Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud called on Thursday for a “global response” to the coronavirus outbreak, telling the leaders of the G20 major economies that they have a pivotal role in countering the pandemic's economic and social impact.
In his opening remarks at the virtual meeting of the G20 leaders, King Salman said: “The impact of this pandemic has spread to reach the global economy, financial markets, trade, and global supply chains, hampering growth and development and reversing the gains accomplished in the previous years.”
“This human crisis requires a global response. The world counts on us to come together and cooperate in order to face this challenge,” he told the leaders.
He said the “Saudi G20 Presidency took the lead and worked with partners and relevant organizations to take all necessary actions in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard people’s health.”
Reaffirming his full support for the World Health Organization in coordinating the efforts to counter the disease, he said “the G20 must assume the responsibility of reinforcing cooperation in financing research and development for therapeutics and a vaccine for COVID-19 and ensure the availability of the vital medical supplies and equipment.”
He also called for strengthening the global preparedness to counter infectious diseases that may spread in the future.
“On the economic front, amid the slowdown in global growth and the turmoil in financial markets, the G20 has a pivotal role in countering the economic and social impact of this pandemic. Therefore, we must have an effective and coordinated response to this pandemic and restore confidence in the global economy,” said King Salman.
He welcomed the policies and measures taken by countries to revive their economies. “But despite the importance of any country’s individual responses, it is our duty to strengthen cooperation and coordination in all aspects of the adopted economic policies,” he said.
On trade, King Salman told the G20 leaders that the Group 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.
He stated that it was the responsibility of the G20 countries to help developing countries and least developed states to enable them to build their capacities and improve their infrastructure to overcome repercussions of the pandemic.
“The G20 has previously proven its effectiveness in mitigating the severity of the global financial crisis and its ability to overcome it. Today, through our cooperation, we are confident that we, together, will overcome this crisis, and move forward towards a future where all people thrive, prosper and are healthy,” he added.