G20 summit | Narrow differences, resolve disputes through dialogue: Xi Jinping

Daniel Fowler
November 22, 2020

President Kagame commended the G20 for mobilising resources for the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator, in particular, the COVAX facility - a global mechanism to ensure quick procurement and distribution of vaccines once available.

The two-day online gathering comes as worldwide 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.

Russia, also part of the group, said it was ready to provide its vaccine, Sputnik V, to countries that need it. Russia's President Vladimir Putin said Russia is also preparing its second and third vaccine.

"We may bridge differences through dialogue, resolve disputes through negotiation, and make a joint effort for world peace and development", Mr. Xi said in remarks in the backdrop of the over six-month-long military standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh.

China, where the pandemic originated a year ago, also offered to cooperate on vaccines.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has thrown the global economy into a deep recession this year, and efforts needed to underpin an economic rebound in 2021, were at the top of the agenda.

Saudi Arabia is hosting the virtual meeting of G-20 leaders on Saturday and Sunday in line with coronavirus restrictions. China has five home-grown candidates for a vaccine undergoing the last phase of trials.

In a statement, the White House said Trump highlighted to his fellow world leaders at the G-20 summit that the US had "marshaled every resource at its disposal to respond to the crisis".

Saudi King Salman gives his opening remarks via video as he sits at large tables with a few other men
Saudi Arabia hosted the G20 over video conference amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

But under the Saudi chairmanship, G20 leaders projected a unified stance, with the draft communique reiterating support for tackling "pressing" environmental challenges.

While quick research and sharing of scientific information for the development of COVID-19 tests and vaccines has happened, individual G-20 countries have mostly focused on securing their own vaccine supplies.

But the group's leaders face mounting pressure to help stave off possible credit defaults across developing nations.

"For that reason, the G20's continued commitment to the Debt Service Suspension Initiative is of central importance", he noted, adding that the programme alone will not be sufficient. The Summit will be chaired by The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and attended by Head of State of G20 members and guest countries, and Heads of International Organizations.

Noting that "work from anywhere" is a new normal in the post-COVID world, Modi also suggested creation of a G20 Virtual Secretariat as a follow-up and documentation repository.

Key among them are the siblings of jailed activist Loujain al Hathloul, on hunger strike for more than 20 days demanding regular family contact. "For humanity to prosper, every single individual must prosper", he said.

"Instead of signalling its concern for Saudi Arabia's serious abuses, the G20 is bolstering the Saudi government's well-funded publicity efforts to portray the country as "reforming" despite a significant increase in repression".

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