G20 at a Glance – The Glossary of the G20


Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: The G20 is predominantly known for its annual Leaders’ Summit, which brings together G20 members, invited countries’ heads of states, and relevant international organizations. The annual G20 agenda includes ministerial meetings, working groups meetings, workshops and side events, throughout the year leading up to the Summit. Government officials and ministers use these opportunities to gather, negotiate and reach agreements on ministerial communiqués and working group outcomes.

The G20 Presidency is based on a rotation system. Every year a different member holds the presidency and leads the dialogue process to ensure that previous, current, and subsequent G20 presidencies systematically work together. Saudi Arabia, this year’s host, is part of the troika with Japan (2019 Presidency) and Italy (2021 Presidency).

Under the Saudi Presidency, the agenda focuses on Realizing the Opportunities of the 21st Century for All by Empowering People, Safeguarding the Planet, and Shaping New Frontiers.

The Presidency is responsible for hosting G20 meetings throughout the year and leading the agenda. The host country can also invite non-member countries to attend meetings and contribute to building the policies needed to address the issues on the agenda. This years’ invited countries are Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland.

The work of the G20 is divided into two tracks:

The Finance track: comprised of all G20 finance ministers, central bank governors, and deputies’ meetings and convenes several times throughout the year to discuss financial and economic issues, such as monetary and fiscal policies, infrastructure investment, financial regulation, financial inclusion, and international taxation.

The Sherpa track: focused on socio-economic issues such as health, education, trade, women empowerment, employment, anti-corruption, tourism, agriculture and water, energy, climate, and environment. The Sherpa Track includes several meetings, where ministers, deputies and government officials develop and negotiate declarations in the lead up to the Leaders’ Summit. Each G20 country is also represented by its designated Sherpa. The G20 Sherpas engage in planning and negotiating the final Leaders’ Declaration and coordinating various discussions on the G20 agenda.