For the first time in its over ten-year history, the G20 summit will take place virtually amidst the COVID pandemic. The virtual summit will take place on November 21 and 22 and will be chaired by Saudi King, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also take part in the virtual summit. On 9th September, PM Modi and Saudi Arabia’s king spoke to each other and discussed the main priorities on the agenda of the G20 summit.
No major global meeting is happening physically due to the COVID crisis and for the first time in its 75-year-old history, the United Nations General Assembly also met virtually.
The theme of this year’s virtual summit will be ‘Realizing opportunities of the 21st Century for all’. Earlier this year, the G20 leaders met in even as the pandemic raged and took number of coordinated actions including contributing $ 21 Billion to support production, distribution, and access to diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccine.
A statement from G20 Secretariat, “The upcoming G20 Leaders’ Summit will focus on protecting lives and restoring growth, by addressing vulnerabilities uncovered during the pandemic and by laying down the foundations for a better future. The Summit will also focus on fostering international action to realize opportunities of the 21st century for all, by empowering people and protecting our planet, whilst harnessing the potential of innovation to shape new frontiers.”
The world’s biggest 20 economies also decided to inject $ 11 trillion to safeguard the global economy and, launched a debt suspension initiative for the least developed countries. Debt suspension defers– debt worth $14 billion due this year for LDCs so that they can deal with the pandemic.
G20, as a grouping at leaders’ level, emerged in 2008 when the global financial crisis was underway. Since then the summit has been happening in various G20 countries. India will hold the 17th summit in 2022.