The face-to-face tension among foes was gone. So was the in-person camaraderie among allies.
Gone were the "bilats," the lavish dinners and toasts honed to the host nation's cultural traditions.
Like much else in the time of coronavirus, governing as a global leader attending high-level summitry has been unceremoniously upended.
Thursday's virtual meeting of the Group of 20 nations, with more than a dozen heads of state participating, was less a global summit and more of a high-powered conference call.
Welcome to the era of the coronavirus pandemic and this is how leaders hold summits in time of worldwide lockdowns.
But, like any other summits, the leaders did issue a joint communique where the G20 committed to do "whatever it takes" to minimize the social and economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic.
The global governance of disease and international coordination in time of the COVID-19 pandemic: the topic of our News In Depth tonight with Dr. Bernhard Seliger, Resident representative of Hanns Seidel Foundation and Dr. Go Myong-hyun, Research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
Gentlemen, welcome to the program.
The G20 Virtual Summit lasted about 90 minutes - the same as a standard soccer match - instead of the usual, more languid two days.
The G20 was meant to be held in Saudi Arabia, but the coronavirus crisis forced world leaders to join the chair, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz al Saud, in a meeting over the internet.
"The G20 must send a strong signal to restore confidence in the global economy by resuming, as soon as possible, the normal flow of goods and services, especially vital medical supplies."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel took part from her apartment where she is in home quarantine.
The meeting led the response to the global financial crisis just over a decade ago and its members promised to work together again to fight the virus outbreak.
What were your thoughts?
The joint communique, some are calling it largely uncontroversial yet largely unspecific. What are some key points that you would like to have seen in the communique, but it failed to address? What are some key factors that were rightfully included in the joint statement?
The G20 leaders also expressed concern about the risks to fragile countries, notably in Africa, and populations like refugees, acknowledging the need to bolster global financial safety nets and national health systems.
How do we expect each country to do that especially when many of these European countries' healthcare systems appear to be exhausted themselves? Not to mention the U.S. system as well.
The head of the WHO urged G20 nations to ramp up production of protective gear for health workersremove export bans and ensure equity of distribution.
Again, how realistic is it to ask for international coordination or cooperation as such when each country's public health is at risk?
South Korean President Moon Jae-in suggested G20 leaders make a conditional approval of travel for businessmen and scientists to minimize negative impact on the world economy,
How plausible or feasible is this during this time of border lockdowns worldwide?
Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies have pledged to inject 5 trillion U.S. dollars in fiscal spending into the global economy to ease the economic impact of coronavirus.
Would that be enough? How will that fiscal spending be used?
While this new health emergency bears the hallmarks of past outbreaks, the truth is that the world today is a very different place than it was during 2002 and 2003, when countries were gripped by the outbreak of SARS.
How should the rest of the world respond as the virus goes global?
The North Korean regime, which claims that the country is one of only a few in the world without coronavirus cases, is reportedly asking for help with testing.
According to various sources, officials in the hermit nation have been quietly reaching out to the international community for assistance.
Do you think the global community has a plan for North Korea? To aid North Korea for its fight against COVID-19?
Dr. Bernhard Seliger, Resident representative of Hanns Seidel Foundation and Dr. Go Myong-hyun, Research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, many thanks for a wonderful discussion. We appreciate it.