UN welcomes G20 opportunity to build momentum for Decade of Action

The G20 2020 Presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia kicked off last December and throughout the year, the kingdom will be spearheading G20, one of the main platforms for international economic cooperation.

Earlier this month, UN Member States were able to learn first-hand of the plans and priorities of its presidency, when the President of the General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, convened an informal briefing of the General Assembly on 14 January. Taking the stage, Fahad Al-Mubarak, Minister of State and G20 Sherpa of Saudi Arabia briefed UN missions on behalf of the Saudi Arabia G20 Presidency.

In their opening remarks, the President of the General Assembly and UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Mr. Liu Zhenmin underlined the importance of aligning efforts of the G20 and the UN to address global challenges. They also welcomed the opportunity to build joint momentum in support of the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“I am glad to see that the three priorities under the G20 presidency of Saudi Arabia – empowering people, safeguarding the planet and shaping new frontiers – are closely aligned with the vision of the 2030 Agenda, to achieve a better future for all,” Mr. Liu said, further stressing that “global collective action is more imperative than ever.”

Mr. Liu, who is also the UN G20 Sherpa, identified three main areas for the UN’s engagement with the G20: climate change, financing for sustainable development and enhancing opportunities for all, leaving no one behind.

In his remarks, Dr. Al-Mubarak emphasized the critical role of the UN system in the G20 process and underlined the presidencies resolve to closely engage the wider UN membership. He highlighted Saudi Arabia’s overarching theme, “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All”, stressing the critical synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the presidency’s key priorities.

Key initiatives of the 2020 G20 cycle will include the work on a multi-year action plan on financing for development as well as a forward-looking and action-oriented Riyadh Update on the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda. Member States engaged actively in the interactive session, welcoming the briefing as a critical opportunity to engage with the G20 and to foster coherence between the G20 and the UN in support of the achievement of sustainable development for all.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia assumed the Presidency of the Group of 20 on 1 December 2019. The UN system has worked with the G20 Presidency closely in the preparations for its Presidency and its work programmes. The UN G20 Working Group, convened by Mr. Liu and consisting over 20 UN entities, brings the UN system together in support of strategic and coherent UN engagement with the G20.

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