On the 26 April 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia handed over the honorary gavel as a token of the Group of Twenty (G20) Presidency's transition to Italy which is currently presiding over the 17th annual G20 meetings for the year 2021. The G20 gavel tradition started during the Chinese G20 Presidency in 2016 and has been used at the Sherpa meetings by the Chair to open and close meetings. Since then, the gavel has been handed over to each succeeding Presidency.
The ceremonial event was held at the Italian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with the participation of the Saudi G20 Sherpa Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Rasheed, and the Chargé d'Affaires at the Italian Embassy Mr. Valreio De Paroles.
On this occasion, Mr. Al-Rasheed, the Saudi Sherpa said: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia greatly values its partnership with Italy and praises the Italian G20 Presidency's effort thus far. We are determined to support our Italian Troika partners in delivering a successful and impactful Summit. We look forward to continuing our active engagement in the upcoming G20 meetings and further develop the Italian-Saudi partnership in 2021 and beyond."
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presided over the G20 in 2020 during a year challenged by the Covid-19 pandemic and remains committed to continue working in the same spirit of cooperation and solidarity with the Italian presidency for strong sustainable and inclusive growth.
Besides being a G20 member, the Kingdom is also a troika member: a three-member country committee chaired by Italy, the current presidency; Saudi Arabia, the outgoing presidency, and Indonesia, the future presidency in 2022 to ensure that G20 presidencies work hand-in-hand to achieve consistency and continuity of the group's agenda.