Saudi king to G20: let’s unite against coronavirus

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman called on Thursday for G20 leaders to boost funding for a coronavirus vaccine, resume the normal flow of goods and services as soon as possible, and help developing countries overcome the global health crisis.

His remarks came at the opening of an extraordinary, 90-minute video conference convened by the world’s major economies to coordinate action over the outbreak that has infected more than 470,000 people and killed more than 21,000 worldwide.

“We must have an effective and coordinated response to this pandemic,” the king said. “On the trade front, the G20 must send a strong signal to restore confidence in the global economy by resuming, as soon as possible, the normal flow of goods and services, especially vital medical supplies.”

The G20, currently chaired by Saudi Arabia, has faced criticism of a slow response to the worsening crisis, which is expected to trigger a global recession.

Some member countries have announced economic stimulus packages to offset broad suspensions of air travel and shutdowns of many businesses.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged G20 leaders to match a pledge by countries like Australia and Canada to keep supply chains open and avoid export controls.

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was to address the G20 to seek support for ramping up funding and production of personal protection equipment for health workers amid a global shortage.

“We have a global responsibility as humanity and especially those countries like the G20,” Tedros told a news conference in Geneva late on Wednesday. “They should be able to support countries all over the world.”

His remarks came at the opening of an extraordinary, 90-minute video conference convened by the world’s major economies to coordinate action over the outbreak that has infected more than 470,000 people and killed more than 21,000 worldwide.

“We must have an effective and coordinated response to this pandemic,” the king said. “On the trade front, the G20 must send a strong signal to restore confidence in the global economy by resuming, as soon as possible, the normal flow of goods and services, especially vital medical supplies.”

The G20, currently chaired by Saudi Arabia, has faced criticism of a slow response to the worsening crisis, which is expected to trigger a global recession.

Some member countries have announced economic stimulus packages to offset broad suspensions of air travel and shutdowns of many businesses.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged G20 leaders to match a pledge by countries like Australia and Canada to keep supply chains open and avoid export controls.

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was to address the G20 to seek support for ramping up funding and production of personal protection equipment for health workers amid a global shortage.

“We have a global responsibility as humanity and especially those countries like the G20,” Tedros told a news conference in Geneva late on Wednesday. “They should be able to support countries all over the world.”

 

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