As the outbreak continues to spread worldwide, leaders from the Group of Twenty (G20) major economies have made a commitment to stand united against the pandemic.
The virtual summit was called by Saudi Arabia, which is hosting this year’s G20 summit. The leaders identified the outbreak as their “absolute priority,” discussing its impact on global health, society, and economy, as well as formulating ways to address the crisis.
G20 Leaders Commit to Stand United Against Pandemic
In his opening remarks, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud appealed to the G20 leaders to finance the research and develop a vaccine to address the outbreak, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Thursday, 26th March 2020.
“This human crisis requires a global response,” the King stated. “The world counts on us to come together and cooperate in order to face this challenge.”
Under his chairmanship, the G20 leaders made an official statement, citing the pandemic as “a powerful reminder of our interconnectedness and vulnerabilities.”
“The virus respects no borders,” the statement said. “Combating this pandemic calls for a transparent, robust, coordinated, large-scale and science-based global response in the spirit of solidarity. We are strongly committed to presenting a united front against this common threat.”
Commited to Do “Whatever it Takes”
Along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations (UN), World Bank Groups (WBG), World Health Organization (WHO), and other international organisations, the G20 leaders affirmed their commitment to:
- Protecting people’s lives;
- Safeguarding people’s jobs and incomes;
- Providing help to all countries in need of assistance;
- Coordinating on public health and financial measures;
- Minimising disruptions to trade and global supply chains; and
- Restoring confidence, preserving financial stability, reviving growth, and recovering stronger.
In their statement, the G20 agreed to sharing timely and transparent information, exchanging clinical data, and strengthening health systems. They also committed to boost the production of medical supplies, and to ensure that these are made available at affordable prices.
Likewise, the G20 leaders are determined to do whatever it takes in minimising the social damage from the outbreak, restoring global growth, maintaining market stability, and strengthening resilience.
“We are currently undertaking immediate and vigorous measures to support our economies; protect workers, businesses — especially micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises — and the sectors most affected; and shield the vulnerable through adequate social protection,” the G20 stated.
Moreover, the G20 leaders expressed their concern for developing and least developed countries, particularly Africa and small island states, as well as for refugees and displaced persons. To address this, they are committed to extending technical assistance and strengthening the capacity building of at-risk communities.
Notably, the G20 leaders also recognised the decision of the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Olympic Games, along with other major public events that had to be rescheduled due to the outbreak.
At times like these, it is reassuring to know that world leaders, especially the G20, are committed to doing whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the entire island of Luzon under quarantine, as part of the country’s measures in addressing the outbreak. Let us also do our part by practicing good personal hygiene, social distancing, and staying updated with the latest news from official sources.