A family photo featuring members of the G20 is projected onto the walls of Salwa Palace in Diriyah, Riyadh. AP
Gulf Today Report
With the coronavirus pandemic claiming over 1.37 million lives worldwide, the Group of 20 summit leaders sort to collectively chart a way forward out of the situation.
This year’s G20 summit began on Saturday with virtual meetings, shunning the usual in-person meetings due the virus.
The summit is an opportunity to prove how such bodies can facilitate international cooperation in crises.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday also participated in the G20’s two-day-meeting that is being held in Riyadh, under the presidency of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia.
The meeting will continue until Sunday under the slogan "Seizing the opportunities of the twenty-first century for all."
The UAE’s participation in this extraordinary meeting comes within its capacity as the Chair of the GCC’s current session, with the aim of coordinating the joint efforts and intensifying the international cooperation to combat the pandemic, and to curb its impact on peoples, health and economy in all countries around the world.
Among the international organisation participating in the G20 meeting are the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the International Labor Organization, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations (UN), the World Bank (WB), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Sheikh Mohammed praised the Saudi Arabia’s leadership of the G20 meeting, hailing its efforts led by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in holding the meeting under such exceptional circumstances, which confirms the pioneering role of the Kingdom globally.
Sheikh Mohammed affirmed that the UAE would continue to support all joint international initiatives, and all policies and projects that ensure building a sustainable future for the next generations.
“The pandemic highlighted the role played by the G20 as the world’s largest economic platform to confront and overcome the common challenges. Through the G20, the ways to seize the most important opportunities available to countries and governments are discussed to ensure a better future for peoples and the world. The danger today targets everyone around the world without exception, the destiny has become one and common for humanity,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
The UAE under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has been keen since the beginning of the crisis, to play an effective and main role in supporting international efforts to address the pandemic, Sheikh Mohammed said.
“The UAE spared no efforts to contribute to the international cooperation and coordination to combat the virus. It aimed to establish emergency and effective mechanisms and solutions to the crisis in all countries alike. The risks are not limited to the health sector only, but extend to other sectors, notably the economic and societal aspect,” he added.
His Highness appreciated the efforts of all participants in the G20’s works and their contributions to addressing the challenges caused by the pandemic, and the fair access to the COVID-19 vaccines.
He also affirmed the UAE's support for the G20’s initiatives aimed at strengthening the capabilities of the poor countries to face the current crisis, and its constant aspiration to contribute to the G20’s agenda and the joint work for the good of future generations and the world.
With the disease tearing around the globe and three billion people locked down, countries are desperate to find ways to stop its terrifying spread and deal with a shock that could surpass the Great Depression.
G20 finance ministers and central bankers agreed during a separate video conference on Monday to develop an "action plan" to respond to the outbreak, which the International Monetary Fund expects will trigger a global recession.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by the Kingdom, the G20 will act, alongside international organisations, in any way deemed necessary to alleviate the impact of the pandemic. G20 Leaders will put forward a coordinated set of policies to protect people and safeguard the global economy.
Sheikh Mohammed said, “This summit is an evidence of the wisdom that humanity has reached over many centuries throughout its history. This wisdom says that our interest is in the cooperation, our strength is in the solidarity and that we are all one.”
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