G20 says it will strive for fair global access to COVID-19 vaccine

DUBAI (Reuters) - Leaders of the 20 biggest economies on Sunday vowed to spare no effort to supply COVID-19 drugs, tests and vaccines affordably and fairly to 'all people', reflecting worries that the pandemic could deepen global divisions between rich and poor.

Reuters November 23, 2020 00:11:18 IST
G20 says it will strive for fair global access to COVID-19 vaccine

G20 says it will strive for fair global access to COVID19 vaccine

DUBAI (Reuters) - Leaders of the 20 biggest economies on Sunday vowed to spare no effort to supply COVID-19 drugs, tests and vaccines affordably and fairly to "all people", reflecting worries that the pandemic could deepen global divisions between rich and poor.

The coronavirus pandemic and prospects of an uneven and uncertain economic recovery have been at the centre of a two-day summit under the chairmanship of Saudi Arabia, which will hand the G20 presidency to Italy next month.

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

G20 nations will work to "protect lives, provide support with a special focus on the most vulnerable, and put our economies back on a path to restoring growth, and protecting and creating jobs for all."

On vaccines, tests and treatments, the leaders said: "We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people."

The world's economy has experienced a sharp contraction this year as measures to contain the spread of the virus have curbed transport, trade, and demand across the planet.

G20 leaders said global economic activity has partially picked up thanks the gradual reopening of some economies but the recovery is uneven, highly uncertain and subject to downside risks.

They reaffirmed their commitment to use "all available policy tools as long as required" to protect people's lives, jobs, and incomes.

DEBT FREEZE

The G20 has endorsed a plan to extend a freeze in debt service payments by the poorest countries to mid-2021 and a common approach for dealing with debt problems beyond that, according to the communique.

They also said they strongly encouraged private creditors to participate in the initiative on comparable terms when requested by eligible countries.

The G20 debt relief initiative has helped 46 countries defer $5.7 billion in 2020 debt service payments, short of the 73 countries that were eligible, and promised savings of around $12 billion.

Debt relief for Africa will be an important theme of the Italian presidency of the G20 in 2021.

The communique also stressed the importance of multilateral institutions and called on the International Monetary Fund to continue exploring additional tools that could help its members’ needs as the crisis evolves.

(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia, Maha El Dahan in Dubai; Raya Jalabi in Beirut; Andrea Shalal in Washington, Editing by William Maclean)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.