Saudi Arabia became the first Arab nation to host the two-day virtual G20 Summit with world leaders uniting to discuss the efforts in combatting COVID-19 pandemic and the prevailing economic charges. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez have already delivered their keynote addresses about how to minimise the repercussions of the global health crisis that has rocked the world since the beginning of the year.
The G20 Summit also came around the time when the leaders of wealthiest nations assembled to discuss policies but US President Donald Trump has refused to concede in the presidential elections. As per reports, even though the campaigners are criticising the inadequate G20 response to the pandemic, Johnson, Erdogan, Bolsonaro among others collectively underlined the importance of global cooperation for faster economic recovery.
The yearly summit that was viewed as the opportunity for leaders to interact one-on-one has been diminished to remote interaction in the wake of the pandemic. Here are glimpses of leaders calling for unity against the health crisis:
Other leaders who are expected to deliver their remarks include German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin and reportedly even Trump. The Gulf nation had taken over the rotating G20 presidency in 2020 and announced the theme for the summit as ‘Realizing opportunities of the 21st century for all’ chaired by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman back in September.
G20 contributed $21 billion for COVID-19
Amid criticisms for funding shortfalls by member states, Saudi Arabia in a statement elaborated on how G20 countries have been at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, in the same statement Saudi Arabia noted that the member countries have contributed more than $21 billion for the production and distribution of vaccines along with injecting a separate amount of $11 trillion to protect the plunging global economy. Furthermore, G20 has also launched the debt suspension initiative for the least developed nations.
It said, “The G20 has contributed over USD21 billion to support the production, distribution, and access to diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines; injected USD11 trillion to safeguard the global economy and, launched a debt suspension initiative for the least developed countries that would allow beneficiary countries to defer USD14 billion in debt payments due this year and use these amounts instead for financing their health systems and social programs.”