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UN Chief Urges G20 Leaders For Greater Support to Ensure Recovery from Pandemic

UN Chief Urges G20 Leaders For Greater Support to Ensure Recovery from Pandemic

Saturday, 21 November, 2020 - 06:00
FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres takes part in a news conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York, U.S., June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on G20 leaders, whose summit will be hosted by Saudi Arabia this weekend, to be bold in pandemic response.

The UN chief said the world must ensure recovery from the crisis, which will be inclusive, sustainable and in line with global climate goals.

“The recent breakthroughs on COVID-19 vaccines offer a ray of hope. But that ray of hope needs to reach everyone. That means ensuring that vaccines are treated as a global public good - a people’s vaccine accessible and affordable to everyone, everywhere,” he said.

Some $28 billion more is needed, including $4.2 billion before the end of the year, according to Guterres,

“This funding is critical for mass manufacturing, procurement and delivery of new COVID-19 vaccines and tools around the world”, he said.

“G20 countries have the resources.”

With the pandemic putting developing countries “on the precipice of financial ruin and escalating poverty, hunger and untold suffering”, the Secretary-General said will again appeal for stepped-up support from the G20.

He said he will call for the bloc to increase financial resources available to the International Monetary Fund.

He also called on the G20 to increase "investments in biodiversity, climate action and ecosystem restoration."

The G20 has already suspended debt service payments from more than 70 of the world’s poorest countries through June 2021, among other welcoming measures.

“I am pushing for a further extension through the end of 2021 and, critically, to expand the scope of the initiatives to all developing and middle-income countries in need”, he noted.

Guterres further stressed that pandemic recovery must be aligned with global targets for sustainable development and slowing climate change.

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