In a speech delivered by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, at the end of the G20 2019 Osaka Summit, HRH welcomed hosting the Riyadh G20/2020 Summit, and touched upon a number of very globally important issues related to the G20 in general, and the Riyadh 2020 Summit in particular.
In his Osaka Summit speech, The Crown Prince emphasized the following fifteen key points:
. working with G20 members to achieve consensus thru dialogue
. enhancing international cooperation and coordination
. building a global system based on common principles and interests
. increasing confidence in the multilateral trading system
. reforming the Word Trade Organization
. avoiding protectionist measures
. achieving an acceptable 2020 summit agenda
. emphasizing 21st century pressing issues
. empowering women and youth
. encouraging entrepreneurs and SME’s
. ensuring sustainability
. funding the Sustainable Development Goals
. facing the water security problem
. innovating technology and science, and
. continuing support to the Japan summit presidency
In addition to the 15 key points presented above, a number of comments were pointed out by the Crown Prince as well. As those are highly essential to the work of the G20, and as they are very much agenda related issues, I am highlighting them in brief.
. Water security and sustainability, as well as environmental and political challenges related, are one of the most important issues facing the world in general and the Middle East in particular, noting that work will be done with member states to find consensus and meaningful policies for these challenges.
. The world lives in an era of unprecedented technological and scientific innovations with unlimited growth prospects, pointing out that the new technologies can provide the world with abundance of benefits, if utilized optimally.
. Technologies may produce new challenges, such as changing the patterns of work and skills needed to adapt to the future of work, as well as increasing the risks of cyber security and information flow, requesting the G20 to address those challenges as soon as possible, to avoid turning them into economic and social crisis.
. G20 members bear the responsibility to work together and cooperate with all partners in the world, to create an environment in which science flourishes, expressing optimism with the determination of G20 and its members’ joint ability to do so.
. Stressed that Saudi Arabia will continue its support for the Japanese Presidency to implement its work program.
I strongly believe that a selected few, from the issues and/or the comments addressed by the Crown Prince in his speech, will be the focus of attention during the upcoming Riyadh November 2020, G20 Summit. I am confident that the Troika, based on consensus, interest, and urgencies, will extract its agenda items from among the issues and comments above.
The author feels that a lot on the G20 table needs to be tackled and accomplished. A G20 credibility and legitimacy will not see the light, until confidence is established in the Group of Twenty. Having a well performing and robust global economy in place is one way to achieve such confidence.
The G20 members needs to show, those countries not at the table, how it can meaningfully contribute to their development. As a matter of fact, some feel it is premature for the G20 to have declared itself the new steering group for the global economy. That could be possible with time, if, and only if, the G20 establish a bigger role for those not at the table.
Historically, the G20 agenda has been accused of being too wide. The author strongly recommends that the G20 Riyadh 2020 Summit looks at ways to shorten the agenda, to one that seriously consider crisis-related global problems. To give the attention such problems deserve, the Saudi Sherpa needs to get the Troika’s attention, to achieve the required consensus leading to the most suitable agenda.
We all know that without collective leadership, a G20 Summit will never leave the ground. We all know as well, that it takes time and effort to reach such consensus, but, it does not matter how much time it takes, as long as an adequate agenda is realized.
Here, we ought to indicate the fact that Saudi Arabia enjoys excellent relations with all the G20 members, and with the largest world economies in particular, who ought to support the Kingdom in coming up with the most suitable 2020 Summit agenda and consensus. After all, it depend on how effective the Saudis turn that remarkable economic and political standing in their favor.
Needless to say that the Riyadh 2020 Presidency needs to seriously consider ways and means to generally support the region benefit from the summit, and how would the Kingdom, in particular, benefit from the summit. It is essential, as the author mentioned in an earlier article, to look into the region’s expectations, aspirations and challenges.
After all, everyone concerned with the G20, be it from this region or other regions in the world, would like to see, as time goes by, a more global community participation and involvement, i.e, they do not want to see such Summits, benefiting members alone.
As a matter of fact, the demonstrations that have been taking place every time there is a G20 Summit, is an indication of how the world community, especially the underdeveloped world, feel about the G20, its composition, summits and final communiques.
I encourage the Saudi Sherpa and his team to look deeply into available literature on each and every past summit, to learn how to support the under-developed world, the group, not at the table.
As the President of the upcoming 2020 Summit, Saudi Arabia has the opportunity to provide what it sees fit, for a better regional and global development. The Kingdom possesses the experiences and the expertise necessary to do so.
It must be noted here that Saudi Arabia has assumed its Presidency of the 2020 G20 Summit this early December. To observe this occasion, King Salman announced to the world that Saudi Arabia “will create a cooperative environment for the G20 to introduce policies and initiatives that will fulfill the hopes of the people of the world.”
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