G20 Leaders to Discuss Post-Pandemic Peace and Debt Relief

By | November 21, 2020
G20 Leaders to Discuss Post-Pandemic Peace and Debt Relief

EU countries put their hopes on the administration of Joe Biden, who promised to participate more actively in international initiatives

Leaders of the world’s twenty largest economies (G20) will discuss this weekend the fight against the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that caused a global recession, and the recovery of the world economy after the coronavirus spread can be controlled.

The agenda includes the procurement and further distribution of vaccines, drugs, and tests for countries in the Third World whose governments cannot afford such costs. On Saturday, the European Union will offer $4.5 billion from the G20 to help the world’s poorest countries fight the pandemic.

“The main topic of the meeting is an intensification of international cooperation in the fight against the pandemic,” a senior G20 representative who participated in the preparation for the two-day summit, which will be held in the virtual mode under the chairmanship of Saudi Arabia, told Reuters.

Opening the summit, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz emphasized the need for all countries to have equal access to tools to combat COVID-19, including vaccines.

The European Union plans to invite members of the G20 on Sunday to sign an international treaty on joint action in cases of pandemics.

The global economic recovery is uneven and the pandemic is likely to cause severe damage to many countries, the International Monetary Fund said. Poor countries with large debts, which, according to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, “are on the verge of financial collapse, poverty, hunger, and unspeakable suffering, will be particularly hard hit.

To address this problem, G20 members are going to approve a six-month debt moratorium for developing countries until mid-2021, with the possibility of further extension, Reuters said in a draft G20 communiqué.

The EU G20 countries also intend to renew the stalled reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO), hoping to be supported by a new US administration.

The current U.S. president, Donald Trump, who will leave the White House in January, preferred to conclude bilateral trade deals without resorting to international organizations.

The change of the U.S. president also gives hope that members of the G20 will be able to fight climate change in a more coordinated manner. Under Trump, the United States withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement. This decision is likely to be overturned by elected president Joe Biden.

“We expect… …from the new U.S. administration to move forward on this issue… The elected president has stated that… The United States will rejoin the Paris Agreement,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.