The group of the powerful... the voice of the weak

November 23, 2020
Tariq Al-Homayed

If there is any title for the Group of Twenty Summit that was held remotely in Riyadh, then it would be the summit of “Restoring reassurance and hope for the peoples of the world,” as was highlighted by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman in his opening speech.

The speech of King Salman made the G20 summit a forum of the powerful and a voice for the weak, as the Monarch’s speech manifested the concern for the people of the world, specifically for the people of the developing countries and the poor societies.

In the speech of King Salman, the ruler of Saudi Arabia, there was also a concern for the climate, environment, and a call to ensure the availability of vaccines for the COVID-19 pandemic at affordable prices, and to ensure its equitable access to both the poor and rich countries.

The King’s speech was the voice of motivation for the youth and in defense of women. King Salman said in his speech: “Although we are optimistic about the progress made in developing vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics tools for COVID-19, we must work to create the conditions for affordable and equitable access to these tools for all peoples. At the same time, we must prepare better for any future pandemic.”

The King continued saying: “I am confident that the Riyadh Summit will deliver significant and decisive results and will lead to adopting economic and social policies that will restore hope and reassurance to the people of the world. We must also continue to support the global economy and reopen our economies and borders to facilitate the mobility of trade and people,” he said.

King Salman also underlined the need to continue laying the basic foundations for robust, sustainable, and inclusive growth. “We need to promote access to opportunity for all, especially women and youth to enhance their roles in the society and in the job market through education, training, job creation, as well as supporting entrepreneurship, strengthening financial inclusion, and bridging the digital gaps among individuals.”

The King called on the leaders of the group to provide support to the developing countries in a coordinated manner to maintain the development already achieved over the past decades.

He also underlined the need to create the conditions for a more sustainable economy. “Therefore, we have advocated the Circular Carbon Economy as an effective approach for achieving our climate goals and ensuring a cleaner, more sustainable, and affordable energy systems. We must lead the international community in preserving and conserving our environment.”

Therefore, the Riyadh summit was the voice of political reason to ensure the cooperation of two-thirds of the earth that this summit represents combinedly, in addition to ensuring the stability of 80 percent of the global gross domestic product.

I write this column before the final communiqué of G20 is issued, but what was evident from the words of King Salman and other leaders of the G20, in which every member country attended with the highest level of representation, is that this summit would be a turning point for the work of the G20, as it was the case of the 2008 G20 summit, which was instrumental in saving the world from economic collapse.

Therefore, the Riyadh summit is historic, especially since it is for the first time that two summits were being held in one year, under the presidency of one country, which is Saudi Arabia.

It was held virtually, but this virtuality showed the reality of our developed country, which is experiencing a real transformation that strives to have a prosperous future under the Vision 2030.

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