This weekend’s Group of 20 (G20) summit is estimated to start in Saudi Arabia amid issues over the kingdom’s human rights work and under the ever-present darkness of the COVID-19 crisis.
International rights groups have called for nations to boycott the event, asking that authorities release protesters and women’s rights activists who have been arrested.
The area may have seen the summit as an excuse to support its vision, simultaneously with that of its de facto Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, after public conviction in the watch of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination by Saudi agents.
But the COVID-19 pandemic suggests the summit will be contained online and the convention centre in Riyadh will not be charged with world leaders.
While Saudi Arabia has made some adjustments since taking over the G20 presidency in 2019, activists are demanding further reform. At the same time, real reformers of Saudi Arabia’s are behind bars.
“Rather than of operating along with the Saudi government’s whitewashed narrative, G20 leaders should use this summit as a chance to stand up for the brave activists whose genuine responsibility to women’s empowerment has cost them their freedom.”
Who is in the G20?
It’s made up of the European Union and 19 nations: United Kingdom, United States Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the.
What’s on the agenda?
As per the hosts, this year’s G20 will see conversations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental issues, as well as the world’s economy.
But commentators are doubtful whether the remote summit can live up to an in-the-flesh event, putting doubts around online privacy and a lack of intimate conversations between leaders that just won’t happen via video link.
Two of the key issues planned in the agenda may prove to be at odds — the G20 nations received a stark warning this week that their COVID recovery packages risk reversing heat gains.