‘They gave me sleepless nights': India's G20 sherpa on his counterparts

Sep 10, 2023 02:23 PM IST

Amitabh Kant said the team of Indian diplomats took over 200 hours of non-stop negotiations to deliver a consensus on the G20 declaration.

India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant on Sunday said his counterparts from various countries have been the toughest and most professional negotiators in the world who gave him sleepless nights while preparing for the 18th leaders's summit in New Delhi.

India's G20 sherpa Amitabh Kant poses with sherpas of other countries.(X/ @amitabhk87)
India's G20 sherpa Amitabh Kant poses with sherpas of other countries.(X/ @amitabhk87)

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Sharing an image of his fellow counterparts on X (formerly Twitter), Kant said, “With the Sherpas of leading developed and emerging markets. They are the toughest and most professional negotiators in the world. They gave me sleepless nights and the most difficult time of my life.”

Earlier today, the G20 sherpa said that the team of Indian diplomats took over “200 hours of non-stop negotiations” to deliver a consensus on the G20 declaration which was being adopted by the world leaders at the high-level conclave at Bharat Mandapam Convention Centre in New Delhi on Saturday.

The team including joint secretaries Eenam Gambhir and Nagaraj Naidu Kakanur, held 300 bilateral meetings and circulated 15 drafts with their counterparts on the contentious Ukraine conflict to drive home a consensus that was clinched on the first day of the Summit.

"The most complex part of the entire G20 was to bring consensus on the geopolitical paras (Russia-Ukraine). This was done over 200 hours of non-stop negotiations, 300 bilateral meetings, 15 drafts," Kant said on X.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor lauded Kant for his hardwork while describing the adoption of the negotaitaion as a “proud moment for India at G20!”.

“Well done @amitabhk87! Looks like the IFS lost an ace diplomat when you opted for the IAS! ‘Negotiated with Russia, China, only last night got final draft,’ says India's G20 Sherpa on 'Delhi Declaration' consensus,” Tharoor wrote on X.

The G20 declaration avoided the Russian invasion of Ukraine and made a general call to follow the principle of respecting each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty. "We call on all states to uphold the principles of international law, including territorial integrity and sovereignty, international humanitarian law, and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability," the declaration said.

The opening day of the two-day G20 Summit witnessed several crucial developments, including formal induction of the African Union to the group, a biofuel alliance and the announcement of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IECC EC).

After assuming presidency of the bloc on December 1, 2022, India held around 200 meetings related to the G20 across the country on a range of its priority areas. The 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi will be a culmination of all the G20 processes and meetings held throughout the year among ministers, senior officials, and civil societies.

(With inputs from agencies)

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