In an effort to combat the ongoing global pandemic, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Thursday urged G20 leaders to take firm measures and “effective and coordinated” action to stop the spread of coronavirus across the globe.
Saudi Arabia, which holds the G20 presidency this year, called an extraordinary virtual meeting to discuss global efforts to deal with the coronavirus crisis, which has infected nearly 5 lakh people and claimed over 21,000 lives.
Chairing the virtual meeting with the leaders of the group via video conferencing, the Saudi King said the nations in the bloc also needed to assist developing nations and fund research into finding a vaccine against the virus.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and World Bodies like WHO, IMF, FAO also participated in the online conference.
“It is our responsibility to extend a helping hand to developing countries and least developed countries to enable them to build their capacities and improve their infrastructure to overcome this crisis and its repercussions,” the King said.
“This crisis requires a global response, and the world is counting on us to cooperate and work together to face it,” he added.
“We must also strengthen the global preparedness to counter infectious diseases that may spread in the future,” the King said.
On the health front, the Saudi G20 Presidency said, “We reaffirm our full support for the World Health Organization (WHO) in coordinating the efforts to counter this pandemic.”
On the economic front, amid the slowdown in global growth and the turmoil in financial markets, the G20 has a pivotal role in countering the economic and social impact of this pandemic, he said.
Therefore, “we must have an effective and coordinated response to this pandemic and restore confidence in the global economy.”
The Presidency welcomes the policies and measures taken by countries to revive their respective economies, including stimulus packages, precautionary measures, sector targeted policies, and job protection measures.
But despite the importance of any country’s individual responses, “it is our duty to strengthen cooperation and coordination in all aspects of the adopted economic policies,” the King added.
On the trade front, the G20 must send a strong signal to restore confidence in the global economy by resuming, as soon as possible, the normal flow of goods and services, especially vital medical supplies, he said.
“Today, through our cooperation, we are confident that we, together, will overcome this crisis, and move forward towards a future where all people thrive, prosper and are healthy,” he expressed hope.
The G20 countries are a group of 20 countries established in September 1999 by the finance ministers of the G7 countries as an international forum which would help preserve international financial stability.
The member nations include the European Union and 19 other countries, including India, Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Turkey, USA, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and UK.
G20 countries represent around 85 per cent of global gross domestic product, and over 75 per cent of global trade. They form two-third of the world’s population.
Suggestions made by PM Modi at G/20 today
- To promote new crisis-management protocols and procedures for our inter-connected global village;
- To strengthen and reform intergovernmental organizations like WHO, which continue to be based on the last Century’s models;
- To work together for reducing economic hardships resulting from COVID-19, particularly for the economically weak;
- And, above all, to usher in a new globalization, for the collective well-being of the entire humankind.
- Let us act together to create a world that is not just strong but also anti-fragile.