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What are the G7 Sherpas?

The G7‘s institutional structure is headed by a “Sherpa,” personal representatives of the Heads of State and of Government of the world’s seven most industrially advanced countries.

The role they play is named after the figures that guide adventurers to Himalayan peaks. Like the mountain climbing porters, the G7 Sherpas do the heavy lifting, overcoming obstacles and safely navigating the chosen paths, thereby defining those positions that will be undersigned at the Summit, on important global issues.

Sherpas are also responsible for the preparatory process preceding the Summit and oversees negotiations regarding the drafting of the Final Communiqué.

Sherpas regularly communicate with each other in connection with their respective leaders’ positions and proposals on international issues, and they are in touch with their leaders directly at all times.

The post of Sherpa is traditionally held by a high-ranking diplomat.

The Sherpas are supported in their role by Foreign Affairs Sous-Sherpas (FASS) and a Political Directors (PD). They are assisted by a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the PD) who is responsible for foreign and security policy issues, and by another representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the FASS) who is generally in charge of such cross-cutting issues as the environment, social and economic aspects, and development.

The Economy and Finance Ministry, on the other hand, handles the economic and financial issues on the Summit’s agenda. Ad hoc working groups can also be set up to address particularly complex, technical issues.

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