An Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit was convened on 26 March 2020 to discuss the challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and to forge a global coordinated response. Earlier, PM had a telephonic conversation with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia on this subject. The extraordinary G20 Summit was a culmination of the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting and G20 Sherpas Meeting on the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the meeting, G20 Leaders agreed to take all necessary measures to contain the pandemic and protect people. They also supported strengthening of the WHO’s mandate in the fight against pandemics, including delivery of medical supplies, diagnostic tools, treatments, medicines and vaccines.
Leaders also committed to use all available policy tools to minimise the economic and social cost of the pandemic and to restore global growth, market stability and strengthening resilience. G20 countries committed to inject over USD 5 trillion into the global economy to counter the social and economic impact of COVID-19. Leaders also agreed to contribute to the WHO led COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund on a voluntary basis.
PM thanked the King of Saudi Arabia for convening this extraordinary session of G20. In his remarks, PM noted the alarming social and economic cost of the pandemic, He added that 90% of the COVID-19 cases and 88% of deaths were in G20 countries even as they share 80% of world GDP and 60% of world population. He called on the G20 to come out with a concrete action plan to fight the global pandemic.
PM underscored the need to put human beings at the centre of our vision of global prosperity and cooperation, freely and openly share the benefits of medical research and development, develop adaptive, responsive and humane health care systems, promote new crisis management protocols and procedures for an interconnected global village, strengthen and reform intergovernmental organisations like WHO and work together to reduce economic hardships resulting from COVID-19 particularly for the economically weak.
PM called on the Leaders to help usher in a new globalization, for the collective well-being of humankind and have multilateral fora focus on promoting the shared interests of humanity.
At the end of the Summit, a G20 Leaders’ Statement was issued which called for a coordinated global response to fight the pandemic, adopting measures to safeguard the global economy, minimising trade disruption and steps to enhance global cooperation.