Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has cast a shadow over the G20 meetings in Cannes with his ill-timed decision to put a European bailout to a public referendum.
But if leaders can escape the gravitational vortex of the eurozone debt crisis, there are many other unfolding issues on the agenda. Jobs and employment are the first items up for discussion once bilateral meetings are concluded in the morning.
With an ongoing famine in the Horn of Africa and high commodity prices affecting social and political stability worldwide, food security was expected to be a major focus.
Where that now stands in light of the real, short term economic necessities is unclear, but agriculture, climate and energy will have to wait for Friday morning. Financing for international development is also up for discussion, with Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and philanthropist, due to deliver a report that is widely believed will repeat calls for a "Robin Hood" tax on financial transactions.
Since the start of the financial and economic crisis the grouping has taken on greater prominence in the crafting of financial sector regulation and reform of global institutions, and both are also on the agenda for the afternoon. High growth emerging markets are being asked to step up to the plate to fund international financial institutions - and are demanding more voice in return.