G20 leaders and global organizations emphasize the need for a continued coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic and improved global pandemic preparedness during a high-level side meeting at the G20 summit Side on Pandemic Preparedness and Response hosted by The Saudi G20 Presidency on Saturday evening.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz said that the pandemic has proven that international cooperation and joint action is the best way to overcome crises.
King Salman considered the coronavirus pandemic a substantial test for our global health systems.
“Saudi Arabia has provided half a billion dollars to find a vaccine and treatment to confront the virus, Saudi Arabia has also participated in the launch of an initiative to accelerate the creation of tools and technologies to battle the coronavirus.”
“During our presidency of the G20, we benefited from several key initiatives to address gaps in global pandemic preparedness and response system. With the support of the Group’s countries, we proposed the launch of an initiative to provide tools for combating pandemics, aiming to ensure a focus on preparedness and response to future pandemics in a sustainable manner,” added King Salman.
Calling for solidarity to face international challenges, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte says that the G20 Riyadh Summit is an essential event in clarifying the G20’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
President of Argentina Alberto Fernández said that vaccines and treatments for coronavirus must reach all world countries.
“We have built new hospitals to deal with the coronavirus pandemic,” added Fernandez.
The vaccine against coronavirus will be available before the end of the year. France will ensure that the vaccine reaches all countries, especially the poor ones, said French President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron also thanked the Saudi presidency of the G20 summit.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that his nation had dealt transparently with coronavirus information in front of the people and the world.
“I hope the G20 meeting in Saudi Arabia will inspire the world; we will participate in global efforts to reduce coronavirus and distribute the vaccine,” added the South Korean President.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, announced that the G20 platform would distribute 2 billion doses of Corona vaccine worldwide.
“The global response to combating coronavirus is necessary,” Merkel added.
The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, says that his country looks to G20 to help cope with the coronavirus pandemic’s repercussions.
“We have mobilized our resources in the face of this pandemic,” he added.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Gavi Board Chair, said that the virus is winning. Only through adequate financing for a global exit strategy like Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) can economic vitality be restored at home and catastrophe in the poorest countries averted.
“A commitment by G20 leaders to invest the $4.6 billion to fill the ACT Accelerator’s immediate funding gap will save lives, lay the groundwork for mass procurement and delivery of ACT-A Tools –tests, treatments, and vaccines –around the world,” she added.
G20 Riyadh Summit
Saudi Arabia holds the 2020 presidency of the G20, which rotates among members, and will be hosting the G20 summit across Saturday November 21 and Sunday November 22.
Due to the coronavirus, this year’s Riyadh summit is being held virtually, with leaders and ministers attending via webcam.
The build-up events, ranging from Women 20 to Business 20, have also taken place virtually.
Addressing the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic is top of the agenda this year, as countries try to rebuild from the devastating economic impact of the virus.
The environment has also featured, with the looming threat of climate change everpresent on the agenda.
This year’s agenda also has a sharper focus on culture than previous years, with culture ministers pledging to support the $2.3 trillion cultural economy in a meeting on November 4.