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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - RIYADH — On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Bin Abdullah, minister of foreign affairs, received the final communiqué of the Think 20 (T20) Engagement Group.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs delivered the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' speech, stating: “I would like to express my gratitude for the T20 Engagement Group represented by the Chair, Sherpa, and participants from around the globe who worked collectively under T20 to propose solutions for diverse global challenges, especially in light of the current conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would also like to extend my gratitude to King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, and King Faisal Center for research and Islamic Studies for their remarkable work in leading the T20 Engagement Group this year.
“Despite the severity of the pandemic we are currently facing, it did not create an obstacle to the continuity of the Saudi G20 presidency agenda. On the contrary, the presidency led international collective efforts to work and seek solutions to this crisis, as the presidency program and Engagement Groups’ meetings have continued and adapted to a new normal with courage and creativity, hoping for a better world that enjoys stability, health resilience and food security.
“As part of the important role that think tanks and research centers play in supporting policy making, reinforcing the concept of international action and multilateral cooperation, and uniting international efforts to address a variety of challenges, the T20 has presented its perspectives and vision on several topics affecting humanity, health, and economic prosperity.
“These topics include: trade and investment growth, climate change, environment and food security, investment in infrastructure, future of international multilateral cooperation and global governance, as well as other vital issues affecting our daily lives, such as: education, labor market, and youth empowerment by creating job opportunities for them, and helping them advance themselves and their families to contribute to global growth.
“T20 has also emphasized that education in the era of digital innovation must include everyone, without discrimination. At the same time, we emphasize the keenness of the Saudi G20 Presidency to discuss the need to cope with the changes in the nature of education and work by up-skilling societies to prepare them for the future of work trends, to strengthen social protection systems, and to provide opportunities for young men and women to build a promising economic future.
“You have also discussed sustainable development goals, including accelerating universal health coverage, especially in light of the pandemic. These are vital topics that require strengthening international multilateral cooperation to address them as the world suffers from the impacts of COVID-19.
“We cannot speak about safeguarding the planet, increasing our capabilities in responding to the crisis, and developing universal digital health systems without addressing the importance of multilateralism and global cooperation between governments and other relevant stakeholders in finding effective solutions for us and the future generations.
“Hence, the world has united in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has threatened public health and the global economy, including through the exceptional decisive measures we have taken to safeguard humanity and protect people from any threats to their lives.
“In light of the current crisis, we are reminded of the importance of finding solutions to strengthen financial systems in the face of global crises, supporting the recovery of capital flows in emerging markets and developing countries, facilitating global trade routes and international investment, and utilizing digital economy to recover the global economy from its recession.
“The G20 members have seized multiple opportunities to promote collaboration and discussions on new methods of addressing environmental challenges and managing emissions more effectively, which are essential in achieving international climate objectives while promoting energy access to achieve inclusive economic growth and sustainable development for all.
“And there is no doubt that think tanks have a prominent and effective role in supporting economic and social policy making, and T20 has done a great job this year.
“We know that the T20 has issued several statements for this pressing issue and others. At the Riyadh Summit, we look forward to agreeing on solutions and initiatives that promote the G20 role in a unified international response to tackle the economic, social, and health impacts of COVID-19.
“Hence, the Saudi G20 Presidency this year was keen to listen to your various recommendations through the Working Groups meetings that you participated in. The Kingdom's presidency has acknowledged the Engagement Groups outcomes, including T20.
“We had reviewed the Joint Statement that the Engagement Groups had shared prior to the G20 Extraordinary Virtual Leaders' Summit, last March, which presented ways of cooperation in the face of the COVID-19, and I refer to the important areas mentioned in the statement that contribute to the enhancement of the international response to the pandemic, including strengthening the international capacity to respond to pandemics, strengthening the global health system, supporting research efforts for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic medical pathways, and consolidating efforts towards finding a vaccine for the pandemic.
“Building upon what we have agreed on as G20 leaders during the Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit, we reiterate that our utmost current priorities are focusing on protecting lives, developing a vaccine for COVID-19, and addressing its health, social and economic impact.
“This is reflected in the G20 Presidency theme for this year ‘Realizing Opportunities of the twenty-first century for all’, through Empowering People, Safeguarding the Planet and Shaping new frontiers. We hoped to host a physical T20 Summit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but we look forward to your visit after the pandemic recedes. We wish you a successful summit and we look forward to your communiqué.”
Earlier, the Think20 (T20) engagement group presented its key findings to the Group of 20 (G20) in a communiqué during a virtual ceremony Sunday. The communiqué represents the findings of a year of intense collaboration by policy experts from across the world.
T20 has brought together over 700 researchers from more than 500 institutions in 77 countries that have contributed to more than 150 policy briefs this year. The communiqué produced by the group is the result of this collaboration condensed into 32 actionable policy proposals across seven categories. — SPA
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