BEIJING / DUBAI, November 21 – Leaders of the 20 largest economies discuss over the weekend how to distribute Covid-19 vaccines, drugs and tests around the world so that poor countries are not left out as nations look for ways to handle a post -coronavirus on recovery.
The leaders are holding a two-day virtual meeting via video conference due to the pandemic under the presidency of Saudi Arabia, which has the rotating presidency of the G20 until the end of November.
The Covid-19 pandemic, which will plunge the global economy into a deep recession this year before an economic recovery is expected in 2021
“We must work to create the conditions for affordable and equitable access to these tools for all people,” King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia said in his opening remarks.
G20 leaders are concerned that the pandemic could further deepen global divisions between rich and poor.
“We need to avoid at all costs a scenario with a two-speed world where only the rich can protect themselves from the virus and restart normal life,” French President Emmanuel Macron told the summit.
To do so, the European Union called on G20 leaders to quickly invest more money in a global project for vaccines, testing and therapy, called the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
“At the G20 summit, I called for $ 4.5 billion to be invested in the ACT Accelerator by the end of 2020 for the purchase and delivery of COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines everywhere,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Twitter.
“We need to show global solidarity,” she said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to give Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to other countries, saying Moscow was also preparing a second and third vaccine.
China, where the pandemic occurred a year ago, also offered to cooperate on vaccines. China has five home grown candidates for a vaccine undergoing the final phase of trials.
“China is willing to strengthen cooperation with other countries in research and development, production and distribution of vaccines,” the Xi G20 summit said.
“We will … offer help and support to other developing countries and work hard to make vaccines a public good that citizens of all countries can use and afford,” he said.
PREPARE for the future
To prepare for future outbreaks, the EU will propose a treaty on pandemics. “An international treaty will help us respond faster and more coordinatedly,” EU President Charles Michel will tell the G20.
While the global economy is recovering from the depths of the crisis earlier this year, countries in revitalizing countries are slowing down, the recovery is erratic and the pandemic is likely to leave deep scars, the International Monetary Fund said in a report to the G20 summit.
Particularly vulnerable are poor and heavily indebted countries, which are “on the brink of economic destruction and escalating poverty, hunger and countless suffering,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday.
To address this, the G20 will approve a plan to extend a six-month debt service moratorium on developing countries by mid-2021 with the possibility of a further extension, a draft G20 communication said by Reuters.
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World Bank President David Malpass warned the G20 that failure to deliver more permanent debt relief to some countries could now lead to rising poverty and a repeat of the disorderly conduct seen in the 1980s.
The G20 debt relief initiative has helped 44 countries postpone approx. 5 billion $ In debt payments, but it is far below the 73 eligible countries and promised savings of about 12 billion. $. Extending the temporary debt relief may encourage some additional countries to ask for indulgence, experts say, but private sector creditors must also agree to participate.
Debt relief for Africa will be a major theme for the Italian presidency of the G20 in 2021.
President Donald Trump did not attend and was at his Sterling, Virginia, golf course when the virtual meeting took place.