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The G20 Summit is held as leaders urge a united response to the virus

The group at the Dubai (AP) -20 Summit in the United Arab Emirates begins on Saturday and is the world’s most powerful mentor for a coronavirus pandemic to obscure this year’s rally and transform it from a face-to-face meeting into a virtual one. A collection of speeches and declarations that called for those to move forward collectively.

The pandemic, which claimed the lives of more than 1.37 million people worldwide, provided the G20 with an opportunity to prove how such institutions could facilitate international cooperation in a crisis, but also emphasized its shortcomings. I will.

“We have a duty to face the challenge together during this summit and give a strong message of hope and peace of mind,” King Salman said in his opening remarks. Saudi Arabia presides over the G20 this year and is the organizer of the summit.

This pandemic has had widespread economic impact on developing countries, but has plagued the wealthiest countries in the world. In most cases of COVID-19 recorded, nine G20 countries have the highest ranks in the world. According to counts held by Johns Hopkins University, the United States is at the top of the list, followed by India, Brazil, France, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, Argentina and Italy.

Three G20 leaders who attended the summit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brazilian President Jail Bolsonaro, and US President Donald Trump were infected with the coronavirus this year.

The virus is showing no signs of waning as major cities in the United States and Europe regain blockades and curfew. According to the World Health Organization, more cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the last 4 weeks than in the first 6 months of the pandemic.

According to the International Labor Organization, 225 million full-time jobs were lost in the G20 countries alone in the third quarter of 2020. The members of the group account for about 85% of the world’s economic production and three-quarters of international trade. ..

In a video statement released prior to the summit, Johnson called on world leaders to use the resources of the world’s wealthiest countries to end the COVID-19 pandemic and tackle climate change. It was.

“Our destiny is in the hands of each other,” he said.

After contacting a COVID-19-positive person, Johnson will attend two virtual events at the summit, self-isolating at his home in London.

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro, who spent several months neglecting the severity of the virus during the surge in deaths in Brazil, said in a pre-summit video message that cooperation within the G20 was the key to overcoming a pandemic. Said there is.

“From the beginning, we have emphasized the need to manage people’s health and economy at the same time. Time has proved that we are right,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Trump is one of the other G20 leaders expected to attend private virtual sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

Due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world, the G20 heads of state gathered virtually last for an emergency meeting in March.

At that time, G20 leaders vowed to share the information and resources needed for research, exchange epidemiological and clinical data, and strengthen the healthcare system. They also promised to work together to increase funding for vaccine research.

While rapid research and sharing of scientific information for COVID-19 testing and vaccine development is underway, individual G20 countries have primarily focused on securing their own vaccine supplies.

As vaccine development progresses, King Salman said the G20 countries “must strive to create conditions that allow all people to have affordable and equitable access to these tools.” He also called on G20 leaders to provide assistance to developing countries.

“We are confident that the Riyadh Summit will have important and decisive consequences and will lead to the adoption of economic and social policies that will bring hope and peace to the people of the world,” said King Salman.

The day before the summit, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres invested $ 10 billion in the development of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, but another $ 28 billion in mass production, procurement and delivery of the new COVID-19 vaccine. He said it was necessary. world.

He called on more G20 countries to join COVAX, an international initiative to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to countries around the world. COVAX said it was “affected by corrupt WHO and China,” and the United States refused to participate under Trump.

The G20 countries have agreed to suspend debt repayment to the poorest countries in the world until mid-2021, allowing them to focus their spending on health and stimulus programs. However, Guterres called on the G20 to extend debt repayment until the end of 2021 and extend it to middle-income countries in need.

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Associated Press writers Danica Kirka of London and Tia Goldenberg of Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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The G20 Summit is held as leaders urge a united response to the virus

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