The search for common ground is the aim of world leaders meeting at the G20 summit in St Petersburg.
With a rift over military action in Syria consigned to a discussion over dinner, round-table talks will now concentrate on differences between emerging and developed nations over moves to stimulate the global economy.
The Group of 20, which took the lead in responding to the economic crisis in 2009, is now at odds as the US recovery gains pace.
Europe is lagging and developing economies face blowback from the looming ‘taper’ of U.S. monetary stimulus.
In his welcoming speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin made clear the group’s objective.
“Our main task is returning the global economy towards steady and balanced growth. This task has unfortunately not been resolved. Therefore systemic risks, the conditions for an acute crisis relapse, persist,” he said.
However, what is said or unsaid about crisis-ridden Syria is likely to be the most immediate global concern for many.