An extraordinary virtual G20 Leaders Summit was held on 26.03.2020 to discuss the challenges posed by covid 19 outbreak. This extraordinary Summit was called by the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud on the request of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
All the G20 Leaders including US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe participated in the extraordinary virtual Summit.
The G20 Leaders agreed to use all available policy tools to minimise the economic and social costs of the pandemic. They also agreed to restore global growth, market stability and strengthening resilience. G20 countries committed to inject over US$ 5 TRILLION into the global economy. The Leaders further agreed to contribute to the WHO led covid 19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Prime Minister Modi thanked the Saudi King for convening the extraordinary session of G20. Mr. Modi noted the alarming social and economic cost of the pandemic. He said that 90% of the covid 19 cases and 88% of deaths were in the G20 countries. These countries together share 80% of the world GDP and 60% of global population. He urged G20 to come out with a concrete action plan to fight the pandemic.
The Indian Prime Minister underscored the need to put human beings at the centre of our vision of global prosperity and cooperation. He also called for free and open sharing of the benefits of medical research and development.
Mr. Modi said G20 needs to develop adaptive, responsive and humane healthcare systems; promote new crisis management protocols and procedures for an interconnected world. He called for reforms of intergovernmental bodies like WHO. The Indian Prime Minister said G20 needs to work together to reduce the economic hardship resulting due to covid 19; particularly for the weaker sections of the society.
Prime Minister Modi called upon the G20 Leaders to help usher in a new globalisation for the collective wellbeing of humankind and have a multilateral focus promoting the shared interests of humanity.
The G20 Leaders called for a coordinated global response to fight the pandemic by adopting measures to safeguard the global economy, minimising trade disruption and steps to enhance global cooperation.
The Indian Prime Minister also had telephonic discussions with the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan on the coronavirus outbreak.
Script: Kaushik Roy, AIR: News Analyst