G20 stands for “The Group of Twenty.” These 20 member countries represent around 80% of the world’s economic output, two-thirds of the global population and three-fourths of international trade. The presidency of the G20 is equally shared and changes from one country to another annually. The Summit takes place throughout the year. In a few days, the 2020 G20 will culminate with the Leaders Summit.
G20 Members and Guests
The G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union (EU).
In addition to the member countries, other countries can be invited to participate as guests. Spain is considered a permanent guest. And this year, other guest countries are Jordan, Singapore and Switzerland.
But countries are not the only invitees. Organizations that have helped with the G20’s work are also invited. These include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations (UN), the World Bank Group (WBG), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
A few regional organizations were also included this year. These include the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), as well as Vietnam the Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Africa the Chair of the African Union (AU), the United Arab Emirates the Chair of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the Republic of Rwanda the Chair of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
The overall focus of this year’s G20 Summit has been to focus on restoring growth and safeguarding against the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional focuses have been:
- Empowering People – Create conditions in which all people, especially women and youth, can live, work and thrive.
- Safeguarding the planet – Foster collective efforts to protect our commons.
- Shaping new frontiers – Adopt long-term and bold strategies to utilize and share the benefits of innovation.
A collective responsibility
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had this to say:
Today, we are facing an ever-changing global landscape that is being transformed by technological, economic, demographic and environmental changes. And in an increasingly interconnected world, where G20 countries and their people face common challenges, the need for international collaboration is more important than ever. The Kingdom strongly believes in the power of global cooperation to forge mutually beneficial solutions, face challenges and create opportunities for all of humanity.
We, in the G20, have a collective responsibility to advance global cooperation. We should empower people, pave the way for a better future for all and strive for sustainable economic policies to safeguard planet earth. We should also be forward-looking and adopt a bold long-term vision that makes the most of the current wave of innovation to shape new frontiers. Therefore, the Saudi G20 Presidency will steer the collective work in 2020 under the theme of Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All. In doing so, we will build on the strong legacy of the G20, which has demonstrated the ability to take the long-term view of future challenges and opportunities and to deal effectively with urgent issues.