G-20 summit: Members call for global solidarity to beat pandemic, recession and make Covid-19 vaccine accessible
G-20 summit: Leaders from the G-20 summit came together virtually to discuss the key issues at hand over the weekend. The 15th annual G2O summit was organised by Saudi Arabia and inaugurated by Saudi king Salman with his speech, wherein he made an appeal that the G20 economies “must work to create the conditions for affordable and equitable access to [vaccines] for all peoples”. The two-day summit, which was held on Saturday and Sunday was dominated by discussions about overcoming coronavirus pandemic and slump in the global economy.
On Sunday evening, in a conclusive call, the G20 leaders said in a joint declaration “We recognise the role of extensive immunisation as a global public good.” They also promoted the need for development and distribution of tests, therapies and Covid vaccines. “We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people, consistent with members’ commitments to incentivise innovation.”
The group also committed to help poor nations to overcome the health catastrophe and the great financial divide created by it. “We commit to addressing the remaining global financing needs,” the group said. Given the economic inequality created by Covid-19 wave, UN chief Antonio Guterres on Friday urged G20 leaders to raise $28bn to fund UN anti-Covid-19 efforts, including facilitating Covid-19 vaccines to poorer countries. The EU, joined the call and raised the need for more funding for ACT-A. European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter on Saturday. “I called for $4.5bn, We need to show global solidarity.”
The pandemic, which infected over 59 million people and took over 1.39 million lives, as per data put out by Worldometer, has led to adverse repercussions. Many poor nations who were merely surviving, have now been pushed under millions of debt. Hence, G-20 nations agreed to discover means to provide them the much needed economic stimulus. In April, G20 members agreed to launch a Debt Suspension Service Initiative (DSSI), which which would take away load of about $14bn from 44 poorer nations and enable them to focus on battling the pandemic rather than meeting debt.
“We are committed to implementing the [DSSI], including its extension through [to] June 2021, allowing DSSI-eligible countries to suspend official bilateral debt service payments,” the declaration said. It added, “We will continue to closely coordinate its ongoing implementation to provide maximum support to DSSI-eligible countries.” The finance ministers from G20 nations would be reviewing the situation at regular intervals to evaluate the need for another initiative.