The leaders of the G20 countries will convene for two hours in a virtual summit today to agree a global response to the coronavirus crisis.
Diplomats from the group - known as "sherpas" - have been meeting, also virtually and behind the scenes, to prepare a final statement and a press release, which are expected to lay down the modalities for future action, not only in the immediate response to the current health emeregency, but also to address the huge economic impact of the crisis.
The summit is being hosted by Saudi Arabia, which has the chairmanship of the G20 for 2020.
Among world leaders expected to participate in the meeting - which will be held behind closed doors as is customary with G20 plenary gatherings - are US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the world's two biggest economies. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will also take part, as will the president of the European Commission.
The twenty members of the G20 are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union (EU).
G20 members will be joined by leaders from invited countries, Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland, as well as international organizations; United Nations (UN), World Bank Group (WBG), the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Trade Organization (WTO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Regional organizations will be represented by Vietnam the Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Africa the Chair of the African Union (AU), the United Arab Emirates the Chair of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Rwanda the Chair of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
The current disruption in international air travel meant that a physical meeting was impossible, and Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Communications, working at short notice in partnership with US technology giant CISCO, rushed to put in place the technical logistics for the event.
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