MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 21st November, 2020) The leaders of the world‘s 20 major economies will gather for a two-day online summit on Saturday in a bid to work out a COVID-19 action plan to shore up the struggling global economy.
Unlike previous editions, this year’s summit will not produce interesting photo-ops, marathon bilateral meetings and on-the-go talks, as it will be held in a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Nevertheless, on the eve of the high-level meeting, US media have offered a source of speculation � a possible no-show of US President Donald Trump, who may reportedly choose to not show up amid his ongoing fight around the November 3 election outcome.
COVID-19, ECONOMIC CRISIS AT HEART
However, it is not politics, but the economy that will take center stage at the summit.
According to the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the meeting with his G20 counterparts, will prioritize the coronavirus fight and effort to minimize the pandemic’s economic consequences.
The summit is expected to finish with a declaration on overcoming the pandemic-caused crisis in the global economy. According to Russian G20 sherpa Svetlana Lukash, the talks on the final document are “not quite easy” and have been ongoing for several days.
“But we are homing in on a strong statement, which says that the world‘s leading economies are ready to work together to overcome the crisis, rebuild the economy, and reaffirms multilateral approach to the solutions of all global issues,” she told Sputnik.
Earlier in the week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the 20 major economies’ leaders to allocate $28 billion for the WHO-led global initiative to ensure universal access to COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.
“I call on the G20 to fill the financing gap of $28 billion needed to fund the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-Accelerator) and its COVAX facility, scale up essential medical commodities and provide basic health care, including in developing countries where health systems and economies are less equipped to cope with the challenge,” Guterres said.
Human rights activists have also expressed their expectations from the summit. Amnesty International, for instance, has called on the world leaders to use the Riyadh-hosted meeting as an opportunity to call for the release of five women‘s rights activists, arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2018.
The rights group insists that the G20 leaders denounce Saudis’ “hypocrisy” about women‘s empowerment and use the summit as an opportunity to “stand up for the brave activists.”