G20 leaders vow to supply vaccine to needy countries, despite funding shortfall

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The head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, said the G20's actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 had helped prevent massive bankruptcies and an even deeper crisis, but that there was more to do.

The two-day gathering that began Saturday comes as global efforts intensify for a large-scale rollout of coronavirus vaccines after a breakthrough in trials, and as European Union and other leaders call for G20 nations to plug a $4.5-billion funding shortfall. G20 leaders also agreed to maintain economic measures until the recovery is firmly on the way.

"We will now speak with (global vaccine alliance group) GAVI about when these negotiations will begin because I am somewhat anxious that nothing has been done on that yet", she said.

G20 leaders vowed to stand by the most vulnerable nations as they deal with various aspects of the coronavirus pandemic, in a joint declaration adopted at the Riyadh summit.

He also called on the G20 to increase "investments in biodiversity, climate action and ecosystem restoration".

In their communique, the leaders reiterated their annual commitment to supporting global trade and restated their resolve to fight climate change.

G20 leaders also discussed how to build back better and pave the way for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future.

Ahead of the summit, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she hoped the U.S. will adopt a more multilateralist stance under the incoming administration of Joe Biden.

President Xi Jinping proposed constructing a "global firewall" against Covid-19, reducing tariffs and barriers as well as tapping into the booming digital economy to battle the pandemic and reboot the flagging world economy. And sadly, it will not be the last.

"We commend the Saudi Presidency for initiating discussions on the need for long-term solutions to address gaps in global pandemic preparedness and response, including its proposal towards establishing access to pandemic tools, and we look forward to furthering this discussion during the Italian Presidency". An global Treaty on Pandemics could help us respond more quickly and in a more coordinated manner when they occur.

"The exercise we are launching today is aimed at making sure that everyone who contributes to the work of the United Nations feels respected and valued as an individual, and as a member of our United Nations family". "The WHO must remain the cornerstone of global coordination against health emergencies".

"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, " King Salman said.

"We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people, consistent with members' commitments to incentivise innovation".

"But I want to repeat the call on G20 members to support the ACT-Accelerator and its COVAX facility".

"We emphasize the important mandates of the United Nations' system and agencies, primarily the World Health Organization, while considering the ongoing evaluations, its stated commitment to transparency, and the need to strengthen its overall effectiveness, in coordinating and supporting the global response to the pandemic", the declaration read.

The UN chief believed that the third important role of the G20 leadership is aligning their recovery efforts with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The G20 endorsed a plan to extend a freeze in debt service payments by the poorest countries to mid-2021 and a common approach for dealing with debt problems beyond that, according to the communique.

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