G20 policymakers meet in Saudi Arabia for world economy talks

Global policymakers gathered in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, for the first gathering of the Framework Working Group (FWG) under the G20 Saudi presidency. (Supplied)
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Updated 18 January 2020

G20 policymakers meet in Saudi Arabia for world economy talks

  • They discussed ways to improve access to economic opportunities for all
  • Delegates also tackled current risks facing the global economy

RIYADH: Global policymakers have met in Riyadh to map out “urgent” plans aimed at tackling the challenges and risks to world economic growth.
The first gathering of the Framework Working Group (FWG) under the G20 Saudi presidency discussed ways to improve access to economic opportunities for all, a key priority of the 2020 summit of world leaders’ agenda.
During the FWG meeting held on Jan. 12 and 13, the head of the Saudi team, Dr. Naif Alghaith, said: “It is an urgent priority to break barriers that prevent people from having access to economic opportunities.
“We are working to identify the current conditions of the global economy, the economic risks and challenges facing our world, and the policy responses to mitigate downside risks.”
The group’s talks were co-chaired by Clare Lombardelli, chief economic adviser to the UK Treasury, and Sanjeev Sanyal, principal economic adviser to India’s Ministry of Finance.
Delegates discussed the current risks facing the global economy and the preparedness for policy co-ordination among the G20 countries.
The meeting also studied possible policy options to enhance access to opportunities for all with a special focus on women, youth and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The get-together followed a G20 symposium on enhancing access to opportunities that was held under the Saudi G20 presidency on Dec. 5 last year in Riyadh.
Participants at the FWG symposium also discussed the role of the public and private sectors in leveraging technology and innovation to create jobs, and opportunities that promote sustainable and inclusive growth.
The G20 FWG was established at the 2009 Pittsburgh summit in the US after world leaders agreed to launch a framework to lay out policies aimed at generating strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive global growth.


Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

Updated 13 August 2020

Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

  • Saudi Green Building Forum granted accreditation as an observer to UNEP governing body

RIYADH: A professional association from Saudi Arabia will play a key policymaking role at a UN governing body addressing the importance of environmental needs.
Following careful assessment and consideration of the commitments and engagements of the Saudi Green Building Forum (SGBF), the nonprofit organization has been granted accreditation as an observer at the governing body of the UN Environment Program (UNEP). SGBF will play a role as an observer at all public meetings and sessions of the UNEP and its subsidiary organs.
Speaking to Arab News, Faisal Al-Fadl, founder of the nonprofit organization, said that the forum’s mission has been developing for the past 10 years and this accreditation was considered an important step in strengthening the role of Saudi civil society institutions, locally and internationally. This was in line with Vision 2030, which has not only played an integral role in the NGO’s mission but also paved the way for the Kingdom’s people to go the extra mile in building an advanced and resilient society.
SGBF was initiated in 2010 and established in 2014. In 2017, it became the first professional body from Saudi Arabia in consultative status with the UN.
“The Saudi Forum was an advocacy group with an honest voice to bridge the gap; through UNEP we now have the tools to become the policymakers,” Al-Fadl said. It is a challenge that the group founder says will be met by providing communities with the proper tools to implement commitments.
As the observing body on the environmental framework at the UNEP, SGBF’s role will include promoting its concepts and goals to be reflected within the community of change. For change to happen, people of a community at a grassroots level who have committed to the preservation of moral codes of conduct are key to changing mentality and behavior to guarantee a future for the next generations, Al-Fadl said.
“As an open platform, our role is being the honest voice of bridging the gap. Economic and social progress accompanied by environmental degradation and pandemics are endangering the very systems on which our future development and our survival depends,” he said.
SGBF represents the Kingdom and its call to communities, stakeholders, and policymakers to build on the principles of volunteering, advocacy and sustainable development.
For the NGO, their next step is increasing the engagement of civil society, finding solutions to the problem of volunteer integration in societies, and to prioritize and address social challenges for women, youth and the elderly, calling on member states to increase their role in building and developing practices that minimize the negative impact on the planet.
Al-Fadl added that protecting the planet and building resilience was not easy. Without bolstering local action, including volunteers to accelerate the implementation, it would be a long time until goals were met and result seen, he said.
“UN member countries have the responsibility in confronting the human crisis of inestimable proportions, which impose its heaviest tolls on the supply chain for those marginalized and
most vulnerable in cities and communities around the world,” Al-Fadl said.