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G20 Summit… Economic Recovery and Global Reassurance

G20 Summit… Economic Recovery and Global Reassurance

Saturday, 21 November, 2020 - 12:30

Amid the global battle against the novel coronavirus, the world’s eyes are on Saudi Arabia, which hosts today’s virtual Group of Twenty summit presided over by King Salman bin Abdulaziz. Given the standing and weight of the member states and the impact of their decisions on peoples’ lives, the summit’s outcome is being closely followed, as the world hopes for reasons for optimism and indications that things will return to normal.

The peoples of the world have been living in a state of despair, fear, and agony over the past year, and it is clear that a strong sense of determination to find effective solutions that can alleviate the world’s pains looms over the summit. Peoples are in need of something to reassure them, infuse the spirit of serenity into their lives, and build bridges of trust. The G20 is a momentous event, as this is a critical stage and everyone is awaiting a statement that includes serious commitments on the part of the members and pledges to move forward on the basis of cooperation to achieve people’s aspirations.

These days coincide with the elapse of a year since the virus was discovered, so there are fears of the situation’s persistence and fears for the global economy in an uncertain future, despite the positive news we are receiving about trials on a vaccine the world is impatiently waiting for. A G20 intervention to contain the repercussions of the epidemic is demanded, this being at the heart of its responsibilities since it seeks to make the world safer, more stable, and juster. Still, the world remains under the effects of the shock induced by the figures of the ongoing second wave. Thus, it is hoped that this formidable forum’s statement will raise morale, confront the coronavirus’s repercussions, and safeguard the global economy with its measures, procedures, and plans.

Under Saudi leadership, this year’s G20 Presidential Agenda is focused on “realizing the opportunities of the 21st century for all by empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers”. It should be noted that the G20’s work is split into two tracks. One is the Finance Track, which includes meetings that deal with economic and financial issues and are held several times a year. The other is the Sherpa Track, which deals with social and economic issues.

We should not forget to commend the Engagement Groups and The Private Sector Alliance for the Empowerment and Progression of Women’s Economic Representation for their outstanding efforts and the recommendations they raised. Nor should we forget that the G20 Sherpa Meetings’ discussion on the Leaders’ Declaration draft focuses on restoring growth, creating jobs, and the value of collaboration to overcome the pandemic’s repercussions.

The accelerating and crushing crisis reflects the scale of the threat facing the world and the efforts to avert the horrific humanitarian, economic, and social consequences it entails. This is why Saudi Arabia affirmed that the summit would discuss policies and initiatives that have the potential to address the pandemic’s repercussions to protect lives, restore growth and jobs, and “pave the way to a more inclusive, more sustainable, and more resilient economic recovery.”

In all fairness, Saudi Arabia has made an extraordinary effort this year, during which it witnessed more than 180 meetings, most of which were scheduled within the framework of the group’s agenda, 16 high-level ministerial meetings, two Leaders Summits, an extraordinary summit was held in March and a regular summit that will be held today and tomorrow. Saudi Arabia’s leadership of the summit is an ordinary occasion, as it demonstrates the kingdom’s place on the international map and the world’s esteem for its role in framing economic decisions that have a global impact.

Capitalism, as an economic system, is suffering gravely after the global economy declined, as shown by the successive crises that have shaken countries’ economies. This has thrown plans for its future up in the air and pushed some to question whether political democracy has failed to achieve economic reform that benefits peoples.

Immense challenges are confronting the world, and an array of dangers put its stability and security in danger, especially since were are seeing the return of the bi-polar cold war, to say nothing about the escalating conflict between Washington and Beijing. At the end of the day, any summit’s success is typically contingent upon the will of the leaders of states, and its primary objective is to achieve economic growth, move past differences and build the society of the future. The G20’s role should be to ensure financial and international stability and enhance understanding and dialogue between industrialized and developing countries in such a way that serves sustainable development across the world and wards off economic declines and sudden disruptions like the ones before today. Nevertheless, a divergence in viewpoints is expected within the G20. However, the solution does not necessarily imply a separation between Europe and America or China or a push toward a new economic order. Instead, members should commit to dialogue and coordination aimed at maintaining the world’s growth and prosperity.

The worried world desperately needs to be reassured and relaxed, and the summit is expected to rise to challenges posed by the sensitivity of the situation at this critical phase by proposing workable solutions. The steps Saudi Arabia is taking are translating into successive achievements, and it is aware that its actions are as far as can be from fleeting bursts of emotion and media commotion. The Kingdom is mindful of the role of its influence and engagement with novel developments and economic challenges.

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