G20 commits to fair distribution of coronavirus vaccines

Clay Curtis
November 24, 2020

G20 nations must help plug a $4.5 billion funding gap in the so-called ACT-Accelerator -- a programme that promotes an equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines -- to rein in the pandemic, said a joint letter to the group from Norway's prime minister, South Africa's president, the heads of the European Union and the World Health Organization.

Merkel said this was a global challenge that can only be overcome by working with worldwide organizations such as the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the G20, adding that leaders needed to stump up more money for poorer nations to access vaccines.

In a statement, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said Trudeau "highlighted the importance of G20 leadership and co-ordinated action to beat the COVID-19 pandemic, restore economic growth and take ambitious action to fight climate change". He also planned to push the fights against protectionism and climate change.

World leaders committed to ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all people around the world as the G20 Summit came to an end on Sunday.

Last week, its finance ministers declared a "common framework" for an extended debt restructuring plan for virus-ravaged countries, but campaigners say the measure is insufficient. But that ray of hope needs to reach everyone.

G20 nations have contributed more than $21bn to combat the pandemic, which has infected 56 million people globally and left 1.3 million dead, and injected $11 trillion to "safeguard" the virus-battered world economy, organisers said.

"All G20 members will continue to support efforts and utilize all available approaches aimed at advancing environmental stewardship for future generations", the communiqué reads, although the environmental commitments in the final statement contain a number of caveats that give individual countries a fair degree of latitude.

While Kirton described Trump's participation, the arrival of Joe Biden as US president next year and Italy taking over as president of the G20 as reason for optimism that the grouping is still relevant, Bernes said its failure on Sunday is a blow to global co-operation.

The summit under the Saudi presidency centred on the theme "Realizing Opportunities of 21st Century for All".

G20 Nations Back Global Coronavirus Vaccine Access

As the pandemic rages, the club of the world's richest nations adopted a unified tone on the challenges ahead during a virtual summit hosted by Saudi Arabia.

"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", said Michael Page from Human Rights Watch.

According to the PMO, Trudeau stressed the "need to respect and defend the rule of law and human rights, including women's rights, in order to prevent persecution and mistreatment around the world". Now, more than ever, our global success depends on attaining a better path towards peace, prosperity, and sustainability.

The G20 Summit of the world's largest developed economies is being held virtually this year, so Xi's comments were relayed to the attendees by video, Reuters reported.

Canada also slapped sanctions on top Saudi officials in November 2018 after the slaying of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"We will honor our commitment of giving assistance and support to other developing countries, and work to make vaccines a global public good accessible and affordable to people around the world", Xi pledged.

Russian Federation is ready to cooperate with all the interested countries, including APEC partners, as closely as possible, he said.

"We look forward to our next meetings in Italy in 2021, Indonesia in 2022, India in 2023 and Brazil in 2024", said the G-20 declaration released on Sunday.

Russia Says Its Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine 95% Effective
RDIF's worldwide manufacturing partners are expected to produce the vaccine for more than half a billion people in 2021.

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