King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
With world economies bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, the President of the G20 2020 Summit and leader of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has prevailed on the G20 to take centre stage in addressing the devastating impact of the COVID-19 disease before it causes further damage to humanity and the global economy.
“We must assume the responsibility of reinforcing cooperation in financing research and development for therapeutics and a vaccine for COVID-19 and ensure the availability of the vital medical supplies and equipment.
“We must also strengthen the global preparedness to counter infectious diseases that may spread in the future,” he said when he addressed the extraordinary meeting of the G20 virtually on Thursday and monitored by the Daily Graphic in Accra.
King Al Saud enumerated the effect of the dreaded disease that had hurt many economies adding; “The impact of this pandemic has spread to reach the global economy, financial markets, trade, and global supply chains, hampering growth and development and reversing the gains accomplished in the previous years.
“This human crisis requires a global response. The world counts on us to come together and cooperate in order to face this challenge”.
On the economic front, the Saudi King said amid the slowdown in global growth and the turmoil in financial markets, the G20 had a pivotal role in countering the economic and social impact of the pandemic.
“Therefore, we must have an effective and coordinated response to this pandemic and restore confidence in the global economy,” he said.
So far, many governments are taking varied measures to mitigate the impact and as a result, he said: “The Presidency welcomes the policies and measures taken by countries to revive their respective economies, including stimulus packages, precautionary measures, sector-targeted policies and job protection measures”.
King Al Saud was, however, quick to add that despite the importance of any country’s individual responses, “it is the duty of all to strengthen cooperation and coordination in all aspects of the adopted economic policies”.
In the area of trade, the Saudi King prevailed on the G20 to work to 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.
“In addition, it is our responsibility to extend a helping hand to developing countries and least developed countries to enable them to build their capacities and improve their infrastructure to overcome this crisis and its repercussions.
The G20 has previously proven its effectiveness in mitigating the severity of the global financial crisis and its ability to overcome it”.
On the health front, the King informed the global leaders that the Saudi G20 Presidency took the lead and worked with partners and relevant organisations to take all necessary actions in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard people’s health.
“And, here, we value the effective measures adopted by different countries in this regard. We reaffirm our full support for the World Health Organisation in coordinating the efforts to counter this pandemic.
“To complement these efforts, the G20 must assume the responsibility of reinforcing cooperation in financing research and development for therapeutics and a vaccine for COVID-19 and ensure the availability of the vital medical supplies and equipment. We must also strengthen the global preparedness to counter infectious diseases that may spread in the future,” he urged.
“Today, through our cooperation, we are confident that we, together, will overcome this crisis, and move forward towards a future where all people thrive, prosper and are healthy,” he added.