G-20 summit opens as leaders urge united response to virus – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2020-11-21 19:02:41 –

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A group of 20 summits on Saturday appealed to the most people in the world …

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A group of 20 summits on Saturday is the most powerful in the world as a coronavirus pandemic obscures this year’s rally and transforms it from a face-to-face meeting into a virtual one. Leaders called for a collective move forward. Collection of speeches and declarations.

The pandemic, which claimed the lives of more than 1.37 million people worldwide, provided the G20 with the opportunity to prove how such institutions promote international cooperation in the crisis, but highlights its shortcomings.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia said in his opening remarks in Saudi Arabia, “We have a duty to face challenges together during this summit and give a strong message of hope and peace of mind.”

The G20 countries have donated billions of dollars to develop vaccines for the virus, but have also focused primarily on securing their own vaccine supplies. Countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Germany (all G20 member countries) have received billions of doses in direct negotiations with pharmaceutical companies. In short, most of the world’s vaccine supply next year is already secured.

According to White House spokesman Kayleigh McEnany, US President Donald Trump emphasized what the United States has done to respond to the coronavirus, rebuild the economy, and work on vaccines. But Trump didn’t seem to admit that Joe Biden had won the presidential election this month.

“I’m honored to work with you and look forward to working with you for a long time,” Trump said, according to a voice obtained by the Guardian. The South China Morning Post reported similar comments.

The day before the summit, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres invested $ 10 billion in the development of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, but another $ 28 billion in mass production, procurement and delivery of the new COVID-19 vaccine. He said it was necessary. world.

Guterres has called on more G20 countries to join COVAX, an international initiative to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to countries around the world. The United States refused to participate under Trump.

The pandemic has had widespread economic impact on developing countries, driving millions into extreme poverty. It has also plagued the wealthiest countries in the world. In most cases of COVID-19 recorded, nine G20 countries have the highest ranks in the world. According to counts held by Johns Hopkins University, the United States is at the top of the list, followed by India, Brazil, France, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, Argentina and Italy.

Three G20 leaders at the summit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brazilian President Jail Bolsonaro, and Trump have been infected with the coronavirus this year.

The virus is showing no signs of waning as major cities in the United States and Europe regain blockades and curfew. According to the World Health Organization, more cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the last 4 weeks than in the first 6 months of the pandemic.

According to the International Labor Organization, 225 million full-time jobs were lost in the G20 countries alone in the third quarter of 2020. G20 member countries account for about 85% of the world’s economic production and three-quarters of the International Labor Organization. trade.

As a sign of the times, traditional “family photos” of the summit leaders were digitally designed and superimposed on a historic site just outside Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, which would have hosted the rally. This year, the kingdom presided over the G20.

As part of the summit, seven leaders released a video message on “Preparing for and responding to a pandemic.” French President Emmanuel Macron warned of the challenges of gaining “universal access to medical technology for COVID-19.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the strengthening of the World Health Organization, stressing that pandemics can only be overcome if affordable vaccines are available in all countries.

In a video statement released prior to the summit, Johnson called on world leaders to use the resources of the world’s wealthiest countries to end the COVID-19 pandemic and tackle climate change. It was.

“Our destiny is in the hands of each other,” said Johnson, who will be self-reliant at his home in London and attend two virtual events at the summit after contacting a COVID-19-positive person. It was.

Bolsonaro, who spent months downplaying the severity of the virus during the surge in deaths in Brazil, said in a video message that world leaders “need to care for people’s health and economy at the same time.” Emphasized.

President Trump also participated in private virtual sessions on Saturday and Sunday. Despite the human rights records of Saudi Arabia and the call of rights groups, lawmakers and EU parliamentarians to boycott rallies to protest the war in Yemen, leaders do not appear to have dropped out of the summit.

Due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world, the G20 heads of state gathered virtually last for an emergency meeting in March. At the time, they vowed to “do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic.”

Since then, the G20 countries have agreed to suspend debt repayment to the world’s poorest countries until mid-2021, allowing them to focus their spending on health and stimulus programs. However, the UN Secretary-General is calling on the G20 to extend debt repayment until the end of 2021 and extend it to middle-income countries that need it.

“We are confident that the Riyadh Summit will have important and decisive consequences and will lead to the adoption of economic and social policies that will bring hope and peace to the people of the world,” said King Salman.


Associated Press writers Danica Kirka of London, Tia Goldenberg of Jerusalem, and Deb Riechmann of Washington contributed to this report.

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