Kagame calls for equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccine

Xi proposes pandemic firewall free trade for world economic recovery

The Nov. 21-22, 2020, Group of 20 summit, hosted by Saudi Arabia, will be held online this year because of the coronavirus.

"It is unfortunate that we are unable to host you in person in Riyadh, due to the exceptional circumstances that we are all facing this year", King Salman, the summit's hosts, told world leaders in opening remarks via videoconference.

"Our peoples and economies are still suffering from this shock".

But while the US was mainly cooperative, Turkey raised an objection to the climate language, tied to a longstanding complaint of how it can't access climate financing from the $10.3 billion Green Climate Fund. Turkey, because of a quirky diplomatic designation, falls in between the categories of developed and developing countries and as such neither gets, nor gives, funding to help cope with climate change.

And French President Emmanuel Macron said the health crisis was "a test for the G20", stressing there "will be no effective response to the pandemic unless it is a global response".

He said Turkey is in favour of fair share of global growth within the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules but demanded a reform process of WTO.

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke of the need to build a "global firewall against Covid-19" as he called on G20 nations to help distribute vaccines "fairly and efficiently", according to state news agency Xinhua.

The summit also included talk of bolstering the world's pandemic response programs to better prepare for any future health scare.

"We will now speak with GAVI [Global Vaccine Alliance Group] about when these negotiations will begin because I am somewhat anxious that nothing has been done on that yet", Merkel said in Berlin of agreements for vaccine access in developing countries.

"The G20, which has spent, as they proudly declare, $15 trillion to counter COVID just this year, couldn't even agree to write down that they would come up with $4.5 billion to get those vaccines delivered around the world", Kirton said.

"We need to show global solidarity", she said.

Xi proposes pandemic firewall free trade for world economic recovery
Turkey’s President Erdogan, Saudi king discuss improving ties

It was not immediately clear whether other countries would take part in the system.

The virus originally appeared in China in 2019.

Xi also said China is ready to aid other countries in need of coronavirus vaccines as the country now has five home-grown candidates in Phase III trials, Reuters reported.

"China is willing to strengthen cooperation with other countries in the research and development, production, and distribution of vaccines", Xi said. "We will fulfill our commitments, offer help and support to other developing countries, and work hard to make vaccines a public good that citizens of all countries can use and can afford".

Trudeau attended a separate side virtual meeting on Sunday on the global fight against climate change.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed ways of enhancing ties with King Salman of Saudi Arabia in a rare phone call since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

But G20 leaders face mounting pressure to help stave off possible credit defaults across developing nations. The World Health Organization says more cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the past four weeks than in the first six months of the pandemic.

"We thank Saudi Arabia for hosting a successful Riyadh Summit and its contribution to the G20 process".

It was unclear whether Trump, who continues to reject his election loss, will speak at the event.

Under worldwide pressure to do more to address global warming, Chinese President Xi Jinping told the G20 that China would implement its own initiatives, including achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

Key among them are the siblings of jailed activist Loujain al Hathloul, on hunger strike for more than 20 days demanding regular family contact.


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