G20 Summit Opens Online

What can we expect from this year’s G20?


The G20 summit started yesterday in a virtual environment, hosted by Saudi Arabia.

  • The G20 summit is a form where 19 countries plus the European Union gather to talk about their role in the global financial market.
  • This year’s summit started yesterday in a virtual environment due to COVID-19.
  • In the opening remarks of the summit, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz called for a united global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and encouraged member states to invest in infrastructural solutions to the pandemic.
  • After discussing the tension between working together to fund a vaccine and needing to secure a supply of vaccines for each country, member states agreed that they would come together during the summit to ensure “equitable” global access.
  • G-20 countries agreed to suspend debt for poor and middle-income member states until mid-2021 in order to give them an opportunity to invest in CCOVID-19 infrastructure.
  • Human rights groups around the world have called for a boycott of the summit, citing the long history of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. Despite this, all 20 member states are currently in attendance.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • Highlights the human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. CNN reports that a prominent activist is being held as a political prisoner there, and her family has called for accountability in the G20 summit.
  • Blasts Trump for apparently skipping a meeting in which countries in the forum discussed pandemic responses. The Guardian, Forbes, and CNBC all portray the President as irreverent and irresponsible for skipping the meeting to play golf.
  • Plays up the calls for international harmony and solidarity in the interest of combatting the effects of COVID-19. The New York Times wrote that the summit’s conversations are dominated by talk of moving ahead post-pandemic.




  • Has a much lower volume of reporting on the summit so far.
  • Generally has a positive outlook on the summit. One America News lauds world leaders including President Trump for working together to find innovative solutions to the pandemic. Fox News writes that Trump attended several sessions, and collaborated with other international leaders.
  • Highlights the economic proposals made by foreign leaders in response to the pandemic. Economic Times writes that Indian president Modi suggested a new global financial index for the “post-COVID” world.


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© Evelyn Torsher, 2020