Tuesday, 24 November, 2020

G-20 leaders call for a united response to coronavirus

Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir
Deanna Wagner | 21 November, 2020, 20:13

India will enter the G20 Troika, along with Saudi Arabia, when Italy takes over the Presidency of the G-20 on 1st December, 2020. The Presidency hosted more than 100 meetings and conferences, including ministerial meetings, as well as meetings of officials and representatives from civil society.

Saudi Arabia is the first Arab nation to host the G20 summit which is taking place amid the global pandemic.

World leaders will spend most of their time discussing worldwide efforts for a large-scale roll out of Covid-19 vaccines after a breakthrough in trials, and address the need to plug a $4.5 billion funding gap in the so-called ACT-Accelerator - a programme that promotes an equitable distribution of the vaccines.

"We also must support the global economy and we must provide support to the developing countries, we need to continue to lay the foundation for robust, sustainable and inclusive growth", the Saudi King said.

The nations both face the prospect of a tougher time with the next US administration of Joe Biden, after enjoying strong backing from Donald Trump during his presidency.

G-20 heads of state last gathered virtually for an emergency meeting in March as the coronavirus was fast-spreading around the world.

In a video statement released ahead of the summit, Johnson appealed to global leaders to harness the resources of the world's wealthiest nations to end the COVID-19 pandemic and tackle climate change.

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In the photo, leaders of the G20 countries are standing in three groups.

The ministers had extended a debt suspension initiative for developing countries until June next year.

On the COVID-19 pandemic, the King stressed the role of worldwide cooperation to overcome the crisis, which "has been an unprecedented shock that affected the entire world within a short period of time". For Friday, Trump had already announced his participation in the forum of the Asia-Pacific Economic Community, which was also held online.

Earlier on Saturday, Saudi Arabia's minister of investment, Khalid al-Falih, said this year's crisis had highlighted the importance of multilateral organizations.

Ahead of the summit, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she hoped the U.S. will adopt a more multilateralist stance under Biden.

The change of US leadership also raises hopes of a more concerted effort at the G20 level to fight climate change.

"The G20 presidency has conferred an undeserved mark of worldwide prestige on the [Saudi] government", said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.