G-20 leaders pledge to ‘spare no effort’ to ensure equitable access to coronavirus vaccines worldwide

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Leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies pledged to tackle the global recession caused by the coronavirus and laid out plans to accelerate a fair and sustainable recovery following the historic G-20 summit in Saudi Arabia.

“We are committed to leading the world to shape a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive post-COVID-19 era,” G-20 leaders said in a twelve-page document released on Sunday evening.

Saudi Arabia’s historic G-20 presidency, the first ever for an Arab country, has been dominated by the need to deal with the economic and social impact of the ongoing pandemic, which has now killed more than 1 , 3 million people in the world.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact in terms of lives lost, livelihoods and economies affected, is an unprecedented shock that has exposed vulnerabilities in our preparedness and response and underscored our common challenges,” said the final statement.

The group pledged to “spare no effort to protect lives, provide support with special attention to the most vulnerable and put our economies back on the path to restoring growth, as well as protection and creation. jobs for all “.

The G-20 has also pledged to mobilize more resources to meet immediate funding needs to support research, development, manufacture and distribution of safe and effective Covid-19 diagnostics, therapies and vaccines.

“We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access to all,” the statement added, without providing specific details on how countries will prioritize global vaccine deployments or a dollar amount over the amount. extra to spend.

“If one country suffers, we will all suffer,” Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said during the summit’s final press briefing. “Every leader has supported the initiatives of the G-20 to ensure that we provide enough resources to ensure that the vaccine and therapeutics are available to all.

G-20 leaders have pledged to address the disproportionate social and economic impact of the virus, having already deployed an unprecedented $ 11 trillion to accelerate the global recovery and $ 21 billion at the start of the crisis to support health systems and vaccine hunting.

“It has put a floor under the global economy,” Al Jadaan said. Leaders warned that the recovery was far from guaranteed, despite the start of economic recovery in some countries.

“The recovery is uneven, very uncertain and subject to high downside risks,” the leaders acknowledged, warning that new viral outbreaks in some economies pose significant challenges.

The G-20 group has also made progress on debt suspension, with leaders pledging to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and even extend it until June 2021. The program allows eligible countries to suspend official bilateral debt service payments.

“This is a major step forward,” Al Jadaan said. So far, the G-20 has provided $ 14 billion in debt relief to developing countries, allowing them to allocate more money to their response to the virus.

The leaders also said support for multilateral institutions and the world trading system was “as important as ever”, in an apparent recognition of various trade disputes launched under the current US administration.

“We strive to achieve the goal of a free, fair, inclusive, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable business and investment environment, and to keep our markets open,” the executives said. “We will continue to work to ensure a level playing field in order to foster a favorable business environment.”

The G-20 also recognized the urgent need to accelerate efforts to end poverty and tackle inequalities among the most vulnerable segments of society, including women and youth.

The statement also states that all members of the G-20 continue to support efforts and use all available approaches aimed at “advancing environmental stewardship for future generations”.

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