Saudi Arabia hosted the G20 summit on Saturday, Nov. 21. It is a two-day meet where the leaders of the world’s wealthiest countries will meet and deliberate. The contending issues is the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.
The summit is held as a backdrop of the coronavirus’s rising cases in the world and Donald Trump refusing to concede a bitter election. Also, it is a response to the criticism made against these wealthy nations. Critiques called it the worst response from G20 amid the global recession in decades.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman presided over the summit. Almost all top world leaders are present, starting with Angela Merkle, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, and Narendra Modi. The one-to-one session of the G20 summit has been reduced to a brief online session. The observers called it “digital diplomacy.”
Questions over vaccine
The comments made by the United States made it clear that the country is taking a “make it alone” approach. There was no clarity if the vaccines Pfizer and Moderna will be shared. Additionally, the United States has also broken its membership with the World Health Organization. This comes with a backdrop of the US suffering from the most deaths due to the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, China and Russia are preparing for the expansion of vaccines without proper trials.
“We will fulfill our commitments, offer help and support to other developing countries, and work hard to make vaccines a public good that citizens of all countries can use and can afford,” Xi said.
The G20 summit marked a closing lap of Donald Trump on the world stage. After attending some virtual summit, Donald Trump went to go golfing.
The G20 countries have almost contributed $21 billion to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, which has now infected almost 56 million people globally. Additionally, the Saudi Finance Minister said that they would seek international cooperation to support the global economic recovery amid the pandemic.
“The G20 committed in March to do ‘whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic and protect lives and livelihoods,'” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.
Human rights abuses
Campaigners and activists have launched drives highlighting Saudi Arabia’s serious human rights abuses. As a result, these have overshadowed the summit. The middle east director at the Human Rights Watch made remarks on the G20 presidency. He has conferred an undeserved mark of international prestige on the Saudi Government.
“Instead of signaling its concern for Saudi Arabia’s serious abuses, the G20 is bolstering the Saudi government’s well-funded publicity efforts to portray the country as ‘reforming’ despite a significant increase in repression.”
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