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G20 commits to equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccine

#G20 leaders say they will ensure fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines worldwide and support poor countries whose economies have been ravaged by crisis

11/22/2020 7:15:00 PM

G20 leaders say they will ensure fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines worldwide and support poor countries whose economies have been ravaged by crisis

Leaders of world's 20 biggest economies say they would ensure a fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, drugs, and tests around the world so that poorer countries were not left out, according to a final summit communique.

G20 leaders have pledged to "spare no effort" in ensuring a fair distribution of coronavirus vaccines worldwide and reaffirm support for debt-laden poor countries, according to a communique. After a virtual summit hosted by Saudi Arabia, they said in a closing statement on Sunday: "We have mobilised resources to address the immediate financing needs in global health to support the research, development, manufacturing, and distribution of safe and effective Covid-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines."

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They said they supported a global project for vaccines, tests and therapeutics - called Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT)Accelerator - and its COVAX facility to distribute vaccines.The leaders said that a multilateral trading system is now as important as ever due to the coronavirus crisis, as they pledged to keep markets open and achieve fair and stable trade and investment environment.

The G20 also called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to continue exploring additional tools that could help its members as the crisis evolves. Two summits in year proposed In a high-stakes webinar, leaders of the Group of 20 major powers have held a weekend of "digital diplomacy" to coordinate a response to the rampant pandemic and the worst economic recession in decades.

The unusual format, in place of a real-life meeting that coronavirus restrictions made impossible, has produced some awkward interactions and deprived the host nation Saudi Arabia of an opportunity to showcase itself on the international stage.G20 leaders, in the communique, committed to addressing "financing needs" of Covid-19 vaccine rollout, and also reaffirmed necessary WTO reforms. 

The leaders promised to "support IMF's aid to help address challenges of developing states, and also endorsed circular carbon economy platform."Meanwhile, during the summit, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman proposed holding two summits annually, first to be virtual mid-year and second in-person at year-end. 

READ MORE:Coronavirus, recession dominates Saudi-hosted G20 summitIMF for debt relief beyond world's poorest countries The head of the International Monetary Fund on Sunday called for prompt and effective implementation of a new G20 framework set up to help the world's poorest countries reach permanent debt relief, but said other countries needed help as well.

"It is critical to operationalise this framework promptly and effectively," IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement after addressing the leaders of the Group of20 major economies. "Going forward, we must also help those countries not covered by the framework to address debt vulnerabilities so that their economies can become more resilient."

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The debt treatment framework endorsed by G20 leaders on Sunday applies to 73 countries that are eligible for a temporary freeze in official bilateral debt payments.Covid-19 measuresUS President Donald Trump made a brief appearance at the opening session on Saturday before logging off and going golfing, while other leaders braved technical quirks and the lack of opportunity for spontaneous interactions.

The two-day online gathering came as international efforts intensify for a large-scale rollout of coronavirus vaccines after a breakthrough in trials, and for G20 nations to plug a $4.5-billion funding shortfall."We have mobilised resources to address the immediate financing needs in global health to support the research, development, manufacturing, and distribution of safe and effective Covid-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines," the communique said.

"We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people, consistent with members' commitments to incentivise innovation."The communique offered no details however on how the effort will be funded.In a comment echoed by other world leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that the coronavirus crisis was "a test for the G20", stressing there "will be no effective response to the pandemic unless it is a global response".

Read more: TRT World »

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