G20 At a Glance: How does the G20 work


Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: The Group of Twenty (G20), brings together some of the largest economies, amounting to around 85 percent of global GDP, to discuss the most challenging socio-economic global issues. The Group’s presidency rotates between the member countries, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia holding the Presidency for the first time in 2020.  The Presidency year typically concludes with the annual Leaders’ Summit, a gathering of G20 leaders that debuted in 2008. The 2020 Leaders’ Summit will be held on November 21-22.

The G20 consists of nineteen countries, as well as the European Union. The countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 2020, Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland were invited as guest countries.

International organizations that have historically contributed to the work of the G20 have also been invited. These include the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Financial Stability Board, the International Labor Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations, the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, and the World Trade Organization.

Regional organizations were also invited, including the Arab Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the African Union, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

Throughout the year, in the lead up to the Riyadh Summit, the Presidency hosts a series of ministerial meetings and Sherpa meetings that shape the discussions, policy development and the Leader’s Declaration. Ministerial meetings address topics such as agriculture, digital economy, energy, environment, employment, finance, health, tourism, and trade. Additionally, for the first time at the G20, Saudi Arabia hosted a Ministerial Meeting on anti-corruption.

This year, the Saudi G20 Presidency hosted an Extraordinary Virtual Leaders’ Summit on COVID-19 on March 26, 2020, and released a Leaders’ Statement. After which, the Presidency held a series of extraordinary ministerial meetings to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and mitigate its impacts. The Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit resulted in swift and unprecedented action to protect lives, livelihoods and the most vulnerable, including: $11 trillion injected into the global economy since March 26, $21 billion at the outset of the crisis to support health systems and the hunt for a vaccine, and $14 billion in debt relief for the world’s most vulnerable nations, ensuring they could focus their resources on fighting the pandemic.

The Riyadh Summit will be hosted virtually and will set the foundations for a more inclusive, more resilient, and more sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. This will result in a stronger and better world, where we can realize the opportunities of the 21st century for all by empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers.