In this article, the author will reflect on how he visualizes the presidency of the subject summit, reaching out to what he sees as the most suitable agenda.
The author referred in a previous article, to the press release that confirmed Saudi Arabia’s hosting the 2020 Summit, as such, he draws the reader’s attention to the press release’s statement indicating the fact that “since the announcement of the G20 Riyadh 2020 Summit Presidency at the 2017 G20 Hamburg Summit, the Kingdom commenced a government approach for its presidency’s preparation”. That “the G20 Saudi Secretariat was established to coordinate efforts, with the aim of pursuing a progressive agenda that advances the G20’s accomplishments and priorities, across global economic and development fronts”.
Saudi Arabia will be honored to lead the G20 in November 2020. It will be the first time a G20 Leaders’ Summit is held in the Middle East, and it is why Saudi Arabia, during its G20 Presidency, will seek to convey, the inspirations and expectations, not only of the people of Saudi Arabia, but also of its neighbors in the Gulf region, and the Middle East in general.
It is anticipated that Saudi Arabia will capitalize on its regional and international roles to engage with G20 members, invited countries, civil societies, and international and regional organizations. This will hopefully lead to the incorporation of diverse viewpoints that reach policy recommendations, addressing current and emerging global challenges, impacting societies and economies throughout the world.
The author believes that hosting a major event involving the world largest economies by Saudi Arabia is a great opportunity for the Kingdom to showcase its position as a key player in the Group of Twenty, and as a force for a global economic stability.
The main ‘objective’ for the Saudi President of the Summit, King Salman or his Crown Prince, as well as the Saudi Sherpa, will be to ensure a smooth summit, that continues to build on its plan, to integrate the G20 into the international community.
The Saudi Presidency is expected to steer the Summit in the best for all. It will be for sure, as usual, an honest broker. It will seek balanced discussions with input sources other than G20 member states. Such resources will include groups representing guest countries, civil societies as well as leaders from international organizations.
By seeking the best for all, and for being an honest broker steering a balanced discussion, the Saudi 2020 Summit Presidency is anticipated to act as a spokesperson for all.
To achieve that aim, the 2020 Presidency will definitely set forth meetings to feel out the aspirations and concerns of its region, in order to spell out those aspirations and concerns in the summit that represents the twenty largest global economies. The Riyadh Summit’s theme, will need to emphasize economic “sustainability” related to important issues, such as, development, finance, the environment, and energy.
Moreover, due to the fact that the global economy is in the middle of discussions related to issues such as the rejection of the Paris Accord, the balance between military powers, the trade battles, the open markets issue and protectionism, the Riyadh 2020 Summit Presidency will find itself facing difficult tasks to build the consensus required to solve existing global problems.
Concerning how different will the atmosphere of the Riyadh Summit will be in comparison to the 2019 Osaka summit, it is unfortunate, but the international economic system seems to be on the point of cracking again.
In regards to preparations from the Saudi side, as mentioned in an earlier article, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met, throughout the 2019 Osaka Summit, with several world leaders and had conversations with other top world leaders as well.
I would like to conclude with a thought from a paper authored by Thomas Bernes, of the Center for International Governance Innovation, in which he said “the agenda for reform to promote greater economic cooperation, including reform of the international financial institutions, has been laid out many times, but the commitment of G20 leaders appears to have faltered, leading this author to suggest that in the event of another crisis, the G20 countries would have only themselves to blame”.
In Article four, the author will touch upon what seems to be the most suitable and/or reasonable agenda for the Riyadh,G20,2020 Summit.
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