Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at the opening remarks of the 2020 G20 Summit said: “We have a duty to rise to the challenge together during this summit and give a strong message of hope and reassurance to our peoples through adopting policies to mitigate this crisis.”
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Saturday urged the G20 leaders to work towards fair and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines, the Arab News reported.
King Salman was speaking during his opening remarks at the 2020 G20 Summit in Riyadh on Saturday. The Summit is being held virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on November 21-22, chaired by King Salman.
“Although we are optimistic about the progress made in developing vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics tools for COVID-19, we must work to create the conditions for affordable and equitable access to these tools for all peoples,” the official Saudi Press Agency quoted King Salman as saying.
“I am confident that the Riyadh Summit will deliver significant and decisive results and will lead to adopting economic and social policies that will restore hope and reassurance to the people of the world,” he said.
“We have a duty to rise to the challenge together during this summit and give a strong message of hope and reassurance to our peoples through adopting policies to mitigate this crisis.”
According to Arab News report, the King said that the 20 largest global economies had contributed $ 21 billion to confronting COVID-19 and “took extraordinary measures to support our economies by injecting over $11 trillion to support individuals and businesses.”
Top European Union (EU) officials have called on leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20) to advance actions more ambitiously to build a more sustainable future, although the primary focus of the upcoming G20 Summit is believed to be fighting the pandemic.
At a joint press conference European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen underscored the urgency and vital importance of tackling climate change, urging G20 partners to commit to the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“The threat of climate change is no less urgent today than yesterday,” said Michel.
He advocated World Trade Organization (WTO) reform to make international trade policies greener as well as development of common standards for “green bonds” that mobilize savings for green investments, Xinhua reported.
“The European Union has started work on this. And we believe the G20 should urgently address the global issue of green finance,” Michel said.
Calling it “a big step forward”, von der Leyen noted that half of the G20 members, such as Japan, China, South Korea or South Africa, are already committed to achieving climate- or at least carbon neutrality by 2050 or soon after.
As an ambitious climate target announced in September, China aims to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
“Alongside fighting climate change, we need to focus global efforts on protecting our nature and addressing the alarming loss of biodiversity we see around the world,” von der Leyen noted.
She stressed the need of an ambitious global agreement at the next UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China, in 2021, arguing that the increasing pressure on nature and wildlife is a major factor behind the rise of zoonotic diseases, and “it is a fertile breeding ground for future pandemics.”