Appeals for united front against pandemic dominate G-20 summit speeches

SourceArab Weekly
CountrySaudi Arabia

RIYADH--The G-20 summit chaired by Saudi Arabia opened on Saturday with appeals by the world’s most powerful leaders to collectively chart a way forward as the coronavirus pandemic overshadows this year’s gathering, transforming it from in-person meetings to a virtual gathering of speeches and declarations. “We have a duty to rise to the challenge together during this summit and give a strong message of hope and reassurance,” Saudi Arabia’s King Salman said in the summit’s opening remarks. The Saudi king called on G20 leaders to work towards affordable and equitable access to vaccines and other tools to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. “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,” he said. Group photo of annual G20 Summit World Leaders is projected onto Salwa Palace in At-Turaif, Saudi Arabia, November 21.

(Reuters)While G-20 countries have contributed billions of dollars toward developing a vaccine for the virus, they have also mostly focused on securing their own vaccine supplies. Countries such as Britain, the US, France and Germany — all G-20 member states — have directly negotiated deals more...