What are Informal Summits? How they give a new dimension to the diplomacy?

Published: October 15, 2019

Informal Summits serve as supplementary exchanges to annual Summits and other formal exchanges such as the G20 Summit, EU-India Summit and the BRICS Summit among others.

New Dimension to the Diplomacy

  • The informal summit allows for direct, free and candid exchange of views between countries which may not be possible in the formal bilateral and multilateral meetings that are agenda-driven, where specific issues are discussed, and outcomes are more concretely defined.
  • These informal Summits do not take place on a fixed annual or biennial schedule. They are impromptu in the sense and they take place when a need for them is perceived by the concerned nations.
  • Informal Summits provide an opportunity to discuss wide-ranging issues which are not particularly purpose-specific and are sometimes considered to play bigger roles in diplomatic dialogue than formal exchanges for the reason that they tend to be more in-depth, and relatively flexible in intent and the scope of discussion.

India recently hosted an informal summit with the Chinese President Xi Jinping in the ancient coastal town of Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. It was the second informal summit and the first one was held in central China’s Wuhan in April 2018.

The Wuhan Summit provided for the reset of Sino-Indian relationship after the two-month-long border standoff at the India-China-Bhutan trijunction in Doklam.

China is not the only country with which India has had an Informal Summit. Prime Minister Modi met Russia’s President Vladimir Putin for their first Informal Summit in Russia’s Sochi in 2018.

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