Important Summits 2020-21: Theme & Venues of Summits & Conferences

Knowledge about Important Summits and Conferences in India and the world is important for the IAS Exam. Questions from international summits and conferences can be asked in UPSC Prelims 2021.  Also, the relevant facts about such international summits can be useful for IAS Mains examination too.

The topic, ‘Important International Summits and Conferences’ form an important part of current affairs.

Here we are giving the details of the major summits and conferences held in 2020 or will take place in 2021 along with their theme. This will help your UPSC preparation and help in the last minute revision.

International Summits and Conferences 2020-21

The list of important summits and conferences are given below:

1. Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) 2021

  • The 38th ASEAN Summit is scheduled to be conducted in April 2021 and the 39th in November 2021. The Summit will be hosted in Brunie, Bandar Seri Begawan under the leadership of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

ASEAN Summit 2020

  • The 37th meeting started on 12th November 2020.
  • It is a virtual meeting that is presided by Viet Nam Prime Minister against the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Theme – Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN

Read more about ASEAN in the linked article.

2. BRICS Summit 2020

  • It is the 12 BRICS Summit
  • It was held virtually due to the outbreak of COVID-19 on 17th November 2020.
  • It was scheduled to take place in July 2020 in Saint Petersburg (Russia.)
  • Theme – BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth

Read more about BRICS at the linked article.

3. G-20 Leaders’ Summit 2021

  • G-20 Leader Summit 2021 will be hosted in Italy, Rome under the leadership of Giuseppe Conte on 30-31st October 2021.

G-20 Leaders’ Summit 2020

  • G20 Leaders’ Summit 2020 was held virtually on 20th and 21st November 2020 and was presided by Saudi Arabia.
  • Theme: Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century For All
  • G20 Leaders’ Summit 2021 is scheduled to take place in Italy.

Learn more about G20 and list of its summits in the articles linked below:

4. G7 Summit 2021

The 47th G7 summit is intended to be held during the summer of 2021 in the United Kingdom.

G7 Summit 2020

  • The G7 Summit 2020 was scheduled to take place in the US from 10th to 12th June 2020, however, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been cancelled.

Read more about G7 in the linked article.

5. Southasian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC Summit 2020)

  • The last SAARC summit was held in 2014. Subsequent SAARC summits have been cancelled.
  • On 24th September 2020, foreign ministers of SAARC countries met at an informal meeting on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA.)

Read more about SAARC at the linked article.

6. India Science Congress 2021

Pune hosted the 108th Indian Science Congress in January 2021.

Indian Science Congress 2020

  • It took place between 3rd and 7th January 2020 at Bengaluru (Karnataka.)
  • It was the 107th Indian Science Congress.
  • The theme was  ‘Science & Technology: Rural Development’

7. Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit 2021

The SCO- Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit 2021 will be chaired by Tajikistan in Dushanbe. The date of SCO Summit 2021 is yet to be announced.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit 2020

  • The SCO Summit 2020 was held virtually on 10th November 2020. Read RSTV Big Picture’s take on SCO Summit 2020 in the linked article.
  • It was chaired by Russia.
  • Theme – Reformed Multilateralism

Read in detail about the SCO in the linked article.

8. East Asia Summit 2021

16th East Asia Summit 2021 will be hosted in Brunie, Bandar Seri Begawan under the leadership of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah

East Asia Summit 2020

  • The 15th East Asia Summit was held virtually on 10th November 2020.
  • It was chaired by Veit Nam Prime Minister.

Read in detail about the East Asia Summit (EAS) in the linked article.

9. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2021

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will host the 33rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2021 in November in Newzealand, Auckland.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2020

  • It was held virtually on 21st November.
  • It was chaired by the Malaysian Prime Minister.
  • Theme – “Optimising Human Potential Towards a Resilient Future of Shared Prosperity: Pivot. Prioritise. Progress”.

Read in detail about APEC in the linked article.

10. BIMSTEC Summit 2020

  • The 5th BIMSTEC Summit that was scheduled to take place in December 2020 has been cancelled. It was  scheduled to take place in January 2021.

Read BIMSTEC-related topics from the links provided below:

11. Nuclear Security Conference 2021

International Conference on Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Security is scheduled in March 25th and 26th, 2021 to be hosted in Madrid, Spain

Nuclear Security Conference 2020

  • It took place from 10th-14th February at Vienna, Austria.

Read more about Nuclear Security Summit in the linked article.

12. OPEC Summit 2021

  • The latest summit – 179th OPEC Conference (2020) was held virtually on 6th June 2020.

Learn more about OPEC in the linked article.

13. NATO Summit 2021

  • The latest meeting of NATO took place on 3rd and 4th December 2019 in United Kingdom (UK.)
  • Theme – 70 Years of NATO.

Learn more about NATO at the linked article.

14. Earth Hour 2021

Earth Hour 2021 is scheduled to take place on March 27th, 2021.

Earth Hour 2020

  • It took place digitally on 28th March 2020.
  • The theme was, ‘Climate Action and Sustainable Development.’

15. NAM Summit 2021

Azerbaijan will hold the NAM presidency for 3 years until the 19th summit in 2022. 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement was held October 25 and 26, 2019 in Baku.

NAM Summit 2020

  • It held online on 4th May 2020.
  • It was chaired by Azerbaijan’s President.
  • Theme – “United against COVID-19”

Read in detail about Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) in the linked article.

16. CHOGM Summit 2020-21 (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting)

  • It was scheduled for 26th and 27th June 2020 but was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
  • CHOGM Summit 2021 will now take place on 21st June 2021. Rwanda will chair the CHOGM Summit 2021.

17. Indo-Africa Summit 2020

  • It was a virtual summit that was held in February 2020.

Read about India-Africa Relations in the linked article.

18. COP26 – UNFCCC (2021)

COP26 – UNFCCC  scheduled to take place in November 2020 got postponed due to COVID-19 and now will take place in November 2021 from 1st to 12th.

COP25 – UNFCCC (2020)

  • The 25th COP to UNFCCC met on 2nd to 3rd December 2019 in Madrid, Spain.
  • Chile presided over COP25.

Read more about COP25 in the linked article.

International Summits 2019

The list will be updated for 2021 summits as and when they will take place.

Name of organization/ grouping Aim/ Theme of summit 2019 Summit held at
Association of Southeast Asian Nation “Advancing Partnership for sustainability.” 35th ASEAN Summit 2019 – Thailand, Bangkok.   
BRICS Economic Growth for an Innovative Future’. 11th BRICS Summit 2019- Brasilia 
G-20 8 themes of G 20 Summit – “Global Economy”, “Trade and Investment”, “Innovation”, “Environment and Energy”, “Employment”, “Women’s empowerment”, “Development” and “Health”.  14th G 20 Summit 2019 – Osaka, Japan
G-7 “fighting income and gender inequality and protecting biodiversity” 45th G7 Summit 2019 – Biarritz, France
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation _ 19th SAARC Summit 2019 – canceled. 20th SAARC Summit 2020 to be host in Islamabad  
Indian Science Congress “Future India: Science and Technology” 106th Indian Science Congress – Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Punjab.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation  19th SCO summit 2019- Kyrgyzstan capital, Bishkek
East Asia Summit 14th East Asia Summit 2019 – Thailand, Bangkok 
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation “Connecting People, Building the Future” APEC Summit 2019 – Santiago, Chile
BIMSTEC 5th BIMSTEC Summit 2019 – Srilanka (to be held)
Nuclear Security Summit “Towards New National Cyber Security Strategy”  12th NSS 2019 – New Delhi 
OPEC ‘Petroleum – cooperation for a sustainable future’ 7th OPEC International Seminar – Vienna, Austria 
NATO NATO Summit 2019 – United kingdom, London. (to be held in December 2019) 
Earth Hour “Reduce, Reuse, Change the Way We Live” Global earth hour 2019- Australia
NAM Summit 2019 “Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world”. 18th NAM summit 2019 was held in Caracas, Venezuela. 
CHOGM Summit Delivering A Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’ CHOGM 2019 Meeting – Rwanda 
Indo-Africa Summit “India and Africa: Deepening the Security Engagement” 4th Indo-Africa Forum Summit 2018 – New Delhi. This Summit is held in every 3 years
COP (UNFCCC) COP 25th 2019- Madrid, Spain (to be held in December)
World Government Summit ‘Shaping Future Governments,’ 7th World Government Summit- Dubai
Maritime Summit Regional maritime safety Regional Maritime Safety Conference 2019 – Mumbai
 HEMCE- High Energy Materials Society of India “Exploring the innate inclusive potentials of high energy materials” 12th High Energy Materials Conference 2019 – IIT Madras, Chennai, India.
3rd Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation Tiger conservation New Delhi 

Important summits and conferences is an important static GK topic. For information on various static GK topics check the article linked here.

Also, check UPSC FAQ on IAS Exam at the linked article.

Frequently Asked Questions on Important Summits and Conferences

Q 1. What is the objective of the G20 Summit?

Ans. The Group of Twenty, or G20, is the premier forum for international cooperation on the
most important aspects of the international economic and financial agenda. Its objectives are:

Q 2. What is BRICS and what is its purpose?

Ans. BRICS is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS mechanism aims to promote peace, security, development and cooperation among the member countries.

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