Leaders of the 20 biggest economies on Saturday vowed to ensure a fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, drugs and tests around the world and do what was needed to support poorer countries struggling to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.This is stated in a draft G20 communique, access to which was provided by Reuters.
“We will spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people, consistent with members’ commitments to incentivize innovation. We recognise the role of extensive immunization as a global public good,” G20 leaders stated.
The Covid-19 pandemic, which has thrown the global economy into a deep recession this year, and efforts needed to underpin an economic rebound in 2021, were 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 quickly to put more money into a global project for vaccines, tests and therapeutics - called Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator - and its COVAX facility to distribute vaccines.
“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.
The draft also calls on private creditors to join the debt servicing moratorium, which the G20 wants to extend until the middle of 2021 and possibly longer, and endorses a common framework for dealing with debt issues beyond that.
“There is a lack of participation from private creditors, and we strongly encourage them to participate on comparable terms when requested by eligible countries,” it said.
The leaders also recognized the specific challenges faced by countries in Africa and small island developing states, reflecting growing recognition that even some middle-income countries may need debt relief as a result of the pandemic.
As we reported earlier, the G20 countries and invited states allocated more than $ 21 billion to fight the Covid-19. The allocated funds were directed to create a vaccine, research, diagnosis of coronavirus, etc.