Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The upcoming G20 Leaders' Summit in November, originally planned for Saudi Arabia, will instead be held entirely remotely, officials said.
Saudi Arabia, which presently holds the G20's rotating presidency, said the economic summit will be held online for two days only, will open on Nov. 21 and will be chaired by Saudi King Salman.
The theme of the summit will be "realizing opportunities of the 21st century for all" and will focus on "protecting lives and restoring growth" by addressing "vulnerabilities uncovered during the pandemic," Saudi officials said in a statement Sunday.
In moving the annual event online, the G20 summit follows other high-profile gatherings that went all-digital or mostly virtual after the pandemic began -- including the United Nations General Assembly last week and both the Democratic and Republican national conventions last month.
Leaders of the G20 staged an emergency teleconference in March and pledged to inject more than $5 trillion into the global economy to minimize economic damage from COVID-19. At the meeting, they also vowed to provide "bold and large-scale" fiscal support in response to the pandemic.
Next year's G20 summit, which is held each year in varying months, is scheduled for Rome, Italy, and the 2022 summit for New Delhi, India. Last year's meeting was held in Osaka, Japan.
The G20 is comprised of 19 nations and the European Union.