RIYADH: The two-day G20 Leaders’ Summit taking place in Riyadh under the presidency of Saudi Arabia is expected to lay the foundations for a more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
The top-level conference has brought together some of the world’s largest economies — amounting to around 85 percent of global GDP — to discuss the most challenging socioeconomic global issues.
The G20 presidency rotates between member countries, and the Kingdom took hold of the reins this year for the first time.
Each presidency year typically concludes with the G20 Leaders’ Summit, a powerful gathering of heads of state that made its debut in 2008. The theme of this year’s presidency has been, “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All.”
Saudi Minister of Commerce and acting Media Minister Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 summit had become a meeting representing all nations.
During a press conference, he said: “The whole world is waiting for what will be discussed in the summit and when the economic wheels start moving again.”
The minister pointed out that Saudi Arabia was the only Arabic country in the G20 and added: “The Kingdom has put its mark on the leading map in the world.”
Saudi G20 sherpa, Dr. Fahad Al-Mubarak, said the G20 summit would be different this year and one of the most important to date, “because this year has been full of events as well as achievements, so we hope that a successful meeting will be held.”
He noted that more than 100 meetings of deputies and ministers had been able to take place virtually despite the unprecedented circumstances. “We did not allow COVID-19 to prevent us from executing the full agenda that we had up front and announced on Dec. 1. Therefore, we have been able to achieve it in all sectors from finance to trade, from tourism to digital.
“We’ve been able to execute a full agenda in addition to new policies and action initiatives to combat the impact of COVID-19,” he added.
Al-Mubarak said the most important initiatives to be discussed and approved during the summit had been divided into two sections.
“The first section is the implementation of the resolutions and commitments made by the countries during the summit of last March, which was chaired by King Salman regarding vaccines, and also addressing not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but any future pandemics, how to be more prepared to face them, and reduce their economic and health impact on lives.
“The presidential program also continued to implement the programs in the basic program and included topics toward strengthening health systems in countries, and education. In addition, there are the initiatives that have been made in terms of tourism and transportation, which have been the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic this year,” he added.