Kicking off G20 Presidency, Indonesia Holds First G20 Sherpa Meeting in Jakarta

“The G20 must be a catalyst for an inclusive, strong, and sustainable global recovery,” Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi emphasised when opening the first G20 Sherpa Meeting, December 7, in Jakarta. The meeting, scheduled to last December 8, 2021, was the first of more than 150 meetings planned to take place throughout Indonesia’s G20 Presidency.

The Minister also encouraged the G20 to achieve concrete results in three priority areas, namely health, digital transformation, and energy transition, which, she said, “will bring great benefits to global community and the achievement of the SDGs”.

In line with the statement, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, in his keynote speech, stated that the G20 must promote a forward-looking and action-oriented agenda. He pointed out a number of Indonesia’s strategic plans during its G20 Presidency, including from mobilizing global health funding, establishing vaccine hubs in various regions of the world, empowering MSMEs through digitalization, to establishing technology collaboration in the energy sector.

The first Indonesia’s G20 Sherpa Meeting was chaired by Indonesia’s G20 Co-Sherpas, Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani who is a Special Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on the Strengthening of Priority Programs, and Dr. Edi Prio Pambudi Advisor to the Coordinating Minister on Economic Affairs for Connectivity, Service Development, and Natural Resources. This meeting is strategically essential for it discusses the priorities and work plans of the Indonesia’s G20 Presidency in realizing the vision of “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”.

The meeting specifically presented 2 prominent briefers, namely Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Dr. Mari Pangestu, the World Bank Managing Director. Dr. Tedros in his presentation on the current state of the handling COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the importance of strengthening global health funding governance and schemes, also related to prevention, handling, and readiness to face a pandemic. Meanwhile, with respect to the world economic recovery, Mari Pangestu who was  representing the World Bank conveyed global economic growth prospects as well as possible collaborations to encourage world economic recovery.

This Sherpa meeting serves as an opportunity for each G20 Working Group chaired by Indonesia to convey their priorities. The Working Groups include Health; Development; Education; Employment; Digital Economy; Investment, Trade and Industry; Agriculture; Environment and Climate Change; Energy; Corruption Eradication; Tourism; and Women’s Empowerment.

In general, the delegates welcomed Indonesia’s priorities presented in each Working Group. In particular, there is an opportunity for Indonesia to play its role in bridging the views of developed and developing countries

Indonesia also made a new breakthrough in this Sherpa meeting, by introducing a Sherpa retreat session called the “Sofa Talk”. This is a brainstorming session for the G20 Sherpas, for a more in-depth and open dialogue about efforts to continuously improve the G20’s relevance and performance. On the sidelines of the meetings, there was a visit to the Center for Digital Industry Innovation (PIDI) in South Jakarta, as an effort to introduce Indonesia’s digital industry and SMEs.

Sherpa Track is a G20 track that oversees discussions on development in various fields. The Sherpa meeting was participated by delegations from 24 member countries, invitees and international organizations who attended the meeting in person in Jakarta, while 15 delegates attended the event virtually.

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