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G20 Leaders: 'We Will Overcome This' Together

G20 Leaders: 'We Will Overcome This' Together

Thursday, 26 March, 2020 - 15:15
Asharq Al-Awsat

The leaders of the Group of 20 nations expressed on Thursday a strong commitment of unity against the coronavirus outbreak and its repercussions, saying they were "confident" in their ability to "overcome" the pandemic.

“The virus respects no borders. Combatting this pandemic calls for a transparent, robust, coordinated, large-scale and science-based global response in the spirit of solidarity. We are strongly committed to presenting a united front against this common threat,” they said in their statement following a virtual meeting chaired by Saudi King Salman.

The leaders said they will “share timely and transparent information; exchange epidemiological and clinical data; share materials necessary for research and development; and strengthen health systems globally.”

They also pledged to expand manufacturing capacity to meet the increasing needs for medical supplies and ensure these are made widely available.

According to the statement, the leaders expressed support to further strengthen the mandate of the World Health Organization in coordinating the international fight against the COVID-19 disease.

They expressed commitment to increase research and development funding for vaccines and medicines, and strengthening scientific international cooperation.

“We will bolster our coordination, including with the private sector, towards rapid development, manufacturing and distribution of diagnostics, antiviral medicines, and vaccines, adhering to the objectives of efficacy, safety, equity, accessibility, and affordability,” they said in their closing statement.

On safeguarding the global economy, the G20 leaders expressed commitment to minimize the pandemic’s economic and social damage, restore global growth, maintain market stability, and strengthen resilience.

“We are injecting over $5 trillion into the global economy, as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic,” they said.

“The magnitude and scope of this response will get the global economy back on its feet and set a strong basis for the protection of jobs and the recovery of growth.”

Addressing international trade disruptions, the G20 countries said they will work among others to ensure the flow of vital medical supplies, critical agricultural products, and other goods and services across borders.

“Emergency measures aimed at protecting health will be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary,” they stated.

They further pledged to enhance global cooperation with international organizations and multilateral and regional development banks “to deploy a robust, coherent, coordinated, and rapid financial package."

“We stand ready to strengthen the global financial safety nets. We call upon all these organizations to further step up coordination of their actions, including with the private sector, to support emerging and developing countries facing the health, economic, and social shocks of COVID-19.”

"We are gravely concerned with the serious risks posed to all countries, particularly developing and least developed countries, and notably in Africa and small island states," the leaders said, adding that refugees and displaced persons face "particular risk".

“Global action, solidarity and international cooperation are more than ever necessary to address this pandemic. We are confident that, working closely together, we will overcome this,” they added.

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