Leaders of the 20 biggest economies are debating this weekend how to distribute Covid-19 vaccines, drugs and tests around the world so that poorer countries are not left out as nations look for ways to manage a post-coronavirus recovery.
The leaders are holding a two-day virtual meeting via video-conference due to the pandemic, under the chairmanship of Saudi Arabia, which holds the rotating presidency of the G20 until the end of November.
The Covid-19 pandemic, which will throw the global economy into a deep recession this year before an economic rebound expected in 2021, is at the top of the agenda.
“We must work to create the conditions for affordable and equitable access to these tools for all peoples,” Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz said in his opening remarks.
G20 leaders are concerned that the pandemic might further deepen global divisions between the rich and the poor.
“We need to avoid at all costs a scenario of a two-speed world where only the richer can protect themselves against the virus and restart normal lives,” French President Emmanuel Macron told the summit.
To do that, the European Union urged G20 leaders to quickly put more money into a global project for vaccines, tests and therapeutics called Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
“At the G20 Summit I called for $4.5 billion to be invested in ACT Accelerator by the end of 2020, for procurement & delivery of COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines everywhere,” European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter.
“We need to show global solidarity,” she said. [Continue reading…]