The summit is taking place at a challenging time when the world is struggling to recover from the impacts of the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine following its invasion by Russia in February 2022.
The war in Ukraine has involved many G20 members directly and indirectly, with Ukraine supported by other G20 members such as the United States, Britain, Germany, Canada, France, Australia, Japan, the European Union, and Turkiye.
G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Spain is the grouping’s permanent guest country.
Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, Indonesia, a founder of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), has determinedly maintained an impartial stance and called for an immediate end to the conflict.
Despite pressures from several countries to kick out Russia from G20, Indonesia has decided that the grouping, under its presidency, should unite members and encourage conflicting countries to sit at the negotiating table and seek a peaceful solution.
Hence, Indonesia has invited all G20 members to participate along with several other non-member countries, including Ukraine, as observers, at the upcoming Bali Summit. Like Putin, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will not be attending the summit.
The number of G20 leaders confirmed to attend the summit in Bali is very high, according to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.
Several leaders have not confirmed their attendance on account of special situations in their countries, she told the media on October 31.
In the meantime, three leaders—Putin, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico—have informed that they will not attend the summit, according to Coordinating Minister for Investment and Maritime Affairs and chairperson of the G20 Summit’s organizing committee, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
He told the media on November 12 that 17 G20 leaders and 3,443 delegates have confirmed their participation in the G20 Summit, which is the first ever to be hosted by Indonesia.
The leaders whose attendance has been confirmed include those from Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.
Earlier, Minister Marsudi told the press that newly installed G20 leaders, such as British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, have confirmed their participation in the Bali gathering.
Besides, US President Joseph R. Biden is expected to be in Bali from November 13 to 16 for the summit, according to a press statement issued by the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, on October 28.
“In Bali, the President will commend President Joko Widodo’s leadership of the G20,” she said in her statement outlining Biden’s travel plans to North Africa and Asia.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud will also attend the summit, Saudi Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi said recently while leading the Saudi delegation at the G20 Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Bali.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has also confirmed his attendance and plan to hold formal talks with President Widodo on the sidelines of the summit.
This would be the second meeting between the two presidents since President Widodo’s visit to China in July this year, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affair, Zhao Lijian, said in Beijing on Friday.
Lijian stressed that China supports Indonesia’s G20 Presidency, which is themed “Recover Together, Recover Stronger.”
Xi is scheduled to be in Bali from November 14 to 17 and will proceed to Bangkok to attend the APEC.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will lead his country’s delegation at the Bali summit.
Indonesia, whose term as G20 president extended from December 1, 2021, to November 30, 2022, is allowed to invite countries and international organizations as observers to G20 meetings.
The invitees this year are Spain; chairman of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AU-NEPAD); chairman of ASEAN; the Netherlands; Singapore; the United Arab Emirates; chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM); and chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).
Indonesia has also invited the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the United Nations (UN).
According to media reports, leaders of Singapore, Cambodia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Senegal, Finland, Suriname, and Fiji will come to Bali.
Tempo media recently reported that other VVIP guests expected to be present in Bali include the President of Zambia, the President of Angola, the President of South Sudan, the Prime Minister of Denmark, the President of FIFA, the President of the IOC, chairman of the Atlantic Council, and chairman of the World Economic Forum.
Most of the G20 leaders will arrive in Bali on November 14 and leave on November 16, with some flying to Thailand for the APEC Summit, which will be held in Bangkok on November 18 and 19.