant led intense deliberations with G20 member and invitee countries, as well as international organisations, to finalise the Leaders’ Declaration for the forthcoming G20 Summit in the capital at the five day-long meeting. The meeting started on September 3 and is scheduled to conclude on September 7.
The most attractive part of the meetings is the ‘Sofa Talk’– an opportunity to bond at a personal level that would boost relationships between member countries. The informal ‘Sofa Talk’ apart from the formal meetings has been aimed to give an opportunity to the dignitaries to forge deeper relationships in the informal setting of a ‘Sofa Talk.’
‘They are a vital aspect of diplomacy, building trust and collaboration’ he added. The Sofa Talk was planned to allow representatives to connect on a personal level, strengthening the bonds of understanding and cooperation among nations.
The five-day deliberation session also witnessed the tradition and culture of India through various activities. The mornings start with yoga sessions while the evenings close with short cultural folk music to showcase real India.
Kant further said, “India’s G20 Presidency has kept our commitment to inclusivity at the heart of its priorities and processes, amplifying the voices of the Global South and embodying the spirit of democracy through widespread people’s participation. Through these negotiations, our aim is to shape a more equitable and sustainable world that leaves no one behind.”
Under the theme of ‘Weaving India Together,’ the foreign dignitaries got a glimpse of the cultural aspects of Haryana, including traditional Haryanvi folk dances like Teej Festival, Panihari chants, Khoria dance, and Rasiya Dance, showcasing the vibrant heritage of Haryana.
Adding more colour to the meetings, the trained choreographers orchestrated a performance, showcasing a blend of classical, traditional, and folk Indian dance forms from regions like Rajasthan, Manipur, and Uttar Pradesh, along with Sufi and contemporary performances, celebrating India’s cultural richness.