g20-commits-5-trillion-amid-covid-19-scare-summary

According to a release, the G20 countries committed to inject more than $5 trillion into the global economy, and contribute to the World Health Organisation (WHO) led COVID-19 solidarity response fund.

Background:  

A video-conference of leaders of the world’s top twenty economies, the G-20, hosted by the Saudi King has been conducted to discuss the coronavirus pandemic.

Joint statement:

  • The virus respects no borders: The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful reminder of our interconnectedness and vulnerabilities. 
  • Requires transparent, robust, coordinated efforts: Combating this pandemic calls for a transparent, robust, coordinated, large-scale and science-based global response in the spirit of solidarity. 
  • Redefine conversations on globalization: The world needs to redefine its conversations on globalisation to include social and humanitarian issues like terrorism, climate change and pandemics along with financial and economic discussions
  • Need of the hour: To share timely and transparent information; exchange epidemiological and clinical data; share materials necessary for research and development; and strengthen health systems globally, including through supporting the full implementation of the WHO International Health Regulations.

More interactions in future:

The leaders agreed to have more interactions of G-20 Foreign Ministers, health officials and the respective Sherpas before the Riyadh Summit of the G-20 nations in November 2020.

Strong signal given by the leaders:

  • Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global growth and financial markets: The Saudi Arabian Crown Prince said that the G-20 must send a strong signal to restore confidence in the global economy by resuming, as soon as possible, the normal flow of goods and services, especially vital medical supplies.
  • More funding for the World Health Organisation: The Prime Minister of India, who had first suggested the video-conference, also called for a bigger mandate and more funding for the World Health Organisation, in order to adapt itself to deal with the new challenges the international community has faced.
  • WHO’s failure: Many countries have been critical of WHO’s failure to alert the world quickly enough of the potential threat from the pandemic. 
  • Non transparent information sharing: The United States, have been particularly critical of China for not having been transparent and shared information about the pandemic, and have even called for the virus to be named the “Chinese virus” or the “Wuhan virus,” a move China has opposed strongly.
  • Differences in the approach: Finally, there have been differences in the approach by G-20 countries towards lockdowns in order to control the pandemic spread through social distancing.
    • For instance, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has called state-imposed lockdowns a “crime,” while countries like India have imposed a stringent 21-day lockdown across the country.

The global platforms like G-20 should not waste this precious time and resources in ascribing blame or responsibility for the pandemic. The focus for the G-20 leadership should be on how to handle the global challenge and help the rest of the world deal with it.

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Source: TH