G20 summit to pave way for global post-COVID-19 recovery

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Updated 21 November 2020

G20 summit to pave way for global post-COVID-19 recovery

  • ‘The whole world is waiting for what will be discussed in the summit and when the economic wheels start moving again’
  • Individual photos of the G20 leaders were joined together with King Salman at the center

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.

HIGHLIGHT

The G20 consists of 19 countries, and the EU. The member states are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, and the US. In 2020, Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland were invited as guest countries.

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.

 


Saudi vegan bodybuilder slams diet myths

Nutrition is the most important part when it comes to bodybuilding, then comes type of exercise, and good rest. (AFP)
Updated 29 November 2020

Saudi vegan bodybuilder slams diet myths

  • Ali Al-Salam, who stopped consuming animal products in 2017, says certain steps must be completed to have an athletic body

JEDDAH: The vegan diet has risen in popularity in Saudi Arabia in recent years and has been a constant topic of debate among Saudis, attracting the interest of many, including athletes.

Ongoing debates about whether the vegan diet is sufficient for normal people, let alone bodybuilders, abound, but one Saudi is answering them physically.
Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes all animal products from diets, clothing or any other purposes.
Over the years, a number of studies have found that people who eat vegan or vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease, but other studies have also placed them at a higher risk of stroke, possibly due to the lack of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that reduces the risk of anemia and neurological diseases.
Speaking to Arab News, 33-year-old Saudi vegan bodybuilder, Ali Al-Salam, who first started his vegan diet three years ago when he was suffering from high blood pressure, highlighted that the consumption of animal products is a deep rooted idea among bodybuilders and athletes.
“We always hear that in order to build muscle, we must consume animal products. In some parts of the world, there are people who can only have a small amount of animal products yet they live their lives healthily and comfortably and are not suffering from malnutrition — on the contrary, they have a lower level of chronic illnesses.”

When I consumed meat and animal products, I suffered from high blood pressure; it was 190 over 110, and I wasn’t even 30 yet. Two weeks into the vegan diet, it went down to 150. The vegan diet did what couldn’t be done with medications for me.

Ali Al-Salam, Saudi vegan bodybuilder

He said it also opened his eyes to what goes on in the dairy and meat industry; he began researching in 2016 and decided to become vegan in 2017.
“I was just like every other athlete, I used to consume a high amounts of protein. I remember in the last days before turning vegan, I used to have 10 egg whites and a piece of steak for breakfast to fulfil my protein needs. This made me think, ‘is this the only way to consume protein?’ And from then on, I started researching and got introduced to the vegan diet at a larger scale,” he said.
“When I consumed meat and animal products, I suffered from high blood pressure; it was 190 over 110, and I wasn’t even 30 yet. Two weeks into the vegan diet, it went down to 150. The vegan diet did what couldn’t be done with medications for me.”
He explained that bodybuilding does not solely rely on protein, and that there are steps that must be completed in order to reach an athletic body. Nutrition is the most important part, then comes type of exercise, and good rest.
“When we talk about good nutrition, it does not just rely on protein. Yes, it is important, but the amount of calories in general is more important,” he said.
“Let’s say you needed 200 grams of protein, does that mean if you consumed 200 grams of it, you would gain muscle? No. You need all the basic nutrients to reach a certain amount of calories in general,” he added.
He highlighted that as soon as people register for gym memberships, they immediately look for supplements because they think they cannot reach the needed amount of protein.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes all animal products from diets, clothing or any other purposes.

• Over the years, a number of studies have found that people who eat vegan or vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease.

• But other studies have also placed them at a higher risk of stroke, possibly due to the lack of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that reduces the risk of anemia and neurological diseases.

• Vegan athletes have more endurance, strength and faster muscle recovery, because the vegan diet is rich in antioxidants.

• Animal products sometimes cause inflammation, that your body needs to recover from in the first place.

“I’m talking about non-vegans here too, where their protein intake is already high. Marketing plays a big role here. People link protein to animal products because our society grew up with this idea as well.
“Can a vegan build muscle? Yes, when they eat right, exercise correctly and rest well. The misconception about protein stems from amino acids. People think vegan food lacks amino acids, and only animal products are full of them and that is far from the truth,” he added.
When comparing vegan athletes to regular athletes, he said vegan athletes have more endurance, strength and faster muscle recovery, because the vegan diet is rich in antioxidants which helps greatly in recovery, and because “animal products sometimes cause inflammation, that your body needs to recover from in the first place.”