In less than 24 hours, the G20 Summit scheduled for 30 and 31 October will kick off in Rome. The Eternal city is ready to host the summit of the the Heads of State and Government of the world’s major economies, together with representatives of important international and regional organizations, including the European Union. The event will take place at La Nuvola Convention Center, located in the EUR district and globally recognized as one of the finest examples of contemporary aesthetics. 

Mario Draghi during the press conference that followe the G20 meeting on Afghanistan

However, today’s agenda is quite dense too: leaders are already arriving in the Italian capital, and several bilateral meetings are planned. US President Joe Biden met Pope Francis in the morning, and will see French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian President Sergio Mattarella later during the day. 

The G20 is an international forum that brings together 20 countries that together represent 60% of the world population75% of global trade and over 80% of the world’s GDP. The presidency of the G20 rotates every year among the member states. Italy has held the presidency of the G20 since 1 December 2020, when it took over from Saudi Arabia. 

The activities of the G20 include ministerial meetings, working groups and engagement groups and are held throughout the year, involving international organizations, research institutes, academia and civil society

The G20 meeting of Culture Ministers, held at the Colosseo
The meeting of Culture Ministers, held at the Colosseo

INDiplomacy took part in the final summit of the Think20, the official engagement group of think tanks coordinated by Italian think tanks ISPI and IAI and Bocconi University.  

The heads of state and government Summit represents the culminating moment of the intense work carried out during the whole year through Ministers’ Meetings, Sherpa meetings, Working Groups and Engagement Groups. More than 170 events held throughout the country that made it possible to highlight many of the extraordinary realities scattered throughout its territory. 

As soon as he was elected Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi made it clear in that he wanted the Italian G20 presidency to leave a mark. Draghi was able to involve all the other members in a debate on divisive issues such as climate change and Afghanistan, while mediating between the “Western bloc” – the European Union and the United States above all – on one side and Russia and China on the other. The extraordinary G20 meeting on Afghanistan, in particular, marked a turning point, since for the first time the G20 became a forum where to discuss not only economic matters but also politically sensitive issues. 

The G20 leaders during the G20 meeting on Afghanistan
The G20 leaders during the meeting on Afghanistan

The activity of the Italian Presidency has been based on three interconnected pillars of action –People, Planet and Prosperity – which also represent the thematic guidelines of the Rome Summit. The debate will therefore focus on the social and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as on the environmental crisis. The G20 summit anticipates the COP26 that will be held from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow, UK. As the G20 president, Italy co-chairs the COP26 together with the United Kingdom.