In New Delhi's conference center, Bharat Mandapam, round as a saucer, the ballet of heads of state has begun. Each in turn, the Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres, the President of the World Bank, Ajay Banga wearing his Sikh turban, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, walks an endless red carpet at the end of which awaits him. host of the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The parade continues with the Canadian Justin Trudeau followed by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the “pirate” Olaf Scholz (the chancellor wears a black eye patch following a recent injury). But before the first working meeting called “One Earth”, devoted to ecological issues, there will be no handshake between Narendra Modi and Emmanuel Macron this Saturday morning. No photo in front of the giant wheel of Konark, sculpted in the 13th century, symbol of time and progress, which has become a national emblem.
And for good reason, the French head of state “dry” the first session of the G20. There was no question for Emmanuel Macron not to attend the inaugural France-New Zealand match of the Rugby World Cup. Nor to miss this first victory of the Blues (27 -13). The oval ball before the round planet.
In the vast hall of the press center where hundreds of journalists from all over the world and a few officials meet, this delay shocks some and amuses others. "It's incredible, surprised the presenter of an Indian channel, a rugby match more important than climate change!" An Italian colleague laughs: "It shows the importance of the summit..."
John Kirton, a researcher at the University of Toronto whose team has been analyzing the implementation of the commitments made during the successive G20s since the beginning, is somewhat ironic: “Macron made the right choice, the popular choice” .
The Turk Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Rishi Sunak, the first Hindu British head of government, have also arrived. Sergei Lavrov, the head of Russian diplomacy representing Vladimir Putin, known for his sullen appearance, does not save his smile by warmly shaking the hand of the Indian Prime Minister. Joe Biden's turn, a somewhat mechanical approach, to walk the red carpet.
Emmanuel Macron is expected at midday for a meeting between the European Union and the African Union, invited to join the G20 circle. The French president must then participate in the second session, entitled “a family”. A “family”, which produces 85% of the world’s wealth, which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has described as “dysfunctional”. And like in any family, there are the absent ones - Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping - and the latecomer...