Saudi Arabia hosts the first-ever G20 summit on Saturday for an Arab nation dominated by a virtual platform dominated by efforts to tackle the coronovirus epidemic and severe economic crisis.
A two-day reunion of the world’s richest countries as President Donald Trump denies winning a bitter election and campaigners criticize what he calls the G20’s inadequate response to the worst global recession in decades.
World leaders will all but accelerate international efforts to roll out the coronavirus vaccine after successful trials, and call on G20 countries to address growing funding gaps.
Amid a raging epidemic, the summit, which is usually an opportunity for one-on-one engagement between world leaders, is reduced to observers briefing online “digital diplomacy” sessions to some observers.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia will chair the summit, with sources close to the organizers saying climate change was high on the agenda.
Sources said that from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, world leaders are expected to deliver a speech at the summit.
Trump will also attend, a U.S. official said.
Organizers said G20 countries have contributed more than $ 21 billion to deal with the epidemic, which has infected 56 million people and left 1.3 million people, and injected $ 11 trillion.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will reduce 4.5% of global economic output this year.
Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadan said: “The summit will seek to strengthen international cooperation to support global economic recovery.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement: “In March, the G20 pledged to do what it can to defeat the epidemic and protect lives and livelihoods”.
“As we come together this weekend, we must keep this promise.”
But G20 leaders face increasing pressure to help prevent potential defaults in developing countries.
Last week, G20 finance ministers announced a “general framework” for an expanded debt restructuring plan for virus-prone countries, but campaign groups have described the measure as inadequate.
Member countries have pushed forward the initiative to suspend developing country debt by the end of June next year.
But UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged G20 leaders to offer “firm appreciation” for expanding the initiative by the end of 2021.
Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, has warned that the global economy faces a tough road from the Kovid-19 recession, even though vaccines are now in sight.
G20 countries are expected to help reduce a $ 4.5 billion funding gap in the so-called ACT accelerator – a program that promotes the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines – to curb the pandemic, a sign signed by the Norwegian Prime Minister The joint statement said, the President of South Africa, the head of the European Union and the World Health Organization.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a strong supporter of Trump, will be in Saudi Arabia at the summit.
Trump, who continues to deny his electoral losses, attended the Asia-Pacific summit on Friday.
Many of his fellow G20 leaders have already congratulated President-elect Joe Biden.
Ahead of the summit, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she expected the United States to take a more multilateral stance under Biden.
He said we are definitely waiting for new momentum from the new US administration on climate change. He said after Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.
Saudi Arabia’s human rights record put an end to this incident.
Activists and the families of prison activists have campaigned vigorously to highlight human rights violations committed by the state.
The most prominent among them are the siblings of imprisoned activist Luzain al-Hathlol, who has been on hunger strike for more than 20 days to demand regular contact with his family.
But some Western officials indicated that human rights would not be discussed at the summit, saying they preferred to use bilateral forums to discuss the issue with the Saudi government.
“The G20 presidency has provided an unwanted mark of international prestige [Saudi] Sarkar,” Michael Page, deputy director of the Middle East at Human Rights Watch.
“Instead of showing concern over the serious abuses committed by Saudi Arabia, the G20 is stepping up the Saudi government’s well-funded publicity efforts to present the country as ‘reform’ despite a significant increase in repression” is. ”
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)