G-20 Summit Opens With Calls For United Response To Pandemic

Infographic showing G20 members and guests

Trump appeared among almost two dozen leaders to speak at the start of the summit hosted by Saudi Arabia when it began at 8 a.m. EST, joining via video conference from the White House Situation Room.

Mr Johnson, who thanked King Salman "for the Kingdom's leadership of the G20 in turbulent times", said: "We have seen encouraging developments on vaccines in the last few weeks, which may offer a path out of the gloom".

To prepare for future outbreaks, the European Union will propose a treaty on pandemics.

President Trump hit the links Saturday as G20 leaders grappled with the pandemic and America logged a record 198,500 new daily infections, the Guardian reports.

Saudi Arabia had hoped for an in-person Riyadh summit, but in September announced it would be held virtually because of the coronavirus.

"In the near future we must address the vulnerabilities exposed by covid-19 by working to protect lives and livelihoods", he said. The United States tops the list, followed by India, Brazil, France, Russia, Spain, the U.K., Argentina and Italy, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University. The group's member-countries represent around 85% of the world's economic output and three-quarters of worldwide trade.

As Democrat Joe Biden - an avowed multilateralist - prepares to replace Donald Trump as USA president in two months, the G20 statement struck a bolder tone on global trade, climate change and the role of the World Health Organization.

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The virus shows no signs of abating as major cities in the US and Europe bring back lockdowns and curfews. Coordinated efforts by the largest economies of the world will surely lead to faster recovery from this pandemic.

"We must also continue to support the global economy and reopen our economies and borders to facilitate the mobility of trade and people", King Salman said.

"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.

Guterres called on G-20 nations to join the global initiative to distribute vaccines worldwide, called COVAX. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for strengthening the World Health Organization and stressed the pandemic can only be overcome if an affordable vaccine is available to all nations.

She also expressed hope that America's "new President-elect" Joe Biden will "increase multilateral cooperation" in areas like health and climate change, noting that until now "the United States has resisted engaging" in a rebuke of Trump's isolationist policies.

President Trump, meanwhile, is among other G-20 leaders expected to participate in the closed-door virtual sessions that are taking place Saturday and Sunday.

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