Addressing the G20 leaders from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the host nation of the 2020 G20 summit, King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s closing remarks carried strategic messages for all humans inhabiting the various corners of our planet.
The king called on all countries to seize the new opportunities of the new century. He prioritized in his message the shared responsibilities that all human beings bear: safeguarding the planet they live upon and protecting its air, water, people, creatures, and all that lies on it.
King Salman succinctly conveyed this message in his closing remarks yesterday as he detailed it in his opening remarks a day prior. In his speech, he said, “We, in the G20, have a collective responsibility to advance global cooperation. We must achieve that under the theme of Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All.”
How can this goal be attained? King Salman answers, “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.”
“To ensure the G20 process remains inclusive,” the king continued, “we will engage widely with relevant stakeholders, including civil society, business, and think tanks from across the region and the globe.”
The slew of resources feeding into the joint pool of ideas, just like streams flowing into the sea, will ensure one great outcome: adding value. This is because the solutions, in reality, are for the benefit of everyone, by everyone.
The year 2020, which is drawing to a close, has been strenuous and hard on everyone without any form of discrimination on the grounds of color, race, religion, or gender. Tribulation and hardship ravaged all countries alike, big and small, rich and poor.
The 2020 G20 Riyadh summit is an assembly of the world’s largest 20 economies. Saudi Arabia’s howling success, showcased in the summit, was two-fold. First, it was able to host the summit during the year of Covid-19, as well as the serious security risks that affected the world, whether the MENA region or other regions, which is a considerable achievement in and of itself.
Second, it managed to secure valuable economic, political, and environmental gains for the people who live in the G20 countries, as well as everyone else around the globe.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman suggested to make holding the summit virtually instead of in-person the norm, not the exception. He called for regularly holding a virtual extraordinary summit at midyear before holding it physically at the end of the year. This comes in an effort to solidify, reinforce, and increase international coordination to benefit the global economy and serve all people.
With challenges come opportunities. This was the lesson of the 2020 G20 summit that was held during the most difficult of years, the year of Covid-19. Hosting the summit was something else; it was a test of the Kingdom’s infrastructure, logistics, and management, and Saudi Arabia passed it with flying colors.
This article was originally published in, and translated from, pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.