The Think20 (T20) engagement group presented its key findings to the Group of 20 (G20) in a communique during a virtual ceremony Sunday. The communique represents the findings of a year of intense collaboration by policy experts from across the world.
T20 is the research and policy advice network of the G20, serving as a place to generate ideas that the G20 can then implement. The handover ceremony occurred at the end of the two-day T20 Summit that served as the capstone event to the T20 summit season.
“I would like to express my gratitude for the T20 Engagement Group represented by the Chair, Sherpa, and participants from around the globe who worked collectively under T20 to propose solutions for diverse global challenges, especially in light of the current conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Prince Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said during the handover ceremony.
The T20 Summit is traditionally held at a physical event in the host country, but this year organizers took the decision to hold the event virtually as a result of the impact of COVID-19. Saudi Arabia holds the G20 presidency for 2020.
“The Saudi G20 Presidency this year was keen to listen to your various recommendations through the Working Groups meetings that you participated in. The Kingdom’s presidency has acknowledged the Engagement Groups outcomes, including T20,” Prince Faisal added.
T20 has brought together over 700 researchers from more than 500 institutions in 77 countries that have contributed to more than 150 policy briefs this year. The communique produced by the group is the result of this collaboration condensed into 32 actionable policy proposals across seven categories. The communique is available in full on T20’s website.
The T20 season held throughout 2020 had already seen over 4,000 registrants attend 11 webinars featuring over 153 speakers, prior to the summit, the highest amount of participation in the think tank engagement group since T20’s inception.
“These workshops allowed us to bring together researchers from across the world at the click of a button and will become a mainstay of our work in the post-pandemic era. This successful T20 summit is not just a great source of pride for our two institutions but a sign of what is to come for Saudi Arabia moving forward,” Dr Saud al-Sarhan, secretary-general of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS) said earlier on Sunday.
KFCRIS co-led the T20 alongside the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC).
“There is no doubt that think tanks have a prominent and effective role in supporting economic and social policy making, and T20 has done a great job this year,” Prince Faisal noted.
The coronavirus pandemic has dominated policy discussions this year, as the virus continues to cost lives and cause unprecedented economic and social damage.
“This year has brought its fair share of challenges for everyone, and the think tank community is no exception … The T20 has responded swiftly to the global pandemic and brought new tools that will enhance our work for years to come,” al-Sarhan added.
“Only through our combined effort can we come together and address our shared challenges,” he said.