Saudi Arabia is making major preparations to host the annual gathering of the leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) nations next year in Riyadh, the 15th meeting of the group that is set to thrust the city into the global spotlight.
The meeting will be held on November 21–22, 2020, and will be chaired by Saudi King Salman. The King has hailed Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency as proof of its key role in the global economy.
Japan was the last host country of the G20 meetings, which took place on June 28-29 in Osaka.
According to Reuters, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud landed in Japan’s Nagoya city today to meet with his counterparts from the Group of 20 nations and will pick up the baton at a ceremony on Saturday in Nagoya, where G20 foreign ministers have gathered for talks. Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told Prince Faisal he was pleased to meet him for the first time and both sides wanted to boost relations, according to a read-out from Japan’s foreign ministry, Reuters reports.
“Setting the stage for the 2020 G20 summit in Riyadh will be the most crucial occasion for Saudi Arabia in recent years,” one Saudi writer, Yahya Al-Zahrani writes in the local English-language daily Arab News. “Hosting a platform such as the G20 is of immense importance to Saudi Arabia…During his speech at the Osaka summit, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman committed to finding new ways of cooperation with low-income states in food security, infrastructure development, energy infrastructure, water issues and human capacity building. That will be the central agenda of Saudi Arabia at the G20 summit in Riyadh.”
In the days leading up to and during the event, Saudi Arabia will be organizing preparatory ministerial meetings as well as other meetings of high governmental officials and representatives from the private sector and non-governmental organizations.
The G20 was formed in 1999 to discuss policy matters and global financial stability.
The G20 meetings draw the world’s attention given the high powered heads of state and other leaders who attend, and will be a big moment for the Saudi government and people.